After Orioles reliever Darren O’Day threw behind Jose Bautista Sunday, the Blue Jays outfielder slapped a two-run home run as Toronto won, 10-7. Bautista started his trot by skipping for a few seconds. Though it was enjoyable enough without context, there was meaning behind it.
On June 21, 2013, O’Day struck out Bautista to end the inning, and did his own little skip as he went to the dugout. Via GameReax:
Bautista noticed; the two had a chat. The next day, Bautista hit a go-ahead two-run homer off O’Day, and made sure the pitcher knew it. When asked about the ordeal, O’Day didn’t understand why Bautista was annoyed, since hitters get to celebrate all they want. From SportsNet:
“I don’t understand why people make a big deal of it,” O’Day said before Sunday’s series finale at Rogers Centre. “You watch football, you watch basketball and that’s just sports. It’s competitive guys. I don’t even know what he’s so worked up about. It’s sports.”
“Guys can do what they want now when they hit home runs,” O’Day said. “It’s kind of the way the game is. Guys get excited when they do something good and I get excited when I do something good, too. It’s just the way it goes.”
Last season, the two reunited when O’Day hit Bautista in retaliation for an Oriole being plunked, but yesterday’s game showed how long grudges can last in baseball. Nearly two years later, O’Day decided to keep Bautista on his toes with a fastball behind him. In return, after Bautista hit a choice pitch on a full count into the stands, he skipped. The circle of pettiness was complete.
H/t to Trevor