‘it has been a beautiful fight - still is.’
- Charles Bukowski
Charles Bukowski in ‘betting on the muse’ (this quote is not from that poem) wrote about how he felt about the life of being a professional athlete, and in his Charles tone, paints the empty feeling and sadness that comes when the cheers and ovations slowly fade at the end of the line, which is met quickly in a professional athletes short lived career.
Fans in stadiums in every big city like Toronto roar as they root for their heroes and stars, but then the moment passes (as time cuts like a good old kamachi knife) and being great only allows for so many moons across the night sky in an athletes universe.
Now when an athlete reaches a time in their career where they don't look like the person they once were, is it too much for a city and its fans to maybe, umm, show a little bit of class and reverence for their aging hero. Because holy shit haven’t some of the Toronto fans been pretty harsh in their social media chime about how Jose Bautista is past his expiration date - and I get some of the ugly, but, geez, simmer the fuck down.
And I bet that all of this piercing noise and negative howls, tweets, and Facebook posts are probably coming from the same people who yelled ‘Fuckin' Eh!’ when they heard the news break back in the winter that Joey Bats was coming back to play for one more year.
J.P. Ricciardi (the man who will go down in MLB history as handing out the worst contract and making possibly the best trade ever) didn't exactly steal the hearts from Toronto fans during his tenure as GM, however he sure did steal something from the Pittsburgh Pirates when he picked up Jose Bautista, from the Pirates, on August 21 2008, for meh (top 5 Blue Jays) catching prospect Robinzon Diaz. Since Ricciardi made arguably the best trade in Blue Jays history, Jose has been nothing but great after his 2010 who-is-this-guy-? breakout year.
I think that in this ode to Bautista, I would like to just simply pay tribute to some of the wicked awesome in this 'best of' that many people may have forgotten since people live in this 'out of mind' stream and internet feed.
A Best Of Ode To Jose Bautista
His First Blue Jay Homer
This was the beginning of the Blue Jay legend that is as this is where he stands on the all-time Birds list:
· 6th in OBP
· 3rd in slugging
· 3rd in OPS
· 5th in Runs Scored
· 2nd in Walks
· 2nd in Home Runs (but holds the single season dinger record with 54)
· 5th in RBI.
· 9th in Hits
His 54th Dinger
And he still obviously holds this Blue Jays record (54), and it may not be broken for some time, eh! And if you love the beautiful sound of the ball leaving the bat - check out this montage of every Bautista bomb in his 54 campaign.
His Rockstar Stache
This is one excellent moustache that pushes all the limits of stache cool, so let's take time to remember this 'bad ass' the next time 'you' want to whine like an old bitty about the legend that is.
His Twitter Battle with Steve Simmons
Bautista has a raw attitude (love or hate it) on the field and off as he’s not afraid to speak what’s on his mind – or tweet it for that matter. I've always been quite entertained by Bautista's spoken word with the media. He feels his truth, and he speaks it - good on him. He doesn't give robotic fabricated press answers and that's refreshing.
Bautista In The Scrum (Hometown Discount and More ...)
There certainly has been no shortage of ‘did he just say that?' interview moments. And holy shit when he came into camp last year and started with the ‘home town discount’ thing, I thought ‘fuck man, really?' Dunedin time is suppose to be 'good feel time', what’s with the 'bad feel time', Bautista?’ But, the question was hurled at him, and, well, he knocked it out of the park - that’s just who he is and God love him for it.
Although when he said that Indians' Merritt may be 'shaking in his boots' thing, I thought 'fuck no, Bautista' the jinx has been put into the baseball air, and, umm, yeah - the rest is playoff history.
Pizza Pizza Joey
'Get a nice hot pizza from Pizza Pizza and join the 11-11 Club. Tell em' Joey Bats sent you.'
Honestly, I’ve had a few too many Saturday night maudlin times waiting in line at 2AM staring at the cardboard Joey Bats cutout in my day – just sayin'.
Booster Juice Bats
And honestly, I’ve had a few too many Sunday morning hangovers where I have found myself standing in line to get me some 'lives right' kind of health to help bounce back the good old body too. Bautista has been there for many Canadians to soak up the Saturday night booze, and, also for the Sunday morning hangover cure. Thanks Joey from all of us Canadian hosers.
Killing Trash Birds
Another epic Bautista bomb that had a whole lot of passion (sorry Goose Gossage). If you're not sure what he says to Ryan Flaherty as he passes him at 2nd, I've added this famous GIF. I think Joey Bats is saying, 'I love cats' - or maybe 'fuck you, bitch' - you tell me.
Revenge Against the Villainous Darren O'Day
Who doesn't remember this? I love the Bautista hop, skip, jump and strut up the first base line while he watched that O'Day pitch soar into the stands. You should just press play on this one and give it an old look for good old times.
And just in case you forgot, but in 2011 Bautista 'booster juiced' the All-Star vote record for a single player. Roughly 7.5 million votes were cast for Joey Bats – bat flipping the previous record held by 'the great one' Ken Griffey Jr, which he had owned for 17 seasons.
The Flippin' Fun Side
'Look into my eyes.'
JOSE, JOSE, JOSE, JOSE
Umm, ah, yeah - no? I say, 'JOSE, JOSE, JOSE, JOSE!!!' Enough said!
The Man Can Take A Punch
Seriously, that shot that trash Odor tossed had serious impact and Joey Bats took it like a boss.
The Bats Flex
This 'flex' is one of the all-time best Blue Jays celebrations ever. Joey Bats has been a major contributor to all the awesome celebrations for the roster over the course of the years. He knows how to make baseball fun. Period.
The Bat Flip
Obviously (or as a trendy hipster girl would say - 'obvi'). Bautista has hit one of the biggest dingers in Blue Birds history. Enough said. And fuck Texas.
A Damn Good Heart
Jose Bautista made this little guys life, and instantly pushed him to the talk of the old classroom. Joey Bats has been a great face for the city of Toronto and the nations team. He has been an active member in the community and has one damn good heart, so maybe some Jays fans can learn something from him, right?
Give Bautista the opportunity to put together a season he is capable of, he has earned that right. He has given this nation too many wicked awesome memories to count - and I'm sure he will add some more to that list this season too. Go Joey Bats, the nation is behind you like the bunch of beer swigging hosers that we are, eh!