Indians lash out at Bautista after ALCS win
With a pennant in tow, the Indians came out in droves on Wednesday to bid farewell to Cleveland's public enemy number one - Jose Bautista.
The Toronto Blue Jays slugger, who contributed little more than bulletin board material throughout the American League Championship Series, drew the ire of the Indians with his assertion that rookie pitcher Ryan Merritt would be wide eyed and "shaking in his boots" in game five.
He was wrong; the Indians won 3-0 on the strength of Merritt's 4.2 scoreless innings and advanced to their first World Series since 1997.
Then, they let Bautista hear it.
"That's why you don't say dumb s***," a booze-drenched Jason Kipnis told reporters in the Indians clubhouse.
"Did [Bautista] get a hit off [Merritt]? He sure didn't. Pretty good for when you're shaking."
Indeed, Bautista, on his 36th birthday, produced a meagre groundout to third and then flew out to center in his two at-bats against Merritt, a 24-year-old who had started just one big league game this season.
It capped a dreadful series in which Bautista went one-for-18 against Indians pitching.
Indians catcher Roberto Perez wasted no time taking a dig at the birthday boy Bautista on social media.
@JoeyBats19 como la estas pasando el dia de tu cumpleaños?-- Roberto Perez (@robperez2015) October 20, 2016
As did game four starter Trevor Bauer, whose bloody finger seems to be healing nicely. Corey Kluber showed off his Photoshop skills.
Shakin' in his boots pic.twitter.com/jYr6W4N6Xt-- Corey Kluber (@CKluber) October 20, 2016
To Merritt's credit, he let his team-mates do the talking and took the high road after the game.
"I heard it," he said. "But I didn't let it affect me or get to me.
"I mean, that's a good lineup. I guess he's got a right to say it. It's my first start. The emotions out there were kind of crazy at first, a little nervous. But it settled down, just trusted myself, stayed within myself, didn't let the - tried not to let the crowd get to me too much, trusted my defense and just be myself out there."