Staring down your homer is the new bat flip and everyone's getting in on the fun
For years, if you wanted to punctuate your home run (or hey, even a walk), you had more or less one option: the bat flip.
Don't get us wrong. Bat flips are now and have always been great. Players should feel encouraged to spin some celebratory lumber in just about any context, and scientists have discovered it makes any baseball thing roughly 40 percent cooler.
It's just that the bat flip is a bit ... limited, aesthetically and emotionally speaking. It's a classic law of diminishing returns problem: You can only see so many bat flips -- and we've been lucky enough to see a lot of them by now -- before bat flips become the new normal.
Which is why we're thrilled to report that big leaguers all across the country are disrupting the dinger celebration industry with a hot new trend: They're staring down the hell out of them.
You probably remember the Reds-Pirates fracas from last weekend -- you know, the one that gave us Yasiel Puig starring in his very own Renaissance masterpiece. But do you remember what started it all? Derek Dietrich did this:
All aboard the showboat 🚢 pic.twitter.com/fqOj0CkjLK— Cut4 (@Cut4) April 7, 2019
That's a solid four or five seconds of just refusing to jog around the bases. The form! The drop of the bat! Look at this masterpiece:
And, wonderfully, it seems to be catching on. Here's how Amed Rosario -- a speed-first shortstop with just 14 career homers to his name -- celebrated taking Kevin Gausman deep during Thursday's Mets-Braves game:
To which we say: One thousand times yes. The bat flip is exuberant, but the staredown -- the staredown is cutting, the staredown is riveting, the staredown is a direct acknowledgement of the fact that you just stole that pitch's soul and parked it in a fountain 430 feet away. The bat flip is dessert; the staredown is a four-course meal.
But don't take my word for it. Ironically enough, if you'd like to know just how awesome a staredown can be, all you have to do is look to quite possibly the coolest bat flip of all-time. Sure, Jose Bautista flinging his bat into the stratosphere was cool, but the statement -- the thing that set it apart from everything else -- was the fact that he straight-up stood in the box and watched his homer fly:
And pitchers, if you don't like it, don't fret: You can always back flip after you come back and strike the guy out.