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Noah Syndergaard claims to have no issue with bat-flipping

Noah Syndergaard has a reputation as a fierce competitor when he takes the mound. But the New York Mets pitcher insists he has no issues whatsoever with a slugger celebrating a home run with a bat-flip.

When asked about bat-flipping in the context of Bryce Harper’s “Make Baseball Fun Again” mantra, Syndergaard weighed in on perhaps the most infamous bat-flip in major league history, Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista’s emphatic celebratory toss during the 2015 postseason.

“And in terms of [Bryce] Harper saying he wants to make baseball more fun again, in terms of more emotion, the [Jose] Bautista moment, I’m pretty sure the guy — when that happened — had probably blacked out at the moment,” Syndergaard said, via the New York Post’s Ken Davidoff. “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.”

Syndergaard was asked if he felt Bautista disrespected the game with his arguably over-the-top bat-flip.

“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.”

That’s all well and good for Syndergaard to say that. But it would be interesting to see if a man nicknamed “Thor” with a reputed  competitive streak — albeit with a sly sense of humor — would handle a bat-flip so well if it happened to him in the midst of a hotly contested ballgame.

In other words, would Syndergaard be able to keep his emotions in check after a slugger cavalierly tossed his lumber in his direction following a round-tripper? Hard to say until it happens, really.