You can add Mike Schmidt to the list of Hall of Famers who have had enough of bat flippers. In a first-person account for the Associated Press, the Phillies legend said Jose Bautista’s memorable bat flip was "flagrant disrespect."
"Why do so many players today feel the need to embellish their success with some sort of hand signal to the dugout?" Schmidt wrote. "What got more attention in last year’s post-season than a bat toss by Jose Bautista? Pointing to the sky is child’s play compared to that moment in the post-season on national TV. A flagrant disrespect of the opponent like that would have gotten somebody hurt back in the day."
Schmidt, who hit 548 homers in his illustrious career, is the latest baseball icon to take issue with today’s players’ penchant for watching long balls. Reds legend Johnny Bench also said players wouldn’t have gotten away with that type of behavior years ago.
"You can flip your bat," the Reds legend said. "We had guys do that … and the next time up there was chin music. And if you play that way, that’s fine."
All of this old school vs. new school was ignited by Goose Gossage, who lit into Bautista, Yoenis Cespedes and baseball "nerds" earlier this month.