All the recent talk about Jose Bautista’s incredible power surge, and the questions people should be asking, got me thinking: Why don’t I post what we asked the Blue Jays slugger following his two-homer outburst in Monday’s 3-2 win over the Yankees? So, here is the postgame Q&A with the Majors’ leading home run hitter…
Reporter: How many more you got in you?
Bautista: I have no idea. I’m going to keep going out there and do the same thing that I’ve been doing all year, just look for good pitches and try to hit them hard.
Reporter: Did you know immediately on both of them tonight?
Bautista: Yeah. I got those pretty good.
Reporter: What was going through your head after that pitch that Nova threw?
Bautista: Well, instinctively, I was kind of upset. I was just trying to see what kind of reaction I was going to get from him. I was surprised to see he was pretty defiant. He was walking up towards me and flashing his hands up and started yelling. That’s when I felt that the pitch was intentional.
Reporter: Did it surprise you, considering it was his first Major League start?
Bautista: That doesn’t matter. I don’t think that’s a part of the game that you really want to go through. If he would’ve thrown at my foot, or my leg, or my back or something it’d be a totally different attitude from my side. The pitch was right at my head and got me pretty upset.
Reporter: What was he yelling?
Bautista: I’d rather keep that between the lines. I think that’s part of the game that you have to respect.
Reporter: It looked like Molina had his hands wrapped around you. What was he saying to you?
Bautista: He was just trying to calm me down. He knew the at-bat was going to go on and he was trying to get me focused for the next pitch.
Reporter: It looked like you enjoyed that second home run. Was 40 special? Or was it the emotions of the game?
Bautista: I don’t think it was because of No. 40. It’s a tie game, pretty late. I knew that if we took the lead we needed three outs to win it. Given what transpired earlier, I enjoyed it pretty good.
Reporter: Did you get the ball?
Bautista: Not yet. We’ll see if it shows up.
Reporter: I think you’re aware of the article that was written over the weekend kind of tying your success to the whole performance-enhancing thing. I was curious what your reaction is to seeing your season get tied into something like that.
Bautista: I could care less. I’m part of the program just like any other ballplayer is. We’re subject to testing all the time. I don’t know where this guy is coming from with his allegations.
Reporter: What was your reaction when you saw someone write an article like that.
Bautista: I didn’t see it until somebody brought it up. I mean, I could care less. The guy is paid to write something and he did. It’s unfortunate. I don’t know if he’s trying to stir something up, but when you talk without base, without any, I’m trying to think of the word…
Bautista: Not evidence. He’s just got no base to be talking. I don’t know why my name was tied up to it and I haven’t even read the article. All I know is because you guys mentioned it earlier today.
Reporter: Do you feel more of a leadership role right now than at any time during the season? All three RBIs, plus that incident, plus everything else that goes with what you’ve been doing…
Bautista: No, I don’t think anything changes. I’ve always been the same guy. Even when I was a rookie I always talked to a lot of my teammates. I’m not saying I was a leader early on, but I haven’t changed. I’m not trying to become a leader. I’m just going out there and doing the same thing I’ve been doing since Day 1.
Reporter: Did you get a chance to talk to Yunel about what his beef was with the home-plate umpire?
Bautista: All I know is the umpire tossed him out of the game.
Reporter: They had words didn’t they?
Bautista: I don’t know. You’ve got to ask Yunel.
Reporter: When you ran by the mound after flying out in the sixth, did you think something might happen?
Bautista: No, that’s the same route I take every other time. There’s no need to change.
Reporter: Two umpires seemed to think differently…
Bautista: They’re supposed to keep the game under control. That’s what they were trying to do. There was no intention on my behalf to get anything started.
Reporter: As long as you didn’t go over the mound…
Bautista: That’s true [laughing].