|Image courtesy of Daylife via Reuters|
A few years ago, the Bautista Appreciation Society was just a small circle of folks with an affinity for an above average defender. Just a very modest collective in honour of appreciating a player that often went unheralded,
That collective has now grown to thousands of members, and whether they knew it or not at the time, everyone at the Rogers Centre today was an honourary BAS member.
As we watched Jose Bautista help the Blue Jays claw back to a win, I commented to Navin (or eyebleaf) how amazing it was to see so many Jose Bautista jerseys at the Rogers Centre.
Heck, even Taylor Hall from the Edmonton Oilers was wearing a Jose Bautista jersey, so I’m going to assume he’s a Bautista Appreciation Society member as well.
The change from last season alone is astonishing; when Jose Bautista used to come up to the plate in early 2010, he received little to no applause from the crowd. Now, Jose Bautista is a frigging rock star and is receiving pops equivalent to that of the late Macho Man Randy Savage.
In a somewhat strange encounter outside of the Rogers Centre, a random woman stopped and shook my hand and said “thanks for helping us win the game”. It was thanks to the Bautista shirt, but it just shows how polarizing a player Jose Bautista is.
Everyone loves him, and even the folks who don’t love him have to at least respect Bautista. Last week in Minnesota after Jose hit his third home run, even the loyal Twins fans were cheering for him (or maybe that was just the few Blue Jays faithful that trekked to Minnesota).
It’s not very often when you can claim to have the best player in baseball in your own backyard. We were extremely lucky to have Roy Halladay play for the Blue Jays, but I’ll admit that even I maybe took Doc for granted.
Navin also pointed out that Halladay only took the mound every fifth day, whereas Jose Bautista is grinding day in and day out, and fans get the privilege to see him play on nearly a daily basis.
So I vow not to take Jose Bautista for granted; he is playing like an MVP, and he should be treated as such. There were even some guys in our section who were chanting “MVP, MVP, MVP” in the seventh inning.
I thought it was a little premature seeing as we’re only one quarter of a way through the season, but then Jose Bautista responded in a big way with his second home run of the game.
It was as if Bautista sent a message to us saying “this is why I’m the best” – although he’s far too modest and humble of a player to ever actually say that out loud.
I will not take Jose Bautista for granted, and neither should you. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be a Bautista Appreciation Society member, but you certainly have to respect Bautista’s game.
BAS 4 Life.