Ex-MLB All-Star Erstad benches college baseball player for bat flip


Let’s go on a limb and say that Darin Erstad wouldn’t get along too well with Jose Bautista.

We all know the former Toronto slugger (and current Brave) is the king of the bat flip.

Nebraska Cornhuskers infielder Angelo Altavilla has a long way to go in order to catch up to “Joey Bats,” but it might be a good idea to practice on his own time.

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When you sign up to play for a coach like Erstad, you must know that he’s as old-school as they come.

In college (Nebraska), he starred on the baseball team and was also a punter on Tom Osborne’s national champion football squad.

This is not a guy you want to mess with.

So it wasn’t too surprising when Erstad made it clear that bat-flipping will not be tolerated.

Friday night, Altavilla hit a moon shot against Indiana. The ball still might not have landed.

He admired his home run for a few seconds before flipping his bat and trotting the bases.

Erstad felt like his player was being disrespectful and pulled him from the game.

Indiana’s catcher wasn’t thrilled, either, but there was nothing more intimidating than the reaction Altavilla got when he returned to the dugout.

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Side note: For the player smiling next to Erstad … maybe not the best idea.

Do you agree with Erstad's decision?

Replays showed the coach telling Altavilla, “Don’t ever do that again.”

Erstad certainly has the credibility — he was a two-time All-Star during his 14 big league seasons, most of them with the Angels.

Altavilla might make the majors, or he might not.

But we’re pretty certain that the celebration the next time he goes yard will be a bit more subdued.

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Mike is an 11-time Michigan Emmy Award winner who has spent nearly 30 years working in sports media.
Mike has spent nearly 30 years in all aspects of sports media, including on-air, 10 at ESPN and another 10 at Fox Sports Detroit. He now works as a TV agent, and lives with his family in West Bloomfield, MI.
Sudbury, Massachusetts
11-time Michigan Emmy winner
Emerson College
Books Written
The Longest Year: One Family's Journey Of Life, Death, And Love/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Tigers/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Lions
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