For the most part, baseball players are pretty indifferent towards each other. It’s true that they’re all competitors, but an opponent is an opponent; they could likely care less who the opposing pitcher or batter is.
But that’s not the case with Jose Bautista and Darren O’Day.
These guys have history; they’re two players who don’t hide their feelings towards each other whatsoever, which is what made today’s encounter in Baltimore so entertaining.
Just a bit of a backstory here; Bautista and O’Day had a run-in a few years back. O’Day struck out Bautista in a game and skipped off the mound, then Bautista hit a home run off him a few days later and chirped him around the bases.
That seemed to be the end of it … until last year. Darren O’Day plunked Jose Bautista late last season, but nothing came of it. But this conflict escalated to a whole new level during today’s game. GIFS of said at bat after the jump.
Clinging to a close one-run lead, Jose Bautista provided some much-needed insurance runs for the Blue Jays late in the game. And of course, the home run came off Darren O’Day, and Bautista celebrated appropriately.
Had Bautista made that trot unprovoked, it would’ve been a bush league move … but just a few pitches prior, O’Day threw behind Bautista. And given their history, I’d say Jose was warranted in his reaction. Plus the fact that it was a clutch hit just made it even better.
And Bautista’s teammates congratulated him in the dugout. Also, Devon Travis’ head was nearly taken off in the celebratory madness.
But of all the angles of the momentous home run, I think this one is my favourite. Not only does it catch Jose Bautista skipping offscreen, but it also captures Darren O’Day’s priceless reaction.