In the 2015 ALDS, Jose Bautista hit a tie breaking three-run home run in the bottom of the 7th inning of Game 5. It was an absolutely momentous moment, and one that has stuck with us for a while.
Relive it, for a second:
The moment itself was huge, because it propelled the Blue Jays into the Championship series, but also because of the now-famous bat flip that followed that home run. Countless players have done the same to their bats before and after Bautista flipped his, but the combination of the stage, the moment, and the fervor with which he flipped it made his the most (in)famous – well that and the thousands of debates and disapproving words that followed it.
Perhaps the most disapproving words, though, came from Hall-of-Famer and self-proclaimed traditionalist Goose Gossage:
“Bautista is a [expletive] disgrace to the game,” Gossage said at the time. “He’s embarrassing to all the Latin players, whoever played before him. Throwing his bat and acting like a fool, like all those guys in Toronto.”
Yikes. Well, Gossage has since been very vocal about policing MLB according to his version of “the un-written rules of the game.” So much so, in fact, that he’s actually spent the time to write down each and every one of the (previously) unwritten rules… all 200+ pages of them.
The title of the book is the “2016 Official Baseball Unwritten Rulebook,” and he’s giving one away to each of the first 1,500 fans at the Minor League matchup between the St. Paul Saints and the Joplin Blasters on July 6. The book apparently contains some blank pages where fans are encouraged to add in their own rules in pencil, because – apparently – the rules can change at any moment! Good thing we have a man called Goose to remind us what’s what.
You can read more about the promotion here on the St. Paul site.