José Bautista has become MLB’s Public Enemy #1. It may have seemed like it happened over night, but the process was actually a little more involved. We break it down step by step:
Step 1: Become Good
First things first, we wouldn’t be talking about the man known as “Joey Bats” if he had remained a mediocre utility player with the Pirates. He deserves credit for drastically turning his career around and forcing himself into all of our lives. In short, nobody hates you if they don’t know who you are.
Step 2: Grow a Beard
After realizing at 29 that he was a force to be reckoned with at the plate, José’s next move was to grow an all-encompassing douche beard. Clean-shaven José was such a doll. Bearded José looks like he tends bar in Williamsburg and/or challenges people to arm-wrestling contests when he’s drunk.
Step 3: Develop a Solid Resting Bitch Face
A key asset for anyone trying to be hated is mastering the resting bitch face, which José does about as well as anyone. If he’s smiled before, we haven’t seen it. Instead, he always appears to be holding in a fart. A big, violent, poutine-induced fart.
Step 4: Flip Your Bat Like It Offended You
Ahh yes, this is where things really began to turn. After belting a go-ahead three-run bomb in a playoff game against Texas, Bautista delivered one of the most epic bat flips of all time. We didn’t know it then, but he might as well have been flipping off the entire league, and if you look closely enough, he appears to be attempting to swat the giant chip off of his shoulder. Didn’t work.
Step 5: Drastically Overvalue Yourself
Heading into the 2016 season, Bautista’s final year before free agency, the then 35-year-old slugger apparently demanded a ludicrous deal somewhere in the neighborhood of five years, $150+ million. Yikes. He then delivered his worst season as a Blue Jay and has since accepted a meager one-year, $18.5 million deal to return to Toronto after other teams stayed away from him like he had cooties.
Step 6: Get Clocked in the Face
Something about watching Bautista get walloped in the face by Rougned Odor just seemed right. Almost as if his face was meant to be punched. Given the fact that pretty much every baseball fan outside of Canada watches that clip on repeat when they need a pick-me-up, it’s safe to say José had officially lost favor with the American public.
Step 7: Run Your Mouth
The icing on the proverbial layer cake of José’s dark descent into villainy was undoubtedly his antics during last year’s ALCS. First Joey Bats obnoxiously whined about the umpires, blaming “circumstances” (aka the strike zone) for the Jays being down 3-0. Then Bautista talked shit to Indians rookie Ryan Merritt before Merritt’s Game 5 start, saying the youngster was probably “shaking in his boots” at the thought of facing the Toronto lineup. Of course, Merritt had a brilliant outing and the Indians won Game 5 to advance to the World Series, thus completing Bautista’s journey into the throes of baseball douchebaggery.