Introducing the Cespedes Family BBQ Postseason Bat Flip Scale
The only thing better than a bat flip, is a postseason bat flip. The joy and jubilation of a home run is only amplified in the postseason, where every game means more. This means the bat flips are bigger, bolder and better.
This postseason is a watershed moment in the history of the bat flip as more and more players are letting themselves -- and their bats -- loose. We thought it prudent to measure and review some of these magnificent flips, so we created the Cespedes Family BBQ Postseason Bat Flip Scale.
On the left side of the scale, we've got the David Ross home run from Game 7 of the World Series last year. Always the respectable gentleman, Ross disposed of his bat nonchalantly during the most hype moment of his entire career.
On the right side of the scale, we've got "Joey Batsflip" a.k.a. The Greatest Bat Flip of All Time. Jose Bautista's unforgettable reaction to his go-ahead dinger in Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS lives at the peak of the bat flip mountain.
All home run reactions fall somewhere in between these two extremes. Here are our favorites of this postseason, thus far, ranked along our brand-new and comprehensive scale.
Yasiel Puig's delicate bat placement -- World Series Game 2
Roughly eight days after flipping his bat to the moon on what turned out to be a foul ball, Yasiel Puig decided to celebrate a bit differently when hitting an actual home run in the World Series. This was one of several signature Puig moments from World Series Game 2, but this gentle placement of the bat after years of flamboyant flipping was just perfect. Unfortunately, this was not a bat flip, and thus cannot earn him the highest mark on our scale.
Didi Gregorius ties it up -- American League Wild Card Game
With the World Series in full swing, the American League Wild Card Game feels like a distant memory. However, it marked the beginning of the Yankees' remarkable run and featured the breakout of Sir Didi Gregorius. The chaotic first inning of the Wild Card Game was capped off by Didi's game-tying three-run dinger into the right-field seats -- with a flip fit for such a moment. A poignant and powerful, yet classy, flip.
Carlos Correa goes back-to-back -- World Series Game 2
Just moments after teammate Jose Altuve put the Astros ahead with his first dinger of the World Series, Correa hit an even more monstrous shot into the left-field bleachers, silencing Dodger Stadium in the process. The flip was very much of the Cespedes variety, in that he gave it a push from the bottom of the handle, giving the bat a truly majestic trajectory on its way toward the dugout.
Jose Altuve does it again -- ALCS Game 7
Coming off an MVP-caliber regular season, Altuve has been the face of the postseason thus far. His legendary ALCS Game 7 blast to right field extended Houston's lead to 2-0 in the fifth inning. By launching the ball over Yankees right fielder and fellow outstanding baseball person Aaron Judge's head, Altuve put an exclamation point on his American League MVP case. The flip that followed was predictably glorious, as Altuve carried his bat nearly all the way to first before tossing it towards the dugout in jubilation. Icon.
Bryce Harper has a moment -- NLCS Game 2
This is the best bat flip we've seen since the "Joey Batsflip" plain and simple. At the time, Harper's two-run blast tied Game 2 of the NLDS against the Cubs, pulling the Nats back from the brink. With hindsight, we know that the Nats were prematurely booted from the postseason yet again, but in the moment, Harper's heroics felt like a true turning point. This dinger marked the completion of Harper's metamorphosis from an oft-promised prodigy to a truly extraordinary superstar. Harper's disposition as he flips the bat is reminiscent of the infamous "This Is Fine" meme. But instead of fire and chaos, the scene is one of utter jubilation. Instead of a coffee cup, a baseball bat. And instead of a dog in a hat, it's a lion in a helmet. A lion in full roar. My god, what a bat flip.