After seven long months of stewing, some Rangers fans tonight finally want their revenge on Jose Bautista.
For the first time since his epic home run and exaggerated bat flip in last October’s ALDS Game 5 in Toronto, the Blue Jays’ slugger will step into the box against Texas pitching. A high, hard one to the ear hole, right?
Wrong. Wrong. And more wrong.
See, it wasn’t Bautista’s bat flip – which was in the general direction of no one, by the way – that did in the Rangers last Fall. It was the three errors that preceded his smashing a 97-mph fastball from Sam Dyson into the left-field seats, and history.
Dyson was clearly agitated by Bautista’s action after the game. So were Rangers fans, who vowed “revenge” the next time the teams meet. But, seriously? Seven months and a season later and you’re still upset not by your team’s comedy of fielding errors, but a taunting gesture by an opposing player?
Though Bautista always flips his bat after homers, that was certainly amped up for drama. And no doubt he was sending an “Gotcha!” message to the Rangers. But, come on, this wasn’t Terrell Owens celebrating on the Cowboys’ star in Texas Stadium. And what’s a little chin music really going to do, actually make you feel better about last year’s collapse?
Retaliation during this week’s four-game series will only make the Rangers look pathetic. If you can’t beat ‘em, bean ‘em? It would be sour grapes, and a directing of emotion in the wrong direction.
Fact is the Rangers imploded during that infamous 7th inning. Bautista’s showboat reaction wouldn’t have been possible without their inept action.
Fans should hope their team plays better baseball. Not dirty baseball.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.