The Jose Bautista Staredown: Darren O’Day Edition

Courtesy of Yahoo/Getty Images

It’s a lesson that opposing pitchers should really know by now: do not mess with Joey Bats.

Whether they plunk Jose Bautista, his teammates, or simply look at him the wrong way, it certainly doesn’t take much to rub Joey Bats the wrong way. And he usually retaliates the best way he knows how; with his bat.

I was fortunate enough to be there for yesterday’s game, so in between praying for the ball to stay fair and freaking out after realizing Bautista hit a home run, hardly anybody around us noticed that Jose chirped Darren O’Day just before he reached home plate.


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The screencap below of the fans in section 130C is one of the the best crowd reactions I’ve ever seen. The fact that there were so many people in unison that jumped out of their seats and launched their hands in the air really warms my heart as a Blue Jays fan.

At first I wondered what prompted the taunting by Jose Bautista, but it turns out the seed was planted one night before. Darren O’Day struck out Jose Bautista swinging to end the seventh inning of Friday’s game, and this staredown ensued between the two.

O’Day kind of skipped off the mound in celebration, and rightfully so; he ended a scoring opportunity for the Blue Jays in a rather emphatic fashion. For some reason, Bautista didn’t take too kindly to his reaction.

Call me crazy, but I get the sense like these two guys don’t really like each other.

My lip-reading skills are horrendous at best, but it looked like Jose Bautista said something to the effect of “Say what? What was that?” He stood there in the batter’s box after he struck out and basically stared down Darren O’Day the entire time waiting for a reaction.

To me, it seems like Bautista actually instigated the whole situation, but it’s difficult to tell with the timing of the camera angle. Regardless of who started it, Jose Bautista finished it (at least temporarily) the following game with this game-winning home run.

And just to add injury to insult, Bautista chirped O’Day just before he reached home plate as the cameras captured him saying something to the effect of “keep talking” (thanks to GameReax for the GIF).

Courtesy of Yahoo/AP

It may not have been the traditional “eye for an eye” retaliation by the Blue Jays, but one of the things that makes Jose Bautista so incredibly entertaining is he almost always answers with a clutch hit.


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Now, this saga between the Blue Jays and Orioles is likely far from over. Knowing the old school mentality of Buck Showalter, it wouldn’t really surprise anyone if Jose Bautista got a fastball between the numbers in his first at bat this afternoon.

If he’s smart, Showalter will wait until the game is beyond reach for either team before he calls for a beanball to Bautista and puts him on base for Edwin Encarnacion. But perhaps the sanctity of the game is more important and the Orioles will go for it right away.

Jose Bautista may occasionally run his mouth, but he backs it up. Were it anybody else, it might be considered childish behaviour to stare down an opposing pitcher like that. But it seems like that kind of thing just fuels Bautista to perform even better.

Remember, you don’t want to see Jose when he’s angry … because it usually doesn’t end well for the opposition.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

12 thoughts on “The Jose Bautista Staredown: Darren O’Day Edition

  • June 23, 2013 at 3:25 pm
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    According to Jose, it wasn't the celebration of the strikeout that irked him, it was something O'day said as he was walking off the mound. Every angle I've seem only show's O'day's back, so I'm not sure we'll ever find out what the offending word, or words were.
    Still makes for great entertainment, though.

    Reply
  • June 23, 2013 at 9:24 pm
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    what does o'day say back to batista (while he is rubbing the ball as batista rounds 3rd base after hitting the HR)? there's a real close show of o'day's face so hopefully someone with lip-reading skills can decipher what he says.

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  • June 23, 2013 at 9:42 pm
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    No. Don't blame this on O'Day. O'Day is too humble to say anything to harm someone else in anyway. O'Day, being his usual self, struck out Bautista once again, and was happy he got out of the jam with a runner on second. He didn't say anything to Bautista. If he was talking, it was probably a "yes" to himself about it. Bautista thought he said something and started barking at O'Day.

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    • June 24, 2013 at 7:37 pm
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      No, I don't think O'Day was in the wrong there. In the post, I said it looked like Bautista instigated the whole thing … he stood there in the box staring down O'Day waiting for him to look back. That's when O'Day said something to him.

      Reply
  • June 24, 2013 at 2:22 pm
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    Um, none of you appear to have been watching the same game on Friday as I did. O'Day CLEARLY was giving some JoeyB some attitude as he walked off the mound. Joey stopped and mouthed "what did you say?" or some such; he said after the game that he couldn't hear what O'Day had said. Then Saturday – boom, payback. I'm sure it was a little of "keep running your mouth" as Joey made it to home. And good on him; O'Day started it, Joey finished it, and let's see what happens next series.

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  • June 24, 2013 at 3:52 pm
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    They replayed the confrontation the next day…O'Day said something along the lines of "sit down" to Bautista after he had struck him out. This is what prompted Joey Bats to mouth "what did you say???". This reminded me of the whole Nova situation a few years back. Don't mess with Joey Bats!!

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  • June 24, 2013 at 7:07 pm
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    I will ask again: what does o'day say back to batista (while he is rubbing the ball as batista rounds 3rd base after hitting the HR)? Can anybody read his lips? There is a pretty close-up shot of it.

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    • June 24, 2013 at 7:32 pm
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      It looks like he's saying "that's nice, that's nice"? Again, I cannot read lips, so that's just my best guess.

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    • June 25, 2013 at 2:16 am
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      I consider myself a great lip reader and my best guess is "I'll take that". Meaning, you got me, this time.

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  • June 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm
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    no. he is definitely not saying "i'll take that" – even I am able to make that out. wondering if there are any skilled lip readers who are able to make it out.

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  • June 28, 2013 at 1:34 am
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    Kev Langdon: awesome go jays go!! bautista is the best!!!!

    Reply

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