Of course, you must have seen it or even done it yourself. We are talking about baseball players, hitters, being more precise, who toss the baseball bats into the air and have the bats spin mid-air after they made a successful hit.
That is what a baseball bat flip is all about.
A Baseball Bat flie via GIPHY
Over time, bat flips have evolved from flipping the bat at the batter’s area and the carrying of the bat as far as a way to 1st base. First, it was Alex Bregman who pulled the stunt. Then Juan Soto followed suit because, as he claimed, it looked like fun. This did not happen in the regular local tournaments or leagues but on the game’s biggest stage- Game 6 of the World Series.
However, there is a mixed reaction on whether this celebratory practice is good or bad. The traditional view is that it’s terrible, but some modernists argue there’s nothing wrong with it. Let’s see the reasons given by either side.
Many years before the modern era of baseball, players were expected and even taught to respect the opposing team and the game. This respect meant no antics at the plate, no showboating, and you hit a bomb, take it with humility- you put your head down and just run around the bases. Those years one was not even expected to watch the ball leave the yard as he walked halfway down the line in celebration.
Based on the above traditional expectations, traditionalist enthusiasts of this game have repeatedly shared a standard view of this “controversy”; if you flip the bat after you launch a home run, you are getting beaned by the pitcher bat at next. This view is based on the notion that bat flipping is some showoff to the opposing pitcher. According to this view, this practice amounts to which in disrespecting not just the pitcher but the entire opposing team as well.
For these reasons, traditionalist baseball enthusiasts view bat flipping as a reflection of what Roberto Alomar used to do to his umpires. This is the definition of showing off to a pitcher up. Those who hold this view are saddened that society has glamorized this new-found practice, and now it’s done way too often. According to this view, the procedure is disrespectful to the pitcher and desecrates the game itself.
Another argument against bat flips is that they are dangerous. The bone of contention here is that these flips revolve around the batter’s possible danger if the thrower decides to hit him to retaliate and beat the batter with a pitch in his next bat. This could cause serious injury.
Besides, bat flips or the following drilling by the batter often leads to the benches clearing. In some cases, it even leads to fights which is another concern as far as the players’ safety is concerned.
On the other hand, those who believe that baseball needs some added enthusiasm and that when played along the traditional taenites, the game is a bore. They even argue there is a need to inject more personality of the players into the game.
“Let The Kids Play” is a typical baseball catch-phrase today on social media. Interestingly, the phrase is not just used by players and fans but even big baseball channels, including MLB’s channel. This phrase is being used when discussing the need to give baseball players more latitude to bring their personality on the baseball field.
This phrase is music to younger fans who love bat flips. This group of modernists loves the antics. The youngsters love seeing their “macho men” show a little emotion and personality on the field.
Such moments keep the young fans glued to the game and fuel their love for baseball. And of course, as excited kids do, they’ll copy what their heroes are doing since they believe by doing so, they too will demonstrate they are not weaklings. They might even think the players are heroes because of the antics they perform on the field, including a bat. It’s no wonder that many effective and respected baseball channels on social media actively promote bat flips.
To the younger generation fans and the allegedly more “progressive” fan, the celebrations and big bat flips spice up the game by adding additional excitement. This has a spiral effect- it will grow the fan base.
On the other hand, to the more “traditionalist” fan, this practice bat flips is disrespectful to the pitcher and the game in general.
While there’s nothing wrong with players expressing their joy during the high points, it’s good to take necessary caution. Hitting a home run in a critical situation deserves the right to celebrate.
In the meantime, you can share your thoughts with us in the comments below.