Jose Bautista isn’t exactly the most popular player in Major League Baseball, which may explain why he keeps getting hit – either by pitches or punches – for bat flips. Braves starter Julio Teheran plunked Bautista in his first at-bat last Thursday, one day after after Bautista flipped his bat following a homer.
Cliff Floyd isn’t a fan of retaliation – and this incident was no exception.
“If I’m an owner, I damn sure don’t want Joey Bats getting thrown at or my best players getting thrown at, so I believe that there’s no need for that in our game,” the MLB Network analyst said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “There’s no place. Let’s go back to Baltimore real quick. (The Red Sox) tried to throw at Manny (Machado) and damn near killed my man (by almost hitting) him in the head.”
The Jays, for what it’s worth, got the last laugh on Teheran, tagging him for nine runs in three innings in a 9-0 win.
Floyd wasn’t surprised. Retaliation is bad for hitters, but it can also distract pitchers from the true task at hand: winning.
“Think about it,” Floyd said. “You got to go out there and hit a player. What are you going to think about the whole game? Are you going to think about your game plan or are you going to think about ‘I got to hit this guy’? Julio Teheran went out there (Thursday) and got shelled. A guy that is one of the best pitchers in our game and got good stuff and gave up (nine) runs because in his mind he knew he had to hit Joey Bats. That’s just not what you want to preach to these kids as they’re going out there trying to put Ws in the win column.”