In baseball, a bat flip is the throwing of a baseball bat in such a way that it rotates several times before landing. It is typically done by a batter to show off after hitting a home run. This is in contrast to the usual practice of dropping the bat straight down as the batter begins running to first base.
Asia and Latin America
Bat flipping is popular in Asian and Latin American baseball leagues. In South Korea, the bat flipping tradition dates back to the 1990s, and has become increasingly frequent in the Korea Baseball Organization. In the Korean language, bat flips are referred as ppa-dun (Korean: 빠던), a portmanteau of the "first syllables of the words for 'bat' and 'throw'". The practice is also common in Japan and Taiwan.
United States and Canada
In the United States, bat flips have traditionally been considered rude and inconsistent with baseball etiquette. Traditional etiquette and the unwritten rules of baseball espouse humility and discourage actions which may be interpreted as arrogant or showing up the opponents. Torii Hunter, a retired Major League Baseball player and fan of bat flips in Korean baseball, has stated that a player throwing a bat in such a manner during a game in the United States would likely face retaliation in a subsequent at bat, such as being hit by a pitch. In April 2015, Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig stated that he would flip his bat less frequently because he wanted "to show American baseball that [he's] not disrespecting the game."
José Bautista bat flip
During Game 5 of the 2015 American League Division Series between the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers at the Blue Jays' home stadium of the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, during the seventh inning Blue Jays right fielder José Bautista executed what Andrew Keh of The New York Times described as possibly "the most ostentatious bat flip in MLB history" after hitting a go-ahead, three-run home run off Rangers relief pitcher Sam Dyson. Bautista wrote an article about the bat flip published in November 2015 in The Players' Tribune. He said he "didn’t plan it. It just happened", and that he was "caught up in the emotion of the moment" when he flipped the bat. Bautista was criticized for the bat flip, which he attributed to a failure to understand differences in cultural backgrounds of players.
Members of the Rangers objected to the bat flip, with Rangers starting pitcher Derek Holland stating he did not object to a home run celebration, "but the way he did it". After the home run, Dyson approached Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnación, the next batter in the batting order, and "told him that Jose needs to calm that down, respect the game more". During the post-game press conference, Rangers manager Jeff Banister stated that "we respect everybody", which the media interpreted as a strong suggestion of disapproval of Bautista's actions.
Prior to Bautista's bat flip, Jays players and fans had been incensed by an overturned call that favored the Rangers. At the top of the seventh inning, with Rougned Odor on third and two outs, Russell Martin was in the process of throwing the ball back to the mound after Aaron Sanchez delivered a pitch, but the ball hit Shin-Soo Choo's bat and bounced toward third base. Odor observed this and ran to home to score the go-ahead run, though the play was initially ruled a dead ball by home-plate umpire Dale Scott and the run was voided. Rangers manager Jeff Banister came out to argue and after a discussion, the umpires awarded the run to Texas, citing rule 6.03a – that Choo was not intentionally interfering with the throw back to the pitcher. Since Choo was in the batter's box interference could not be called and the play was ruled a live ball. The game was delayed 18-minutes while angry home fans tossed beer cans and garbage on the field. During this time, a video review from the umpires was on confirming with a rules check, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons announced he was playing the game under protest.
The Bautista bat flip became an internet meme. Fans posted numerous responses to the event on Twitter, and shared videos on Vine and other social media websites and mobile apps. It was etched onto Jack-o'-lanterns for Halloween, printed on T-shirts and Christmas sweaters, and was also the subject of a thigh tattoo for an Oshawa, Ontario man. It was also commemorated on a Topps 2016 Series 1 baseball card. A corn maze in the Canadian province of New Brunswick was designed with the likeness of the Bautista bat flip. In 2019, the Twitter account MLB GIFS posted a gif of the bat flip after the Toronto Raptors won the Eastern Confrence Finals to advance to their first NBA Finals in franchise history 
Bautista's bat flip may have been the impetus of the Jays–Rangers brawl on May 15, 2016 in the Rangers' home stadium of Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, in which Rangers relief pitcher Matt Bush intentionally threw a pitch at Bautista, Bautista made an illegal slide to second base, and Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor punched Bautista in the face, thereby igniting the brawl. Bautista was suspended for one game for the incident, while Odor was suspended for eight. The Jays and Rangers met in the 2016 American League Division Series playoffs, which was notable for Bautista slamming his bat down to celebrate a home run in Game One, and the series was a 3-0 sweep by the Jays.
On May 17, 2017 in the Atlanta Braves' home stadium of SunTrust Park in Cobb County, Georgia, Bautista did a bat flip on a home run in a five-run game that led to benches clearing. One day later, Braves starting pitcher Julio Teherán intentionally hit Bautista in the left thigh with a fastball, apparently as revenge. The next three batters had consecutive hits, allowing Bautista and a few other runners to score.
In cricket, the term bat flip refers to the tossing of a bat (usually one specially made for this purpose), instead of a coin, to decide which of the 2 teams in a match will given the option to decide whether it wants to bat or bowl first.
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- Bautista, José (November 9, 2015). "Are you flipping kidding me?". The Players' Tribune staff. The Players' Tribune. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
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- "Scare Rangers fans at Halloween with new Jose Bautista bat flip T-shirt". The Dallas Morning News. October 15, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
- Singh, David (November 25, 2015). "Joey to the World: Bautista's bat-flip gets Christmas sweater". Sportsnet. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
- Kestler-D’Amours, Jillian (October 16, 2015). "Toronto tattoo artist immortalizes Jose Bautista bat flip". Toronto Star. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
- Szekely, Reka (October 23, 2015). "Oshawa man has no regrets about Jose Bautista bat flip tattoo". Oshawa This Week. Metroland Media Group. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
- "Jose Bautista's bat flip commemorated on Topps baseball card". CBC News. February 3, 2016. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
- Monagan, Matt (August 31, 2016). "The Joey Bats Bat Flip has now been memorialized in a Canadian cornfield". MLB. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- Newport, Kyle (July 29, 2016). "Jose Bautista's Legendary Bat Flip Added to 'NHL 17' as Goal Celebration". Bleacher Report. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- Chisholm, Gregor (May 15, 2016). "Tension boils over in Blue Jays-Rangers game". MLB. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
- Hagen, Paul (May 18, 2016). "Odor, Bautista among 14 disciplined for brawl". MLB.com. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
- "Stroman, Blue Jays slug way to win in Atlanta".
- "Bat flip to replace coin toss in this winter's Big Bash in Australia". Sky Sports. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
- "Big Bash League: Bat flip to replace coin toss for 2018-19". BBC Sport. December 10, 2018. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
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