The David Ortiz Bat-Flip and What It Could Have Been

Maybe it’s just that I’ve had more time to sit around and take in sports news the last few days, but I can’t remember seeing this much coverage of a home run celebration ever. For everyone who doesn’t know, David Ortiz plays for the Red Sox and basically doesn’t do much besides hit home runs, a part of the game at which he has been incredibly good. In a game against the Yankees on Tuesday night, Ortiz hit another home run and taunted the Yankees by flipping his bat super-aggressively.

Apparently he didn’t apologize about it after the game, which made things worse.

What’s the big deal here? There isn’t one. This isn’t a story, The Red Sox are on fire right now and that’s a story. The Red Sox-Yankees rivalry is pretty historic and right now it’s going to be a two-team race for the AL East and that also is a story. David Ortiz has made an entire career out of DH-ing and largely just swinging for the fences. This is also a story. Ortiz flipping his bat after a home run isn’t.

The most important part of this whole she-bang-a-bang is this: When I first heard about this story, I mistakenly heard that after hitting the home run against the Yankees, David Ortiz did a BACK flip. That isn’t a joke. I thought the story was being reported because that is truly a celebration that is over-the-line, and more importantly, a miracle of modern physics. Have you seen the guy before? He’s literally a bear. If he had hit that home run, stared right into the eyes of the Yank’s pitcher, jumped a few feet into the air, rotated his huge body nimbly, nailed the landing and THEN trotted around the basepath, I would have been floored. With all the attention his real celebration (which was exactly 0.00001 of a big deal) got, I was genuinely expecting to see him do a back flip when I finally saw the replay.

To help you get as excited as I was, I took a few minutes to create a rough sketch of what I thought the backflip would look like. Hopefully you’ll understand.

Top: What the David Ortiz bat flip incident looked like in real life. Bottom: What it could have looked like.