When baseball players should — or shouldn't — flip their bats

Modern baseball is obsessed with the bat flip. It’s not a new phenomenon exactly, but in the everybody-has-an-opinion era of 2018, there aren’t many things in baseball more divisive than bat flips. Except maybe the designated hitter.

Traditionalists HATE bat flips. Hate them. To them, the bat flip represents everything that is wrong with the game. It’s selfish, me-first and a sure sign a player “doesn’t respect the game.” Many younger fans LOVE bat flips. They’d tell you bat flips add some spice and flair to a game that has been stifled by traditional for decades.

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When and how baseball players celebrate on the field was thrust back into the national conversation this week — and once and for all, I’m making the Rules of Bat Flips in this week’s installment of my Open Mike video series for The Spin on Yahoo Sports.

(MLB)

It was David Bote, the Chicago Cubs rookie, who started the conversation again. He hit a walk-off grand slam — a thing of beauty with two strikes, two outs and a three-run deficit. It’s the type of homer backyard dreams are made of. But he flipped his bat afterward.

Uh oh. Bote knew what would be coming, so he apologized after the game. Some people were mad about it. More people said this is exactly the time you should flip your bat. You’d think so, but remember some people are still mad at Jose Bautista for his postseason bat flip a few years ago.

Enough!

Want my bat flip declarations? They’re in the video above. I walk you through a number of scenarios and decide whether bat flips are warranted or not. You’re welcome baseball.

Now go forth and flip those bats proudly, safely and in the proper situations.

PREVIOUSLY ON OPEN MIKE:
How celebrities would make baseball cooler
Ridiculous ideas to spice up the MLB trade deadline
Crafting a Baseball Bill of Rights from the All-Star game
 A modest proposal to make the All-Star game cooler
• “Rookie of the Year” Turns 25
• Celebrate baseball’s best holiday: Bobby Bonilla Day
 Tanking isn’t as bad as you say it is
 Pace-of-play isn’t killing baseball — the Fun Police are

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Mike Oz is a writer at Yahoo Sports. Contact him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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