(SP) – The bat of Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista was suspended 10 games by Major League Baseball today for its role in repeated bean ball incidents and fights involving its owner.
“These things have to stop and it was apparent that the bat was at the start of all them,” read a league statement. “If that bat isn’t flipping and flying through the air all the time, things don’t spiral out of control.”
The suspension puts Bautista in a tough spot. He must either sit out 10 games without his bat, take at-bats while holding nothing in his hands or use another bat during his regular bat’s suspension.
“I don’t think my bat deserved this,” he said. “But at the same time, I want to play and help my team win. I may have to use another bat.”
The suspension also highlights a hot-button issue that has roiled baseball in recent years: is the bat to blame for flipping or the operator.
“Bats don’t just flip themselves,” said one MLB executive. “Bats don’t flip bats. People flip bats.”
But others insist that bats are the primary problem.
“If we get bats out of our game, the problem will go away,” said another executive. “There are more bats in this country than every other country combined. That’s a fact.”