Toronto Blue Jays: Jose Bautista's Ejection Proves Selfishness Is the Way to Go
In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Blue Jays were down 6-4 with runners on second and third, and one out.
On the verge of a comeback to sweep one of the best teams in baseball, Nathan threw a breaking ball that was clearly low. Regardless, home pate umpire Gary Darling called for strike one.
With a roar of boo's fuelling Bautista, he turned around in disgust to make it clear that he was a home run king, not Darling.
With one pitch, Nathan had already won the at-bat.
Bautista swung and missed at a pitch that was in the strike zone, and then waved at a changeup in the dirt to strike out. Only then did Bautista mutter words you can probably imagine to get him ejected.
Instead of Encarnacion focusing on how he can tie or win the game for Toronto, he became a security guard, restraining the childish "team leader" of the clubhouse.
Bautista wasn't done. On his way back to the dugout, he threw his bat, helmet and elbow guard onto the field. Most people were appalled, except for the bat boy, who was finally given something to do.
The Jays need to start winning, and getting thrown out of close ball game for selfish reasons isn't how you do it. What if Encarnacion had tied it? Bautista has to make the walk of shame all the way out to right field, but not before picking up his gear and pretending like he was OK.
In that moment, regardless of his reasoning, he showed us that he wasn't all right with Encarnacion being the hero. He wanted to be the hero.
But with a 27-35 record and sitting 11.5 games back of first place, the Blue Jays need chemistry before they can win. But before they can even get chemistry, they need a leader.
Jose Bautista is not that leader. The other Jose–Reyes that is–can be exactly that.
Lower scale players seldom get ejected, it's the superstars who feel they already have a place in the league who get thrown out. (Somehow, Brett Lawrie thinks he's one of them).
It was careless of Bautista, who had recently stood up for Lawrie's most recent ejection, saying he was “confused and got caught up in the moment.”
So what's Bautista's excuse?
Someone needs to step up as the clubhouse leader, and it isn't going to be someone who plays part-time, or who flies from Buffalo to Toronto on a monthly basis.
Unfortunately, it has to be the player who walked into the clubhouse before the last out was recorded.
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