Constanza actually put together one of the more amusing inconsequential at-bats of the season in the second inning against the New York Mets. He began by trying a classic softball move — shuffling his feet forward in the box and trying to dink the ball over third baseman David Wright's(notes) head. The attempt failed, but Timo Perez would have been proud.
After taking a healthy cut at another Dillon Gee(notes) pitch he fouled back, Constanza pulled the barrel of his bat close to his mouth and licked it, apparently on the spot of most recent contact. Watch:
As many of you undoubtedly are saying, "Ewwwwww." Does the five-second rule apply to microorganisms that live on the bat? Because he went way over. It's a good thing he didn't wipe too high on the barrel with pine tar. His taste buds never would have forgiven him.
Darling: "The problem is, most of these hitters tend to lean towards first base as he's ... that's, uh ... that'll be ... I'm a little bit of a germaphobe; I have a little problem with that."
Cohen: "Mmm. Now we've seen guys sniff the bat after making contact, with that smell of burning wood, but ... [getting] the tongue involved, it's a little odd."
Darling: "Maybe if you're hitting .400 since being called up, you give it a little more love, I guess [laughs]."
Cohen: "Wow. That may be excessive."
Though Constanza ended the at-bat by grounding to short, Darling might be right; after connecting for his first major league homer later in the ballgame, he is batting .412/.429/.588 in 34 at-bats since the Braves brought him up July 29.
Bottom line: If the bat is getting hits and wants some tongue in return, give it up.