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To flip or not to flip? Players weigh in

Anderson, Grichuk, Garrett comment after benches clear in Chicago
@MannyOnMLB
April 18, 2019

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, who was at the center of a benches-clearing incident Wednesday when he was drilled by a pitch two innings after flipping his bat on a home run, was not backing down from his pro-bat-flip stance Thursday. "I never looked at one of their players when

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, who was at the center of a benches-clearing incident Wednesday when he was drilled by a pitch two innings after flipping his bat on a home run, was not backing down from his pro-bat-flip stance Thursday.

"I never looked at one of their players when I hit it,” Anderson said. “I just looked in our dugout and threw the bat. It was a bomb. It was a bomb. I smoked it so I got excited. I wanted to help the batboy out a little bit so I threw it to him.

"When I definitely get those guys, I want to celebrate with my teammates. When they get me, they can celebrate with their teammates. I’m not going to get mad at them."

Anderson's home run came off Kansas City right-hander Brad Keller to give Chicago a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning Wednesday at Guaranteed Rate Field. Following contact, Anderson turned toward his dugout and tossed the bat overhand into foul territory.

Two innings later, when Anderson next came to the plate, Keller hit him on the backside with the first pitch, leading to both benches and bullpens clearing. Anderson and Keller were ejected.

Bat flips have become commonplace in baseball, and Anderson thinks that trend will continue.

"I think we are on a new generation, a new wave," the shortstop said. "I think the game is switching and changing to a lot of younger guys. We are getting it. I think that’s what gets guys going. It’s fun doing stuff like that. It’s fun."

That said, Wednesday's debate appeared to be more about when it's appropriate to flip a bat rather than whether bat flips are appropriate at all, as Anderson's blast came early in the game and not during a high-leverage situation.

Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk chimed in on Twitter, posting a message that read, "Guys are getting a little excessive on pimping HRs, on meaningless HRs too. Act like you have done it before, one time."

Anderson responded, writing, "Put a name on so we can see who you talking about bra."

Grichuk replied to Anderson that he had no one in particular in mind, "but clearly you responding shows you’re guilty of something."

Interestingly, Grichuk came to Keller's defense as a position player, while Reds left-hander Amir Garrett took the pro-bat-flip position.

"I feel like a lot of baseball players couldn't survive playing another sport," Garrett tweeted. "Why do people get mad for batflips? Your feelings hurt? Lol imagine somebody dunking on you and and talking mess right in your face. You just gotta get even."

The 6-foot, 6-inch Garrett was a guard/forward for St. John's in college, and was a four-star recruit out of high school as the No. 21 small forward in the country, according to Rivals.com.

Garrett followed up his basketball analogy by suggesting the best way for a pitcher to respond is not to hit the batter when he next comes to the plate, but to strike him out. He added that reactions like bat flips go both ways, as pitchers should be able to react to strikeouts, etc., in a corresponding manner.

Another pitcher added his thoughts on Thursday, with Indians hurler Trevor Bauer talking about it on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM.

"This is dangerous," Bauer said. "There's no reason to be throwing at people."

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.