A bat flip can be a lot of things. It can be an expression of emotion. It can be the punctuation mark that caps a memorable moment. It can even be a source of contention when an opposing player feels like he’s being shown up.
As we saw on Saturday, it can also be a little bit dangerous. Especially when the execution goes haywire.
That’s what happened to Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. during the Cubs wild 14-10 win against the Braves.
After drawing a third-inning walk against Braves left-hander Sean Newcomb, Almora Jr. went to flip the bat back towards the Cubs dugout. Instead, he held on to the bat too long — possibly because he applied a little too much pine tar — and sent it straight up in the air. When it came down, it nearly took out Braves catcher Kurt Suzuki and home plate umpire Chad Fairchild.
Fortunately, the bat didn’t come down on anyone’s cranium. That wouldn’t have felt good under any circumstances. Given the miserable conditions at Wrigley Field, it might have felt ten times worse.
As much as the wind was whipping around Wrigley Field, we don’t think that can be blamed either. This one’s on Almora.
Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a bat flip backfire in MLB. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, who was dubbed the “maestro of the bat flip” early in his career by Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, did the exact same thing four years ago. The lesson here being that bat flipping isn’t as easy as the pros make it look.
Fortunately for Almora, the bat flip wasn’t his biggest moment of the game. He actually got the Cubs on the board with a first-inning homer.
Fortunately for the Cubs, they were able to rewrite the whole narrative on Saturday, overcoming an eight-run deficit to win by scoring 12 unanswered runs. What a wild day at Wrigley Field.
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