Tap-In Question: Would you cheer for Jose Bautista if he were an Oriole? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Tap-In Question: Would you cheer for Jose Bautista if he were an Oriole?

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

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I’m back behind the Tap Room bar after a week roaming the Gaylord National Resort near Washington D.C.

It’s a welcomed change. Crowded lobbies are not my thing. I much prefer a poorly lit, fictional dive. It’s what I call home.

Perhaps the most interesting thing from last week’s winter meetings – at least from an Orioles’ perspective – was executive vice president Dan Duquette’s admission that he told Jose Bautista’s agents that he wasn’t interested in their client because Orioles’ fans despise Joey Bats.

He’s not wrong.

Bautista, who terrorized the Orioles with his bat and annoyed them with his exaggerated antics while playing for the Toronto Blue Jays, is Enemy No. 1 at Camden Yards. That’s especially the case now that Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz and Mark Teixeira are all retired.

It certainly was odd hearing a baseball executive say that he’s discounting a player because he’s not liked by the fan base. But we all know by now Duquette is not your typical baseball executive.

I may be in the minority here, but Duquette’s statement didn’t bother me. For one, it’s true and he’s just being honest. Secondly, it’s not like he makes all of his decisions based on popular opinion; this was a rare instance.

Third, Bautista wasn’t coming to Baltimore anyway. He’s looking for too much money and the Orioles would have to surrender a first-round draft pick to secure his services. That doesn’t make sense given Bautista’s apparent decline at age 36.

But the concept did intrigue me. And I couldn’t wait to ask you people what you thought.

Here’s what I want to know: If Joey Bats were to play for the Orioles, would you cheer for him? I mean, he’d be wearing your team’s uniform and trying to win a pennant for Baltimore. Yankee fans embraced Johnny Damon, so couldn’t you embrace Bautista?

Normally, fans change their booing stripes when villains change uniforms. But I clearly remember Reggie Jackson being disliked in his one year with the Orioles in 1976 (of course, he did hold out during the first part of the season). And I don’t remember a lot of love for Albert Belle either.

So, grab a barstool and toss me your two cents. Duquette was right. You hate Bautista.

But could you put that aside if he were playing for your hometown birds?

Tap-In Question: Would you cheer for Jose Bautista if he were an Oriole?

22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. general81

    December 12, 2016 at 7:28 am

    Jerry Seinfeld said fans are basically cheering for laundry – no matter who is wearing your team’s uniform, you cheer for him. That being said, I don’t want Bautista on the Orioles. He is just too much of a whiner and egomaniac. We don’t need players like him at Camden Yards.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 12, 2016 at 9:30 am

      The laundry line is a great one. But Os fans have booed their own guy plenty of times. And I think your sentiment is a sound one. Drink chip.

  2. Bancells Moustache

    December 12, 2016 at 8:16 am

    The answer, of course, is a begrudging yes. While I think it would be a TERRIBLE move, losing a first rounder for a 36 year old who has a rep as a clubhouse cancer, we all know the first time Bautista puts one in the flag court the whole place is screaming and doing that Seven Nation Army thing.
    And let’s be honest with ourselves, do we really think that Manny Machado’s antics, a guy who everyone in this town throws rose petals at his feet, are held in any higher esteem in other ballparks than anything Bautista has done?

    • Dan Connolly

      December 12, 2016 at 9:32 am

      Manny hasn’t been popped in the jaw yet. … but I get your point. One thing on Bautista. I don’t think he is a clubhouse cancer. The guys who play w him seem to endorse him. It’s everyone else that doesn’t.

      • Bancells Moustache

        December 12, 2016 at 10:05 am

        I just remember hearing that Nolan Reimold, during his cup of coffee in the Great White North 2 years ago (I think) said they had the worst clubhouse environment he’d ever been around. Hard to imagine one of the two biggest stars on the team not having a role in that. Now that I think about it, I heard a sportswriter call in to 105.7 that said that, which may actually have been you.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 12, 2016 at 2:32 pm

      It does have a rep for being a selfish place. And he could play into that. But when I think clubhouse cancer I think someone who would threaten a good environment. And I don’t see that.

  3. Captain Tuttle

    December 12, 2016 at 8:49 am

    I would be mad if Duquette signed Bautista, mainly for his character issues. Also for the loss of a draft pick and contract implementations for the years to come, howerver by spring I would warm to the idea and a few game winning home runs would change things.

    I do disagree that Duquette will not pursue Bautista because of the fans, this is an excuse behind the real reason. Duquette knows the fans will come around. I believe this has more to due with the club house. Does anyone think club house leaders like ODay and Jones would want Bautista on their team? Would everything just magically be forgiven. If he hits a homer and shows off, then gets hit by a pitch the next at-bat, would they have his back? Would Buck want a showman on his team?

    • Dan Connolly

      December 12, 2016 at 9:34 am

      Excellent points Captain. Ultimately the Orioles want to win. But I’m sure the guys you mentioned would have to hold their tongues for 162-plus.

  4. Tiss

    December 12, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Yes. Of course. Hell yes. Look, folks…Jose Bautista falls into a list of players I like, yet confess they seem to be in a lot of conflicts. Ortiz, Bryce Harper, Joey Bats, and…yes, Machado. The story of Bautista, from journeyman 4th or 5th OF to top hitter in baseball candidate, is one you can’t help but love as a baseball fan. At the right price, could the O’s use a corner OF/DH type with a high OBP and some power who bats right handed? We’re going to say no because his name is Jose Bautista? I’ll get myself in all sorts of trouble and say at the same annual salary I’d rather have Bautista for 2 years or Encarnacion for 3 years than Trumbo for 4.

    • bigdaddydk

      December 12, 2016 at 10:43 am

      Given the choice, I’d take Encarnacion over both Bautista and Trumbo. He’d be a beast of a DH in OPACY. And he’s 3 years younger and not quite into the decline that Bautista may be heading into. Plus, Encarnacion is a freaking RBI machine. And he tends to hit better late in games than Bautista.

    • terpjim7

      December 12, 2016 at 10:45 am

      This is an interesting take, but isn’t really relevant to the underlying question, since I gather that the premise is specifically geared towards whether O’s fans that hate Bautista would change their mind if he were in orange, and you’re saying that you like him already.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 12, 2016 at 11:38 am

      No one is getting Encarnacion for three. I’d be stunned. But I get your point. I guess the question really is if Bautista could help — and he probably could — is he worth the rest that comes with him. And you answer that, Tiss, with a whole lot of logic. Drink chip.

  5. bigdaddydk

    December 12, 2016 at 10:36 am

    I, for one, hope that they don’t sign Bautista. I’m not too worried about it because I don’t think the payroll will support it right now. But as for whether I’d root for him? Yes, but… Rooting for Jose Bautista is like kissing your sister. On the one hand he’d provide some timely hits, blast some bombs (OPACY being the HR-friendly park it is) and provide subpar RF defense. On the other hand, that whole attitude that gets the Rougned Odor treatment isn’t something needed in Charm City. Manny has rubbed a few people the wrong way, although hopefully he’s grown out of it a bit. Bautista is 36 and still acts that way.

    I have to think long and hard to remember a trio I found so obnoxious on another team than Bautista, Encarnacion, and Donaldson. While I didn’t like Ortiz, Betts, Ramirez, Bogaerts, Bradley, etc., the only one whose attitude I really can’t stand is Ortiz. Same with the Yankees. I didn’t like Jeter, A-Rod, and Cano back in the day, but A-Rod was the only one I had any visceral reaction to. The others I’d have rooted for if they’d donned an O’s jersey without question. The thought of rooting for the three Jays players makes me throw up in the back of my mouth just a bit.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 12, 2016 at 11:44 am

      That’s an interesting question for the fans. Trio of teammates that created most vitriol in Balmer? I think ARod/Tex are 2/3rds there but no suitable third. Jeter too classy to truly hate.

  6. terpjim7

    December 12, 2016 at 10:57 am

    I’d root for a positive result, but not the player. In other words, when he’d come to the plate, I’d implore him to do well, but I’d do so in the most derisive and insulting way possible. I can picture myself yelling at my TV, “Get a hit, you obnoxious piece of garbage, you worthless sack of s—…”

    In the event he were to hit a home run, I’d likewise congratulate him like so: “Yes!!! Way to do something positive for once, dirt bag! I hope you trip on every bag! Now go back to the dugout and — some —–, you stupid —-! I hope Adam puts s— in your pie! If you flip that bat, I swear to God…”

    It’d be the only way to react positively to anything he did and feel good about it. Gotta temper the enthusiasm with some invective.

    Caveat: if he was the hero of a World Series championship, I’d let him off the hook. Still wouldn’t buy his jersey, though.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 12, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      Jim, the idea of you cursing and cheering on intervals cracked me up. Drink chip.

  7. Boog Robinson Robinson

    December 12, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    I’ll boo him until one of us dies.

    Hypothetical or not, the rest of you that even HINT at the possibility of accepting him, simply don’t have an Orioles Soul.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 12, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      And another country heard from. I knew you’d have your dukes up on this one. Beautiful.

  8. 5brooks5

    December 12, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    i will always root for the birds. if I can root for Albert Belle, I can root for anyone,it just wouldn’t be from the heart.And you must be exhausted form chasing down all the Oriole news form the Winter Meetings.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 12, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      Haha. It’s worse when you are chasing down nothing. There are always rumors. Just because they don’t come to fruition doesn’t lessen our load. Have yet to meet a writer who enjoys the winter meetings.

  9. ZantiGM

    December 12, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Yes i would..i root for all orioles i do have my least favorites-wright,wilson,mcfarland,hunter,jimenez and gallardo BUT i root for them all.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 12, 2016 at 4:09 pm

      Poor Tommy Hunter. The guy has had some big moments for the Orioles. And he’s never going to shake the few rough ones.

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