Rougned Odor says he harbors no regrets over slugging Jose Bautista in the face on Sunday.
“I know I’m going to be suspended for a couple of games,” Odor told reporters.
Odor landed a clean overhand right to the bigger Blue Jay’s face after Bautista executed a hard slide into second to break up a double play. Bautista got on base after Rangers reliever Matt Bush drilled him in the ribs. In last year’s ALDS, Bautista famously, or infamously—depending on whether one roots for Toronto or Texas—flipped his bat after homering in Game Five. The dramatic gesture sparked bad blood between the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays and an ongoing debate on the role, if any, of showboating in baseball.
But Odor cites the hard slide on Sunday, rather than the histrionics from last year’s playoffs, as the cause of the fight that led to eight ejections.
“I can tell when someone is coming hard to second base,” Odor noted, “so I was just trying to protect myself.”
The Rangers won the weekend series 2-1 after emerging victorious 7-6 on Sunday. The teams don’t meet again during the regular season, making Odor’s assessment of any potential aftershocks perhaps redundant.
“I think it’s over,” he believes. “It’s in the past.”