Jose Bautista, the most talked-about player in Major League Baseball (MLB) for his bat flip, is leaving the game. The Toronto Blue Jays have set the stage for his departure.
Batista signed a one-day contract with his hometown team to retire on Wednesday. Batista’s retirement ceremony will take place prior to the 2023 MLB regular season home opener against the Chicago Cubs on April 13 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It’s also one day before Hyun-jin Ryu’s pitching debut.
Batista was an iconic Toronto star in the 2010s. He made his big league debut with the Baltimore Orioles in 2004 and later bounced around the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates. He arrived in Toronto in 2008 and suddenly transformed into one of the league’s premier sluggers in 2010. He led the league in home runs with 54 in 2010 and followed that up with a .302 batting average with 43 home runs, a .608 slugging percentage, and a 1.056 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) in 2011. He averaged 38 home runs from 2010 to 2015, and during his prime, Toronto was also a powerhouse in fall ball.
Even hotter than his stats were his fall ball moments. On October 15, 2015, Batista hit the game-winning three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning of a 3-3 tie in Game 5 of the American League Division Series against the Texas Rangers. It was the shot that sank Texas, which had a better regular-season record.
The homer didn’t end there. Batista himself looked at the mound for a moment as if he knew it was going to be the game-winner, and then arrogantly threw the bat into the air with time running out. Batista’s showmanship elevated the dramatic home run into the shot of the century.
But there was a catch. Unlike the KBO, in the MLB, it’s considered “disrespectful” to look at a pitch and hit a home run. It was a bittersweet moment for Texas, who ended that fall with the home run, and it led to retaliation the following year. On May 16, 2016, Batista slid roughly into second base in the eighth inning of an away game against Texas, and Texas Lugned O’Dowd, still remembering the fall, delivered a hard punch to Batista’s face.
Batista made a rough slide to second base in the eighth inning of a visiting game against Texas on May 16, 2016, and Texas shortstop Lugned Odor, still remembering his fall, delivered a hard punch to Batista’s face. The fact that O’Dowd, a third-year player, hit the veteran Batista made as much of a splash as his “sucker punch.메이저사이트
Batista, meanwhile, played in Toronto until 2017 and then had a relatively difficult final year, bouncing between three teams in 2018, and hasn’t returned to MLB since. He continued to play in his home country, the Dominican Republic, and faded from MLB fans’ radar. “Everybody (already) knows I’m retired, but I wanted to make it official,” Batista said when announcing his deal with Toronto.