Jose Bautista is still flipping his bat — and still irritating his opponents.
That was evident Wednesday night in Atlanta, when Bautista caused the benches to clear for the second time in the game, thanks to his bat-flipping antics.
The trouble started in the seventh inning, when Braves reliever Jason Motte struck out Kevin Pillar and Pillar muttered some unkind words to the veteran righty. Those words apparently didn’t sit well with Braves catcher Kurt Suzuki, who confronted Pillar, causing both teams to spill out of their dugouts.
The benches clear in Atlanta after Kevin Pillar takes exception to Jason Motte’s quick pitch in the top of the 7th inning!!! pic.twitter.com/fcwxtUWuYL
Umpires were able to get things under control without incident… for the time being.
In the top of the eighth, Bautista stepped to the plate and launched a solo shot to left field off of Eric O’Flaherty and celebrated his homer in typical Jose Bautista fashion — with an epic bat flip. He did this, of course, despite the fact that the Jays still trailed the Braves 8-4. And that just didn’t sit well with the Braves.
After the game, O’Flaherty wasn’t shy about his opinion of Bautista’s antics and took a subtle shot at the showboater for the infamous punch he took from Rangers’ Rougend Odor last year.
THIS IS NOT A DRILL!
“Surprised he’s ready to fight again after last year”
Bautista admitted that in hindsight, it probably wasn’t the best idea, and hoped to move on from the incident.
“I understand why [the Braves] would be upset in that situation, and I just told them how I felt,” he told the Toronto Sun. “Basically just let them know that I wasn’t trying to show up anybody and hopefully it’s in the past. It has nothing to do with [frustration], but it was definitely not something that was fitting for the moment.
“Sometimes our competitive juices come out in the wrong moment. We have to deal with it between the lines like men — I feel like I did that and hopefully that’s enough.”