You know there is an unwritten code of conduct for Major League Baseball players. Don’t try to bunt when a pitcher is working on a no-hitter and don’t flip your bat like a moron when you rip a home run. Those are two that pop out to me.
You know who doesn’t follow baseball’s unwritten rules? Asian Bat Flippers.
The Asian Bat Flippers are back in the news this week after a couple legendary Korean bat flips sent the Internet into a frenzy. A hitter named Hong Sung-heon had two epic bat flips in one game that were then turned into a YouTube video by Korean bat flip expert @MyKBO.
I reached out to former Japanese Baseball League slugger Matt Clark, a friend of Busted, to get a better perspective on Asian Bat Flippers.
Is this practice acceptable?
“100% acceptable. They love it and do it regardless of result most times,” Clark said. The minor league veteran spent the 2013 season playing for Chunichi and ripping 25 dongs. He says there were times where he’d bat flip “to fit in.”
Clark says that there is a guy named Norihiro Nakamura from the Yokohama BayStars who is considered a legendary bat flipper. Nakamura has had plenty of time to perfect his art. He’s 40 and has 404 career Japanese homers.
Clark (@matttclark23), now back in the U.S. and playing for AA-Binghamton, says he’s back to following the unwritten rules of baseball now that he’s playing on U.S. soil. The guy has 7 dongs, 22 RBI and is hitting .314 in 100 ABs.
An American pitcher who spent a season playing overseas told me:
When I was in Taiwan it was acceptable. If you hit the next batter, you were automatically ejected, and if you hit the guy who hit the home run his next at-bat, you were ejected. They are all very similar to the Latin ball players. They love all the flare and pizzazz; when they get hurt they are softer than baby shit. Because they aren’t allowed to wear jewelry they load up with those Phiten necklaces and kinetic tape to have flare on the field. From my knowledge it’s an acceptable thing to bat flip and we just blow it up because we aren’t used to it.