Joey Bats: An Appreciation

When the Blue Jays acquired Jose Bautista from the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008, I knew nothing about him. I remember thinking his last name reminded me of former Blue Jay shortstop Tony Batista who had a silly batting stance but plenty of power. In 2008, Bautista got into 21 games for the Jays, hitting three home runs.

Six Blue Jays hit more home runs than 28-year old Bautista in 2009: Hill, Lind, Barajas, Overbay, Wells and Rios. That's right, catcher Rod Barajas out slugged Joey Bats back in 2009. None of us saw 2010 coming.

To be honest, I initially resented Bautista. I grew up loving George Bell and took some comfort that he still held the franchise record for home runs in a season. Not even Carlos Delgado ever hit 47 homers in a season for the Jays, but here was Bautista, seemingly coming out of nowhere to set the new standard. Bautista's 2010 season was exceptional, but his 2011 season was even better.

Take a look at Bautista's numbers in 2010 and 2011. No Blue Jays batter has put together back-to-back seasons as stellar as these. He was the best player in baseball.

joeybats

Bautista would put up four more fantastic seasons, culminating in 2015's bat flip in that seventh inning of the ALDS against the Rangers. I can't tell you how many times I've re-watched this 7th inning and every time my heart flips with Joey's bat. It's the greatest Blue Jays moment since Joe touched 'em all in '93 and we'll have it forever.

batflip

I'm going to miss watching Joey Bats suit up for my Jays. He's the best Blue Jay of the past decade and, in my humble opinion, one of the five greatest Blue Jays of all-time.

Thank you, Jose.


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Comments (11 - click here to join in!)

mdoucette77

I remember when the Jays got him from the Pirates and looking at his stats I thought 'if this guy played 162 games, his numbers would be great!'. I can't remember exactly why, but I remember doing the math on the numbers he put up in Pittsburgh for only a fraction of a season and thought he could get 30HR/90-100RBI.

September 24, 2017 @ 3:14 PM

JJ

It hurts to say goodbye.

This is Donaldson's team now.

It also hurts to grow old.

FK Ted Rogers statute outside, we need the bat flip statute. This guy was the guy period!!!

September 24, 2017 @ 4:43 PM

Faunie

Wish I could have been at the game today however we were at Tuesday's night game and the fans showed their appreciation for Bautista then as well. Stats are all well and fine but I just like Joey Bats for his love of the game and his appreciation of the Toronto Blue Jay fans. Stranger things have happened; he could be back next year with the Jays in some capacity.

September 24, 2017 @ 8:44 PM

Urooj Islam

Robinzon Diaz will always be a trivia answer between hardcore Blue Jays fans because of the career Jose Bautista had.

Good write up, Mike.

Hopefully, the Jays reward the support the fans have shown the team over the last three years with a Donaldson extension as he clearly becomes the face of the franchise.

September 24, 2017 @ 11:54 PM

Mike

The man that launched a thousand memes.

Depending on who you listen to, same of us will miss him.

September 25, 2017 @ 9:52 AM

The Bat Flip

The "Bat Flip" was an insane conclusion to the cumulation of an insane inning. One of my most enjoyable baseball moments. They should erect a statue. & yes, I got the T-Shirt.

Bravo Jose, well done!

September 25, 2017 @ 10:52 AM

WCI

Based on the MLB standings on TSN, I'd say you better saviour this moment for a long time because the Jays have returned to being basement dwellers (with all due respect to the other guy on here.

September 25, 2017 @ 2:12 PM

The Bat Flip

BACK IN STOCK! Bid Farewell to Joey Bats with our best-selling Bautista Bat Flip Tee
https://breakingt.com/products/the-bautista-bat-flip

September 26, 2017 @ 12:04 PM

Urooj Islam

The reactions in the background of the Batflip picture make the photo, never noticed the stoic police officer before.

We'll have at least a million people claiming they were in the photo over the years.

September 26, 2017 @ 12:05 PM

The Voice of Reason

Joey Bats will be missed.

The Jays are missing Alex Anthopoulos just a bit more.

September 26, 2017 @ 4:11 PM

Gary M

My favorite Bautista moment was when he threw out a runner at first base from right field.

btw, I think they should trade Donaldson during this offseason while his value is back up. The Jays need to get younger. Donaldson will not be part of this team when they contend again, so let's deal him for somebody who will be.

September 27, 2017 @ 3:12 AM

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