Bautista, the Blue Jays and umpires: Is there a problem here?
The Blue Jays love Jose Bautista so much that some people here took to referring to him as "our Derek Jeter." But Bautista's comments Wednesday, when he suggested that some major-league umpires are mediocre, weren't very Jeter-like.
There was a time when some Blue Jays people referred to him as "our Derek Jeter."
What Bautista did Wednesday afternoon wasn't very Jeter-like. Not too smart, either.
A day after he was a little more demonstrative than you'd like in disputing umpire Jeff Nelson's ball-strike calls, Bautista suggested to Blue Jays writers that he thinks of some major-league umpires as mediocre.
"Sometimes I have trouble more than other people dealing with my production being affected by somebody else's mediocrity," Bautista said, according to sportsnet.ca. "It's just the way I am as a person."
OK, but this is how umpires are as people: They don't like players referring to their mediocrity. They don't appreciate being shown up, as Bautista did when he flipped his bat away Tuesday night after a 3-0 pitch that Nelson called a strike.
For all their love for Bautista, the Blue Jays have talked to him about this before. For all the talks, Bautista said Tuesday he sees no need to change.
"I don't see anything wrong with playing with emotion," he said.
The Blue Jays love Bautista's passion, especially when it's directed the right way. They love his power, too, for good reason.
They sure loved what he did later on Wednesday, when his ninth-inning home run off closer Chris Perez tied the Jays' game against the Indians.
Bautista is talented. He's often a great representative for his team.
He just seems to have this thing with umpires.
"Sometimes you wish some aspects of the game were up to par with the others," Bautista said. "And you have to be realistic at times, sometimes it's tough to deal with."