To 2015 American League MVP Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista’s 7th inning homerun in last year’s series-clinching ALDS Game 5 win over the Texas Rangers is something that should have been remembered for capping off a comeback after trailing two games to none. Instead, the focus has been on Bautista’s bat flip and has sparked an off-season argument on baseball etiquette. Donaldson joined The Jim Rome Show and said Bautista didn’t do anything that hasn’t been done before.
“The fact of the matter, people been bat flipping bats for decades now, this isn’t something new,” Donaldson said. “I remember watching Rickey Henderson in the 80’s, he was bat flipping. Mike Schmidt, I seen him do some things on the baseball field, I mean I was a fan of his, you know doing his celebrations doing this that and the other.”
Hall of Famer Goose Gossage called Bautista a “disgrace to the game,” which is something that Donaldson chuckled at.
“The sheer fact of the matter is I feel like the older you get, you start losing that filter, a little bit,” Donaldson laughed. “I respect Goose Gossage and his career, I respect a lot that guys who played the game in front of me. They’ve made the game what it is today. With that being said, there was guys doing bat flips, there was guys taking people out at second, literally just running people over at second base and trying to kill each other. So there’s some things that have been taken out of the game from their time period that we’re not even allowed to do anymore.”
The 30 year-old third baseman acknowledged that there’s no need to show anyone up, but there’s nothing wrong with some passion from players.
“You know the game has changed to a certain extent, but at the same time I do believe you have a need to respect the game and sometimes respecting the game is showing emotion,” Donaldson said. “If you don’t show emotion then you’re kind of going out there and acting like robots and I don’t think fans enjoy that.”