We had OSU softball coach Kenny Gajewski on our podcast on Thursday. He was interesting and great — as most of OSU’s coaches are — and he sort of surprised me when we asked him about the Great Bat Flip Controversy of 2019.
At the epicenter of it all, of course, is OSU superstar Samantha Show. She made headlines throughout the end of the year for her flips, and then she made national news after her tomahawk chop flip against Florida in the WCWS last week.
I’d seen Gajewski discuss it briefly, but he went pretty deep on it with us. It was good, and you should listen to it because I think he’s really deliberate and thoughtful about why he makes the decisions he makes.
“I had to make a decision in my mind,” said Gajewski after Show first started flipping her bat against Oregon in March. “That decision was, ‘Do I tell here that I don’t want that or do I let her be herself?’
“I thought about it for a while, and I talked to her that evening. I said, ‘I saw your bat flip,’ and she kind of looked at me like, ‘Uh oh, I’m in trouble.’
“I said, ‘Hey, I’m going to be honest, I don’t love it. I wouldn’t want my son to do it. But if this is who you are then you have to continue to be like this, and it has to always be geared at our team and our program.’
“She looked at me and said, ‘Yes sir, I don’t know why it happened. I’ve always wanted to bat flip, but it’s never happened. It just came out of me.’
I said, ‘Sam, if you’ll continue to be who you are, I have no problem there.’ I’m getting better at letting these kids express themselves. I always worry about the brand and our image. But if these kids are truly giving you everything they’ve got and truly doing it for the girls, I am ok. That’s where my growth has come in the last couple of years as a head coach.”
Pretty great stuff, and you should listen to the whole interview.