Jose Bautista: Rangers lack leadership “when it comes to playing baseball the right way.”
Jose Bautista had a lot to say after Sunday’s 7-6 loss to the Rangers, which included two benches-clearing incidents. Bautista, who was hit by a Matt Bush fastball, slid late into second baseman Rougned Odor in an attempt to break up a double play. Odor swung at Bautista, landing one punch clean on the outfielder’s jaw.
After the game, Bautista said to the media, which included MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm:
Bautista: "It shows at least the apparent lack of leadership they have over there when it comes to playing baseball the right way (1of2)...— Gregor Chisholm (@GregorChisholm) May 15, 2016
Bautista:"I had a hard slide at 2B. I could have injured him, I chose not to...tried to send a message that I didn't appreciate getting hit"— Gregor Chisholm (@GregorChisholm) May 15, 2016
No matter how dirty his slide was -- and it appeared to be plenty dirty -- Bautista shouldn’t have been punched, because that’s not the way grown adults handle disputes. That being said, Bautista dropping a “play the right way” is hilarious. It’s the “play the game the right way” crowd (which includes Hall of Famer Goose Gossage) that loathes Bautista for his ALDS bat flip last year. Gossage, in March, said Bautista is, “a f—ing disgrace to the game.”
Furthermore, Bautista acting like the good guy for not actually injuring Odor is terrible. You don’t get a trophy for doing the bare minimum for being a decent human being. Bautista’s motivation for not injuring Odor should be that competitors in a children’s game want to prioritize each other’s safety above all else. At the end of the day, these grown men should remember they’re wearing pajamas chasing baseballs around in the grass, not warriors battling to the death in the coliseum.