Alex Bregman is sorry.
The Houston Astros third baseman launched a go-ahead home run in the first inning of Game 6 of the World Series that gave his team a 2-1 lead. Bregman, an American League MVP candidate, then carried his bat with him all the way to first base, before failing in his attempt to hand it off to first base coach Don Kelly:
Though Bregman carrying the bat to first base wasn't universally appreciated - Hall of Famer John Smoltz didn't seem keen on it on FOX's telecast - there was certainly a crowd in the #LetTheKidsPlay era that found it entertaining. After all, Bregman did hit a two-run home run to give the Astros a lead in a game where his team had a chance to clinch the World Series - a response out of the ordinary seemed appropriate for the situation.
In a sport that seemingly struggles to promote its superstars on a national scale, not only did Bregman likely endear himself to some younger fans, but so too did 21-year-old Nationals slugger Juan Soto.
When Soto launched a 413-foot home run off of future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander in the fifth, he celebrated the Nationals re-taking the lead by carrying his bat to first base:
By the end of the Nationals 7-2 win, first base gate felt like an afterthought. Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg was brilliant in 8.1 innings. Nationals shortstop Trea Turner was called out at first base on a controversial play that led to Nationals manager Dave Martinez becoming the first manager to get ejected in a World Series game in 23 years.
Still, the whole thing didn't sit well with Bregman.
"I just let my emotions get the best of me," Bregman told the collective media after the game. "It's not how I was raised to play the game...and I'm sorry for doing that."
Meanwhile, Soto, who is quickly developing into one of the faces of the sport, didn't seem to take the whole thing as seriously as Bregman.
"I just told it to myself, as soon as I saw that, what Bregman did in the first inning, I was like 'that was pretty cool, I want to do that!'," Soto said.
If it's not already behind the two teams, it feels unlikely there will be any concerns about who carried their bat to first base last night in Game 7 of the World Series Wednesday night. Max Scherzer and Zack Greinke - two pitchers with Hall of Fame credentials - will square off, which sounds about as good as it gets for the final game of the 2019 MLB season.