One word to describe Jose Bautista – Iconic. High average with runner in scoring position, clutch home runs, and a trademark bat flip kids can only dream of. How could you possibly nail it down to just six reasons why Jose Bautista is loved by Toronto? It was hard, but here it is.
6. He’s Effective on and off the field
Remember when Jose was injured and he was being the teacher to Devon Travis’ student? Devon Travis has the highest batting average on the team since that schooling. It doesn’t matter where Jose is in the lineup. Heck, it doesn’t even matter if he is in the lineup. He changes the complexion of the game just by chewing gum in the dugout, and that’s something so rich that only the fewest of teams can share the feeling.
5. History Supports Him
54 home runs in 2010 may be enough information to cover this entire section. Hank Aaron award winner, Silver Slugger, if you’ve been to the Rogers center in the past 7 years, there’s a good chance Jose hit a homerun and put a smile on your face, and that alone is enough to make Toronto fans have a heavy heart for Jose.
4. He’s clutch
This season is different than your typical Jose Bautista season. His hitting doesn’t come in bunches, but when it comes, it is in the most important of times. His average with runners in scoring position this season is over .300, well beyond his season average. over 75% of his homers have either put Toronto in the lead or tied the game. Jose doesn’t go up to the plate and hit homers for fun. When he puts a jolt into the ball, it’s for a reason.
3. His swagger
Let’s be real here. Every single male Jays fan is jealous of Jose’s beard. What doesn’t Jose have? Nobody else in the league could get a pitch thrown behind him and then him a home run in the same at bat. Typical Jose Bautista, you can’t get enough of it. Oh, and need I even mention that ice cold stare he gives any pitcher or player he disagrees with?
2. He’s a philanthropist
At the end of the day, you have to admire his warm heart. They say time is money, and he gives both. He contributes to several foundations, particularly in giving education to those who can’t get it themselves. He may act like a warrior on the field, but he really is a real softy. Who doesn’t love a good softy, right?
1. The ‘Bat flip’.
Photos via twincities.com (cover), HockeysFuture.com (the stare) and DeadSpin.com (bat flip).