A’s slugger Mark Canha is well known for triumphant bat flips after launching a homer. While opposing pitchers surely don't love it, it's part of Canha's persona.
So let’s first get those questions and answers out of the way first.
NBC Sports California: Does much thought ever go into the act?
Canha: “It’s always spur of the moment.”
How do you instantly recognize a homer?
“When you feel the right launch angle, you can tell, typically.”
Ever worry about going overboard with the expression?
“It’s got to be swaggy but not disrespectful.“
But what you may not know is that Canha actually takes tons of interest and science into the choice of bats he flips.
“It’s a 34 inch, 31.5 ounce, Model 271,” Canha explained during A's spring training. “Which means it’s a small barrel, super skinny. One of the skinniest barrels you can use.”
The grip end of Canha’s bats are also quite specific.
“I use an axe handle which is unique,” Canha detailed. “I’ve always liked the way It felt, super ergonomic, fits in my hand nicely.”
Mark Canha's bats in the bat rack at Hohokam Stadium during spring training
For the record, Canha was an economics major in college, at Cal-Berkeley. But next, he’s about to bust out some physics on you.
“They say you want more weight into less surface area of the barrel to provide the most density of the wood,” Canha explained. “So when I hit the ball, I want the bat to feel hard.”
How does that apply to baseball strategy?
“I would rather the ball go out of the stadium when I do hit it, rather than hit it more often, but not as hard. I want the bang for your buck.”
Canha hit a career-high 26 homers last season, and upped his batting average 24 points from the previous year. We can only hope we get his bat flips back in our lives soon.