Beloit sales rep Carter Gephardt, 26, had one thought when he saw Jose Bautista's dramatic, ALDS-deciding homer on Wednesday.
What was cool on Wednesday turned to controversy on Thursday, though, as Gephardt confided to friends and family that he thought the bat flip was "just alright."
"Unbelievable," said August Edwards, 27, a lifelong friend of Gephardt. "You think you know someone, then he drops this garbage about the most awesome thing that has ever happened in the history of baseball. Was he even watching the same game? Jesus!"
Gephardt's father, Jerry, agreed that his son's lukewarm reaction was troubling.
"You see someone disrespect the game like that, and your own son says it's 'alright?' As a father, what do you even do with that? You question yourself. You wonder if you did something wrong, if you should have kept him out of public schools like his mom said to.
"It's a punch in the gut."
Terry "The Torch" Tergeson, a local sports radio personality, said Gephardt's lack of a strong take really stood out.
"I've had people calling in all day, telling me to give Bautista's indecent behavior a pass, and I've had men who understand character, men who understand playing the game the right way, calling in and telling me that Bautista should be in jail forever. And this punk is going to tell the entire world that he doesn't really have much of an opinion?
"I just don't know what his endgame is. It's troubling on a number of levels."
Gephardt doubled down on his remarks later in the day, remaining completely straight down the middle about Bautista's flip.
"I don't know. I guess it was ok," he said.
"Goddammit," responded Edwards. "It's just, do you hate exuberance that much, Carter? Do you hate joy? What is your problem?"
The elder Gephardt was equally nonplussed.
"I have no son."