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Even in 2015 the bat flip remains a contentious issue in baseball. After hitting a grand slam off of Padres pitcher Dayle Thayer, Giants catcher Hector Sanchez took some time to admire his feat and flipped his bat in the process. Already down 9-0 at this point, Thayer was not pleased with Sanchez’s theatrics. He responded in a very appropriate manner by flinging his gum in the direction of Sanchez as he rounded the bases.
In the ninth inning, Padres pitcher Shawn Kelley decided to restore the honor of his befallen teammate by throwing a few inside pitches at Sanchez. When Sanchez eventually grounded out, words were exchanged and the benches cleared. Kelly explained his actions after the game:
“I guess that’s part of the game now. To me, that’s a little disrespectful, especially to Dale,” Kelley said. “I don’t think there’s a place in this game for that, but it’s part of it. Guys admire what they do, and when you get one, sometimes guys watch it. But that’s between him and his teammates and the Giants. That’s not our business.”
Sanchez was simply enjoying a grand slam, which doesn’t come along very often for a catcher. There’s no need to throw at guy for simply enjoying a game. Here’s hoping Sanchez rides his bat like a horse around the base paths next time he hits a grand slam.