Matt Diaz, Showing Players Up

When Bad Things Happen to Good Players

Chalk one up for the good guys.

Matt Diaz hit a game-tying, two-run homer for the Braves on Sunday, then flipped his bat in celebration. In cases like this, players are usually granted a degree of leeway, for celebratory purposes.

A degree.

It wasn’t until he rounded the bases and took a gander at exactly how far he’d flipped it, however, that Diaz realized his actions might have been a bit too enthusiastic.

“Coming around third you see the dugout and you see the bat boy picking up the bat over by the dugout, like wow, did I do that?” Diaz told the Atlanta Journal Constitution after the game. “I didn’t know how far. It was ugly. There was a Sammy Sosa hop involved, with a Bret Boone bat flip, with a Paul O’Neill head-down-not-look-at-it but then look at it later.” (Watch it here.)

It wasn’t quite an apology to the pitcher, Leo Nunez, but it was certainly an admission of guilt—which can go a long way toward mollifying sensitive feelings, especially since the teams play again this weekend.

Then again, Diaz and Nunez were once teammates in Kansas City, and Diaz thinks he has a handle on the pitcher’s state of mind.

“Leo is a high emotional pitcher anyway, and when he has a big strikeout, he’ll let you know it,” he said. “Those guys usually understand guys who get caught up in emotion and do something like I did yesterday.”

It wasn’t recognition of the Code quite along the lines exhibited by Michael Saunders earlier in the year, but the guy dropped a Paul O’Neill reference. What more can one reasonably ask?

– Jason

2 thoughts on “When Bad Things Happen to Good Players

  1. Hmm…that bat toss is Torii Hunter on every bomb.Loved the Bret Boone reference.Bret was target practice at the end of his career for his shenanigans.All the great homerun “show horses” are gone: Rickey…Sammy…Ruben…Canseco…Dante…and of course Bret & Sammy. What I would’nt give to see Dante go “electric shock” with the bat after a no-doubter.

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