Willson Contreras on epic bat-flip: ‘Zero regrets’
Willson Contreras’ bat-flip might have gone higher than his home run.
After he smacked a huge 3-run homer in the 3rd inning of Friday night’s Cubs victory, Contreras unloaded the offense’s collective frustration with an epic bat-flip that soared into the Chicago sky.
High-end analytics makes a difference. pic.twitter.com/qPEl9jZWpb— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) September 26, 2020
The Cubs lineup had been scuffling coming into the night and Contreras’ blast helped spark the team to a big 10-0 victory.
“I didn’t mean to throw it that high,” Contreras said. “[Anthony] Rizzo told me right before the game started, ‘hey if you hit a homer, do something exciting. Do a bat flip.’ Obviously that came to my mind right away, but didn’t mean to throw it that high.
“Things happen in the game. I was having fun and I hit the ball and I knew it was gone. And I knew my team needed its swagger back, which we [got] today.
Contreras later added another home run, but in between the longballs, he was plunked in the back by White Sox reliever Jimmy Cordero. It resulted in ejections for Cordero, manager Ricky Renteria and pitching coach Don Cooper as the umpires felt it was an intentional act.
“I knew that was coming,” Contreras said. “I think they felt disrespected with what I did. I have nothing wrong with it. I celebrated with my teammates and I got pumped up. I wear my emotions on my sleeve and that was one thing that I did. I have no regrets — zero regrets.
“Once they hit me, I don’t think that was the smart thing to do because he got thrown out, who knows if he gets suspended. I just didn’t want to argue anything or say anything because I know that if I start something like a fight, I might get suspended and that’s something I don’t want.
“I took my hit-by-pitch; it was already over. I’m gonna keep playing the way I play. I’m not going to change anything. I play hard for my team and I always want to do the best for my team. But if they don’t like me, that’s fine. I don’t play for other teams.”
After Contreras was hit, the entire Cubs dugout reacted in anger and support of their catcher/designated hitter.
Manager David Ross was not happy about the hit-by-pitch and made his feelings known after the game, referencing White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson’s propensity for bat-flipping homers and how his team has rallied around him for that.
“All the hype was on the guy on the other side when he bat-flipped,” Ross said. “We just let them play, right? I thought Tim Anderson’s bat-flip last year where he flipped it and looked in his dugout — that’s what you want. That’s exactly what Willson did. He bat-flipped — it wasn’t to disrespect the other group, it was ’cause we’ve been struggling offensively and he brought some swagger. He brought some edge.
“I loved every second of it. Probably not my style if I’m playing, but these guys need a little bit of an edge. I don’t think he deserved to get hit at all. I don’t think you ever throw at somebody on purpose. It doesn’t make any sense.”
Contreras appreciated his team’s support and said he felt like somebody over in the White Sox was operating with an outdated playbook.
“I think their leader felt disrespect,” Contreras said without elaborating on who he meant by “leader.” “I think he’s still living in old-school baseball, but we’re in 2020. Like Mike Trout said, let the kids play. We’re just having fun. That’s part of the game right now.”