Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista has written an article for The Players Tribune on his now-iconic ALDS bat flip against the Rangers and the negative comments it provoked:
Were these same opinions expressed when Carlton Fisk "waved" his home run fair in '75? Or when Joe Carter jumped around the bases in '93? When I was growing up and I watched iconic moments like those, I was so caught up in the emotion that I got chills. I wasn't thinking about the implications. I was fully immersed in the moment and enjoying it. I loved Cal Ripken Jr. for his poise and control. But I also admired Reggie Jackson for showing his passion and flair.
Those moments are spontaneous. They're human. And they're a whole lot of fun.
But nowadays, when a player flips his bat, especially a guy who wears his emotions on his sleeve, a small section of people always seem to turn it into a debate about the integrity of the game. ...
[F]or whatever reason, there's a small section of old-school, my-way-or-the-highway type of people who never want the game to evolve. They're the dinosaurs who believe that everybody should play the same and act the same. They usually claim that it is out of "respect."
In my opinion, true respect is about embracing the differences in people's cultures. ...
I flipped my bat. I'm human. The emotion got to me. It's in my DNA. If you think that makes me a jerk, that's fine. But let's call it what it is. Let's not have these loaded conversations about "character" and the integrity of the game every time certain players show emotion in a big moment. That kind of thinking is not just old school. It's just ignorant.