Monday, April 23, 2018
Sports

Schmidt: Bautista 'crossed the line'

You can add Mike Schmidt to the list of Hall of Famers not impressed with Jose Bautista's home run celebration.

Schmidt, 66, writing a commentary for the Associated Press outlining the contrasts of what's acceptable celebratory behavior and what's not, said Bautista "crossed the line" with his emphatic bat flip after hitting a towering home run during Game 5 of the Division Series last season in Toronto against the Rangers that ultimately assured the Blue Jays their first ALCS berth since 1993.

Schmidt, the former Phillies great, wrote:

"Why do so many players today feel the need to embellish their success with some sort of hand signal to the dugout? What got more attention in last year's postseason than a bat toss by Jose Bautista? Pointing to the sky is child's play compared to that moment in the postseason on national TV. A flagrant disrespect of the opponent like that would have gotten somebody hurt back in the day."

He went on:

"That's the problem with these onfield displays, it shows a lack of respect for your opponent and the history of the game. But today there is a faction of players that say damn respect — that guy on the mound gestures to the dugout when he strikes me out, so why can't I flip my bat on a home run? That's a good point, I guess it does go both ways. But who wouldn't agree Bautista crossed the line?"

The wave of criticism Bautista has dealt with for the celebration prompted the All-Star slugger to present his side in an essay for the Players' Tribune in November titled "Are You Flipping Kidding Me?"

Bautista cited his behavior to being in the heat of the moment. The Jays were in the playoffs for the first time since 1993, and he was at the plate with two runners on and two outs with the game on the line.

Schmidt recognized that he is the subject of one of the game's most recognizable celebrations: His high-stepping down the first-base line after hitting his 500th home run in 1987.

"As for me, the most emotion I ever displayed on the field was a little running in place out of the box on my 500th home run. My home run trots were over quickly and without fanfare."

He continued:

"Baseball demands a certain level of dignity toward the opponent. It's part of its charm. Sure, you have to be tough and stand up for yourself, but only when the line is crossed."

Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench also said players wouldn't have gotten away with that type of behavior years ago. "You can flip your bat," the former Reds great said. "We had guys do that … and the next time up there was chin music. And if you play that way, that's fine."

The Bautista talk was ignited by Hall of Fame reliever and former Yankees great Goose Gossage, who lit into Bautista, Yoenis Cespedes and baseball "nerds" earlier this month for their onfield antics.

SANDOVAL HURT: Third baseman Pablo Sandoval has lower-back stiffness and was not in the Red Sox's starting lineup Thursday against the Mets. Sandoval was injured diving for a ball off the bat of Miami's Giancarlo Stanton on Tuesday. Manager John Farrell said he does not think Sandoval will require a stint on the disabled list.

Comments
Polly want a sacker: Bucs’ 4th-round draft pick to be delivered by parrot

Polly want a sacker: Bucs’ 4th-round draft pick to be delivered by parrot

Late-round NFL draft picks are often made on a wing and a prayer.The Bucs' fourth-round pick Saturday will be no different. The team announced Monday that as part of the NFL draft TV broadcast, the team's fourth-round pick will be delivered to an ann...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Projecting where USF’s prospects will get drafted

Projecting where USF’s prospects will get drafted

For all the analyses and hypotheses, all the Mels and McShays, all the pro days and private workouts, the NFL draft remains a crap shoot at its core.But just for kicks, we're rolling the dice anyway.As a prelude to what could — could — be...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
USF baseball cracks top 25

USF baseball cracks top 25

For the first time this season, USF's baseball team has cracked the national rankings.The Bulls (26-14, 9-6), coming off series wins against UCF and No. 7 East Carolina, are No. 20 in the latest Baseball America weekly poll. USF, winner of five of it...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

ST. PETERSBURG — Absolutely, Alex Cobb was saying over the phone, it's going to be weird pitching Tuesday against the Rays.The organization that he owes so much for rearing him since high school, standing by him through assorted injuries, enabl...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Swimmer Michael Phelps to headline Crystal Lagoon grand opening Saturday

Swimmer Michael Phelps to headline Crystal Lagoon grand opening Saturday

WESLEY CHAPEL — Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps will splash down Saturday at the Crystal Lagoon in Wesley Chapel’s Epperson development.Phelps, a global ambassador for Crystal Lagoons, will appear at the grand opening of the first Crystal Lagoon...
Updated: 1 hour ago
How Deon Cain went from lifelong quarterback to NFL-bound receiver

How Deon Cain went from lifelong quarterback to NFL-bound receiver

TAMPA — Ricky Sailor thought his colleague had lost his mind.Sailor's Unsigned Preps 7-on-7 team had one of the area's most promising young quarterbacks, Deon Cain. So why would one of his coaches, Carlos Blake, want to risk injury and burn bri...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays win on Carlos Gomez’s walkoff home run

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays win on Carlos Gomez’s walkoff home run

Carlos Gomez, who had been struggling, delivers a two-run, walkoff home run as the Rays sweep the Twins for the first time at Tropicana Field. Rick Stroud discusses the moment and the celebration that followed Gomez's first career walkoff hit in toda...
Updated: 2 hours ago
District softball schedules for Tampa Bay

District softball schedules for Tampa Bay

Note: Some district schedules may be impacted by inclement weather.Class 9A-8 (higher seed hosts)Tuesday: No. 3 Alonso at No. 2 Palm Harbor University, 4; No. 4 Sarasota Riverview at No. 1 Newsome, 7Thursday: Final, 4 or 7 (depending on who hosts)Cla...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning Round 2 playoff tickets on sale Monday

Lightning Round 2 playoff tickets on sale Monday

Single-game tickets for the Lightning's Eastern Conference semifinal series go on sale to the general public at 1 p.m. Monday at nhl.com/lightning/tickets. The Lightning plays the winner of the Bruins-Maple Leafs series. Game 6 of that series is Mon...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning has answer for Devils and David Puddy

Lightning has answer for Devils and David Puddy

You knew those who work the scoreboard for the Lightning games at Amalie Arena would have an answer Saturday during Game 5 to the Devils using David Puddy during Game 4 at the Prudential Center. Puddy meets Homer Simpson. Actually, Puddy met Terry ...
Updated: 8 hours ago