October 26, 2015

Bat flips: Bad to "old school" baseball, or nonconformity to "white school"?

It's a real question.

Jose Bautista may also want you to fight blind acceptance of 'white culture'
An online acquaintance dislikes bat flips because they're not "old school." He was specifically talking about Jose Bautista in this year's one AL Division Series.

Now that the ALDS is done, despite two non-bat flipping homers by Joey Bats, and we can discuss this more.

I responded that "old school" here often equals "white school." He, possibly in part from knowing I'm a Cardinals' fan of long standing, said "what would Bob Gibson do"?

I, in turn, first responded that today, Pirate star Andrew McCutchen has specifically said, more than once, that such old school ideas are, in his mind, part of lower African-American involvement in baseball than decades past.

He may be right. At a minimum, he's led me to a more open mind.

I then said that Bautista was a "piker" on bat flips compared to Korean players.

And, he responded:

Us Bernie (S)anders liberals want some place in popular culture where we don't have to cringe. If people want to call it racist, they can go find who they are more at ease with. My dad fought for Korea at great personal expense. But he did not fight for bat flipping.
Well, no disrespect to your dad, but that sounds like a pretty paternalistic response.

I've not (yet) unfriended this person. I said I was surprised enough when I saw the start of the conversation. I was more surprised yet when, at this point, I said I was unfollowing the conversation, rather than trying to persuade him differently.

I did, though, move him from "friend" to "acquaintance" on Facebook. And, since his normal status in Facebook posting is "public," I'm not violating my canons of social media ethics by quoting his one comment.

Beyond that, and to add to the "fun" of that comment, as Deadspin recently reported, one of Korea's top bat-flippers, Hwang Jae-gyun, may come to the US.

If you don't like Joey Bats, and think he's "disrespecting the game," you definitely won't like this guy. If he, or one or two of his Korean fellows like Cho Hong-Seok come to the US, if they temper the bat flips, I hope they don't totally eighty-six them, as the NYT said they might.

Per the Times story, as it sorted through analogies for an "untranslatable" word, a good bad flip in Korean baseball is like "comfort food."

That said, one other point. Per the Black Lives Matter movement, how many of Sanders' supporters are like this — stereotypical upper New England or Pacific Northwest white liberals living around few blacks?

The bat flipping itself was a fairly small item ... but, where the discussion led from there wasn't.

Beyond the seeming paternalism of the Korean part of the response, the first part makes it sound like he's afraid of an invasion of hip-hop (or the Caribbean version of Tejano or something) wherever he goes.

And, finally, beyond surprise, I kind of cringed when I read it.

And, in crafting this post, it led me to create a "white culture" tag, which I didn't previously have.

This is one of those blog posts I took multiple days to write, off and on, and still gave a couple of days leeway before posting.

Even though Project Implicit says I pass the "black face test" fine, nonetheless, I don't like loud rap music myself.

But, I don't like loud, almost totally white, country music, either.

Beyond that, this is one of those slippery slope arguments; today, it's bat flips, tomorrow, it's hoodies and gangsta rap in the burbs, or whatever exact portion of pop culture he's afraid will take over, white or nonwhite. Just like the NRA with "today, AK-47s, tomorrow, they'll take our Remington .22s.

(I'll concede that "pop culture" may be just that, and not "white culture." However, said person didn't resist my premise when I brought up Cutch; he just said, in essence, he didn't care.)

Beyond that, it's a relatively uninformed read of the history of baseball, including the "accommodation" that Jackie Robinson and other integration pioneers were suggested to make.

And now, Bautista has weighed in himself about his bat flip.

No comments: