Those with their finger on America’s iron-rich, throbbing pulse can agree on at least one shared sentiment: the nation has fallen in love with the bat flip. If anything, we’re left to wonder how it took baseball 150 years to reach this point, when the bat flip is such an American act, a distilled essence of emotion, of joie de vivre. Clearly, these GIFs are mirrors to our own soul, showing how much we’ve changed. How can baseball be the same when Rickey Henderson, embodiment of the id, never flipped a bat, and yet Josh Donaldson has?
I have personally spent hours, while mechanically attending to the welfare of a fragile newborn child, reflecting on the bat flip. I have chiseled into the forgotten, calcified sections of my heart. I have lain in the dying July grass and stared into the colorless sky, and I have found the truth of the matter. It is not the truth I sought, nor the one I was hoping for.
I do not like the bat flip.
Before the rage blinds your vision, and before Cistulli fires me and erases my archives from the NotGraphs canon, allow me to explain. First, my opinion is a purely personal one with no political or moral grounds; I am not foolish enough to stand against the current of American spirit. Instead, think of it as simply the feelings of a single man, perhaps egotistical enough (as all writers are) to believe that his small words are enough to create some connection with his fellow reader, and nothing more.
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