After showing bunt, James Shields releases the most graceful bat flip in Spring Training drill
The Academy Awards may have been held on Sunday night, honoring the best in moving pictures, but whoever won Best Picture ("Spotlight," by the way) has already been outdone. Because on Monday, James Shields stepped into the box, looked to lay down a bunt, pulled the bat back, and launched a ball deep into the night sky. But that wasn't the end of it. Shields followed that up with an arcing, acres-high bat flip that seemed to say, "Baseball is here and joy is in my heart."
It was a moment that captured the raw strength of man, a la "The Revenant," the kinetic poetry of "Mad Max," and the deep well of inner strength from "The Martian." It was an entire film, full of drama and pathos in just a few seconds.
Perhaps it was also a sign from Shields -- who last year had surrendered the most home runs (33) for a Padres pitcher since they moved into Petco Park -- that he'll be hitting more than he gives up this season.