Red Sox

What Chris Sale and Rick Porcello had to say about the MLB bat flip controversy

"Be honest, the game’s not about pitchers anymore."

Tim Anderson
Tim Anderson of the Chicago White Sox tosses his bat after hitting a walk-off home run on April 26. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

On April 17, Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson belted a Brad Keller pitch 418 feet. Anderson tossed his bat towards his dugout in celebration. The Kansas City Royals starter promptly plunked him in his next at-bat.

The benches cleared, and both players were ejected for their roles in the incident — Anderson for using racially-charged language, not the bat toss. After the game, Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk tweeted, “Guys are getting a little excessive on pimping HRs, on meaningless HRs too. Act like you have done it before, one time.”

Anderson had no intention of changing his playing style after the altercation.

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“I’m going to continue to be me and keep having fun,” he said. “Our fans pay their hard-earned money to come to the ballpark to see a show, so why don’t I give them one?”

Red Sox pitchers Chris Sale and Rick Porcello shared their opinions on baseball’s bat flip controversy with The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham.

“I feel if you’re showing positive emotion for your team, that’s great,” Sale said. “Flip your bat all you want. But I think if you’re showing the other guy up — and a pitcher can do that, too — that’s what I would call unsportsmanlike.”

While the father of two supports marketing the game to a younger generation, Sale continued: “I’ve also played with J.D. [Martinez], Paul Konerko, Jose Abreu, and Adam Dunn, guys who have over 1,000 home runs between them. They hit one out and they put their head down and ran around the bases. I’d like my boys to learn something from that, too.”

The lefthander offered that he does not want to see Little Leaguers flipping their bats.

Porcello noted the argument is “a dead end.”

“I don’t know that there’s a right or a wrong answer,” he told the Globe. “You have one side that feels one way and another side that feels another. I don’t know how you bring it together.”

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However, Porcello said there’s a double standard at play.

“I guarantee if I walked around the mound and did a whole bunch of [stuff] after I punched a guy out, I’d get a fine after a while. Be honest, the game’s not about pitchers anymore. It’s about the ball getting hit over the fence.”

Both Red Sox starters said pitchers can throw better pitches if they don’t want to watch a bat flip.