Jose Bautista's Temper

Tom Szczerbowski

There is a time and a place for a temper, but that wasn't the time or place. Jose has to be smarter.

Jose Bautista blew up yesterday, and I'm sure you saw that the Ranger commentators called him a cry baby, which is kind of scummy but I'll just consider the source and move on.

I have a hard time condemning players for having a temper because I do too, not that it is something I'm proud of, but I can fly off the handle with the best of them and I rarely have 40,000 people watching when things go against me. I can only imagine that would not improve my temper.

But then, the 9th inning, runner at third, tying run at second, I'd would like Jose to understand that this isn't the moment to blowup. This is the moment that the team is far more important than what's happening to him. He has to be able to say 'that was a bad call but I have to stay focused'. Instead, he goes nuts and the next batter, Edwin Encarnacion, who has a big moment of his own to worry about, has to jump in and get between Jose and the umpire, when Edwin should be doing whatever it takes him to get ready for his at bat.

Tying run at second is not the time to be selfish, to think all the world is against you. Or maybe you can think all the world is against you, but you have to keep that inside to motivate you, not turn it outside to motivate the umpires against you. Jose didn't like the call on strike one, but it was close, and close enough to call. I know Jose has this feeling that umpires usually give the star players the benefit of the doubt on close calls, and sometimes they do, but bottom of the ninth isn't one of those times. Even if the umpire made a mistake, Jose has got to be able to forget that and overcome it.

So Jose goes off on the strike one call and the next pitch is a checked swing, what do you think the odds are that the first base umpire is thinking 'I'm going to show that jerk that you can't yell at the umpires', and calls a strike on the checked swing, no matter how far he thought Jose went on the swing?

Then, after chasing for strike three, showing that he really wasn't focused on the at bat, Jose lays into the umpire again, getting tossed and then starts throwing things from the dugout, making it tougher for Edwin to concentrate on his at bat. A pretty important moment, 2 outs, tying run at second.

Now I get it, I tend to get mad over things I shouldn't too, I'm definitely not the one that should go pointing fingers, but that was one moment when Jose should have done his best to swallow his anger, his pride and remember that the game was more important than all of that.

I know, Jose has been going through a cold stretch, though he seemed to come out of it yesterday, and that the team hasn't been playing great, I'm sure that adds to frustration levels. And I believe there are times when venting isn't a bad thing, you can have that moment to go nuts and you kind of feel better after. But you have to pick the moments and that wasn't the moment.

Part of the reason why Jose is such a great player is his intensity, he seems to play best with a chip on his shoulder, when he feels slighted. That kind of intensity is hard to turn on and off, I'm sure. But if he is a team leader, he's got to put the team first sometimes.

If we were behind by 6 or in front, sure, blow off steam. But when the team needs you to keep focused and when your teammates need to keep their focus on the game, it isn't the time to go nuts. Hopefully Gibbons will talk to him about that.

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