After Bautista Bat Flip, Braves Pitcher Says He’s “Surprised He’s Ready to Fight Again” After Odor Punch (Video)
Jose Bautista‘s bat is finally heating up, and his notorious scowls and glares are heating up his opponents.
On Wednesday night in Atlanta, the Toronto Blue Jays slugger crushed his sixth homer of the season and his fourth in his last eight games. Then he nearly incited a brawl between the Jays and Braves by staring at Braves pitcher Eric O’Flaherty and flipping his bat.
Braves second baseman Jace Peterson was the first to confront Bautista, chirping at him and causing Bautista to momentarily halt home run trot as he rounded first base. Then, when Bautista got to home plate, catcher Kurt Suzuki also had words for him.
Soon enough the benches were cleared and the bullpens emptied. Take a look:
It’s unclear why Bautista felt the need to stare down the pitcher after hitting a solo homer in a five-run game. However, you can see Bautista apologize to Suzuki as he steps on home plate.
“I understand why (the Braves) would be upset in that situation and I just told them how I felt,” Bautista told reporters. “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.”
Over in the Atlanta locker room, the tone was far less conciliatory. In fact, Eric O’Flaherty absolutely roasted Bautista by bringing up The Punch, which just so happened to occur almost exactly one year ago:
THIS IS NOT A DRILL!
"Surprised he’s ready to fight again after last year"
ERIC O'FLAHERTY ON JOSE BAUTISTA
— FOX Sports: Braves (@FOXSportsBraves) May 18, 2017
Well played, O’Flaherty. Well played.
Hat Tip – [theScore]