To me, there's nothing like a bat flip as the extra punctuation on a memorable home run. It's like hanging on the rim after a ferocious posterization in the middle of an NBA game, though that one may get you a technical foul if you go too far over the top. It's like a touchdown dance, though I think we all wish some of those were a little less extravagant.
But the simple act of flipping a bat and admiring a shot is really hard to overdo, and I have yet to find an example that has actively annoyed me, whether it has come from a player on my team or from someone I'm rooting against.
Joey Bats did it best in the 2015 postseason, but today's stars — like Tim Anderson and, as seen below, Fernando Tatis Jr. — are working on leaving their personal imprint on each home run they crush (via MLB Film Room).
While the bat flip seems to be popping up with increasing regularity in today's game, there are some who don't exactly love the trend. Consider Mets great Darryl Strawberry among that crowd, whose 335 career home runs offered him plenty of opportunities for a bat flip had he wanted to go that route.
"I can't get behind the bat flip. That's just totally overrated..." Strawberry said on the latest episode of the "Endless Hustle" podcast. "[Because] if you did that to Nolan Ryan, he's gonna drill you next time up, I can tell you that, there's no question about it.
"He's old school, guys I played against are old school, they didn't play that. You better march on around that base, you know, that's just the way it is with the old school guys. I don't really stomach that. I don't really stomach a guy hitting a home run and just walking and walking and walking. And it's okay to walk the first couple of steps, but just to walk and look and hold your bat and then flip it, I think that's bush league.
"I know back in our days you would get drilled your next time up, it would be right at your head or dead in your back, there's no question about it."
Just a small note here: you don't want a Nolan Ryan fastball drilling you anywhere on your body.
Other unwritten rules that Strawberry brought up included bunting for a base hit in the middle of a no-hit outing — "you definitely go and swing the bat to try and get a hit, don't try to ruin the guy's game with a bunt base hit" — and walking in front of the catcher as opposed to behind the batter's box, though Strawberry notes "catchers have a tendency of talking a lot, running their mouth sometimes."
One that he didn't bring up that particularly took the MLB community by storm in the shortened 2020 season came from Fernando Tatis Jr. — no, not his bat flip — when he drilled a grand slam at an unseemly moment.
Another unwritten phenomenon that couldn't have been a possibility in the empty stadiums of the 2020 season was Strawberry and other players' all-too-classy act of hooking up with female fans from the crowd in between innings, and Strawberry says that social media and locker room cameras — the same ones that caught the Astros cheating — would make that an impossibility today.
My, how the game has changed.