Don't tell Rougned Odor but a newly discovered species of beetle from the Dominican Republic has been named after fellow native son and former Toronto Blue Jays home run hero Jose Bautista.
OK, we get that Jose Bautista may bug some people (home plate umpires, Sam Dyson, etc.) but we wouldn't call him evil... so how about “weevil”? Actually, the weevil's the one getting the moniker, as in “Sicoderus bautistai,” courtesy of entomologist Robert Anderson.
Anderson, a researcher at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, authored a paper describing a newly-discovered weevil (as long-snouted beetles are known) from the Dominican Republic. Guess who else hails from the Dominican? Joey Bats, that's who!
Anderson has done this kind of thing before – he's named roughly 120 weevils to date. “One of the nice things about this is that you have some latitude to do something kind of quirky,” he explained. “[Naming] sort of builds on a history and the names tell little stories.”
In the case of this small (dare we say, “lesser”) weevil, that story belongs to Jose Bautista. The 38-year-old pro ballplayer has hit 344 home runs over a 14-year-long MLB career, with 9 of those seasons spent with the Toronto Blue Jays. Bautista's signature moment has to be his dramatic homer off Texas Rangers reliever Sam Dyson. The three-run shot – and the controversial “bat-flip” that followed – sent the Blue Jays into the 2015 ALCS and cemented Bautista's place in club mythology.
Anderson, like many other Canadians, was watching that game and later, when it came time to name the new beetle, he knew just what to do. “It was one of those moments in Toronto baseball sort of lore where he hit this big home run,” explained Anderson, “and I thought what a great way to kind of recognize his contributions to Blue Jay baseball and to Canadian baseball, really, as a whole.” Bautista has yet to comment on being given this unusual honor but the least he could do, should the free agent get signed for 2019, is change his walk-on music to something by The Beatles. (via CBC News)