Benches emptied in the Blue Jays-Braves game Wednesday night after Toronto slugger Jose Bautista homered to left field, stood at home plate and stared toward pitcher Eric O'Flaherty before flipping the bat away with a towering toss in Atlanta.
No punches were thrown, but O'Flaherty didn't mince words about Bautista's actions.
"That's something making the game tough to watch,'' the pitcher said, referring to previous home run celebrations by the Toronto slugger. "It's turned into look-at-me stuff. He hit a home run with [the Braves holding] a five-run lead and throws the bat around. I'm just tired of it. I've seen it from him enough.''
"I'm surprised he's ready to fight after last year,'' O'Flaherty said with a disdainful chuckle.
For his part, Bautista said he hoped to move on.
"I understand why [the Braves] would be upset in that situation, and I just told them how I felt," he said, according to the Toronto Sun. "Basically just let them know that I wasn't trying to show up anybody and hopefully it's in the past. It has nothing to do with [frustration], but it was definitely not something that was fitting for the moment.
"Sometimes our competitive juices come out in the wrong moment. We have to deal with it between the lines like men -- I feel like I did that and hopefully that's enough."
Toronto manager John Gibbons downplayed Bautista's bat flip.
"Nobody's ever seen that before?'' Gibbons said mockingly.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.