When the Dodgers welcome the Rays to town tonight, they’ll be entertaining a team that they have a lot in common with. They’ve both been unbelievably red-hot over the last two months, they both have Cy Young lefty aces atop their rotations, they both have employed J.P. Howell and James Loney in the last year, and they both have rookie sensations in right field, arguably the two future Rookies of the Year in the respective leagues, who are helping to fuel the recent run.
Here’s Myers on July 29 in Yankee Stadium…
…and again last Sunday back home (h/t to Rays Index):
That second one is just amazing. Yes. That’s a thing I did. Challenge me, Guillermo Moscoso, I would say, if I had any idea who the poor mortal delivering me this baseball even is. I am embarrassed for you. Your children will now carry the name “Myers”. Remove yourself from my sight.
What’s that? Too recent? Well, that’s why we also have footage of Myers’ first homer in the Rays organization from this April (click to play, not embeddable):
Now I hardly need to spend the bandwidth to show you the approximately 28 times that Puig has flipped his bat, but I can’t really get through this post without doing it at all, so here — via FanGraphs — is Puig tossing the lumber against Sergio Romo on July 7. Why this one? Because it was merely for a single.
You’ll have noticed, at this point, that Myers does a whole lot of the same things that Puig does, yet doesn’t seem to get 10% of the disdain. I think we all know why, and it’s because Myers is whi… ttling away his time in the relative baseball obscurity of Tampa Bay, as opposed to the bright lights of Los Angeles. It’s because Puig isn’t from this co… mmunity of ballplayers who “know how to play the game the right way”.
Anyway, you know that I don’t really care about bat flips, for the most part. The game is supposed to be fun, and I’ve always subscribed to the theory of “if you don’t want me to flip a bat after I crush a homer, maybe throw a better pitch next time.” I do recognize that there are real-world downsides to it, however, in the sense that an unhappy pitcher might throw at your head or a crusty umpire may stop giving you favorable calls. Myers does it, Puig does it, I don’t really care.
Besides, neither Myers nor Puig can hold a candle to what I still consider to be the greatest bat flip of all time — with apologies to Hung-Chih Kuo and also the ludicrous Korean example Chad Moriyama dug out today — Cubs minor leaguer Dan Vogelbach doing this last month. (Via FanGraphs.)
Good lord, that’s a bat flip. Give the man an extra run just for that (and oh please, please, let that have been a no-doubt homer).