Maybe Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Logan Morrison should have been in the Home Run Derby. We admit, we were skeptical of his critical comments about New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez initially. But after unleashing a ridiculous bat flip during Sunday’s game, we’re now reconsidering our stance.
Morrison’s flip occurred in the top of the seventh inning. With the Rays trailing 2-0 to the Los Angeles Angels, Morrison stepped to the plate representing the tying run.
On the third pitch of the at-bat, Morrison belted a 90 mph fastball out to deep right to tie things up. The home run was impressive on its own. It was crushed and it tied the game in the late innings.
But the bat flip … oh, that bat flip. That was transcendent.
First off, Morrison’s swing is pretty. Perhaps it’s just personal bias, but there’s something about a left-handed home run swing that just looks better. It’s a quick, monstrous swing. And we’ll give extra points for the two handed finish.
If we’re being honest, we might as well include the bat flip as part of the swing. Because after the swing is completed, and the bat is back behind Morrison’s shoulder, he immediately starts to bring it back around in one motion. As his arms point near the first base dugout, Morrison casually flips the bat in the air.
Morrison gets points for a full flip, as the bat lands on its handle after twirling once in the air. He also gets additional points for distance. We often see bat flips take flight vertically. We rarely see one thrown about the quarter of the way up the first base line.
Morrison’s celebration, while appropriate at the time, was short lived. The Rays gave up two runs in the bottom of the eighth. Morrison attempted to get them back in it in the ninth, singling in the bottom of the ninth, but it wasn’t enough. The Rays lost the contest 4-3.
We can still appreciate that bat flip even though it occurred during a loss. And while we don’t really think Morrison should have replaced Sanchez in the derby – Sanchez did just fine – we wouldn’t mind a little extra showmanship at the event.
If Morrison was willing to unleash a monstrous flip like that in a game that mattered, imagine what he would do in a contest that’s purely for fun. We might have seen another Marlins Park roof shot, this time with Morrison’s bat.
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