First of all, the fact Tim Anderson got ejected by Joe West might be the most ridiculous part of this whole situation. He might’ve sparked some punches had he been in the middle of things, but Jose Abreu kept him on first base the entire time. Bad call by West, but that’s nothing new.
The White Sox and the Royals got into a little dust-up after Tim Anderson was hit by a pitch after bat flipping a home run, a breakdown. pic.twitter.com/X4txPuGK0A
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) April 17, 2019
When it comes to the beef between the Kansas City Royals and Anderson, this issue of bat-flipping and retaliation has become one of the game’s greatest issues.
Just think about that for a moment. A grown man is celebrating that he hit a baseball far and people are upset about it. This is a billion dollar operation we’re talking about and people are getting upset over this.
And this isn’t simply a hitters vs. pitchers debate.
Guys are getting a little excessive on pimping HRs, on meaningless HRs too. Act like you have done it before, one time.
— Randal Grichuk (@RGrich15) April 17, 2019
Despite someone who believes pitching is the most entertaining and underrated part of the game of baseball, I have no problem with a good bat-flip. Bryce Harper’s against the Washington Nationals was one of the greatest celebrations I’ve ever seen in response to an individual act in all of sports.
— Tater Talk: A Baseball Podcast (@TaterTalkPod) April 3, 2019
At the same time, I can’t imagine celebrating every time I hit a home run. But to each his own.
As a pitcher, Cincinnati’s Amir Garrett probably puts it best:
My take. He batflips cool. You take it to the chin and wear it. But next time you face him. Strike him out, and do whatever you gotta do. Fist pump, moonwalk, cartwheel. Do whatever. I’m all for it. Both ways. lol
— CountOnAG (@Amir_Garrett) April 18, 2019
That being said, you want to buzz a guy inside so he doesn’t get too comfortable at the plate, I’m fine with that too. That doesn’t mean throw at him like Brad Keller did with Anderson. I’m talking from a strategic standpoint. If a guy is getting too comfortable at the plate and getting his arms extended with every cut, then you have to make an adjustment. Sometimes that requires a roll of the dice. You then run the risk of drilling him and creating a mess, but that’s the way the game goes. And pitchers have to be willing to accept the repercussions.
Personally, I’ve never understood why pitchers can’t let the hitter know it was an accident when they drill them. Because that does happen. Is that somehow a point of strategy, too? Or would that be viewed as a sign of weakness and disobeying the game’s unwritten rules?
Don’t get me wrong, there are times where players break baseball’s unwritten rules and I side with the unwritten rules; like when Alex Rodriguez yelled “I got it” on a pop-up running around the bases years ago. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with Tim Anderson’s bat-flip/spike.