Noah Syndergaard has never shied away from making his opinions known, as was most notably documented when the hulking New York Mets pitcher famously asked the Kansas City Royals to meet him “60 feet, 6 inches away” after knocking down Alcides Escobar with a pitch during the 2015 World Series.

On Tuesday, the 24-year-old Syndergaard offered his thoughts on Jose Bautista‘s epic bat flip during Game 5 of the 2015 American League Division Series, which immediately became a topic of controversy, with some believing the Toronto Blue Jays slugger disrespected the game with his emotional outburst

“And in terms of (Bryce) Harper saying he wants to make baseball more fun again, in terms of more emotion, the Bautista moment, I’m pretty sure the guy – when that happened – had probably blacked out at the moment,” Syndergaard explained to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. “Just sheer enjoyment and excitement and just being in the moment. The bat flip, I have no problem with it. I can’t imagine how much emotion is going through him that he probably might not have even realized what he was doing. My big thing is having respect for the game.”

Despite any of the flack Bautista received for the incident, which eventually came back to bite him in 2016 courtesy of a punch to the face from Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor, Syndergaard had no issue with Bautista expressing himself and felt like he was just having a little fun.

“I wouldn’t say he was disrespecting the game at all,” Syndergaard said. “I see it as he was having fun out there. He was trying as hard as he possibly can to do what he wants for the team. I don’t see that as disrespect at all. I see that as pure emotion.”


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