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October 20, 2016

MLB Playoffs: Indians troll Bautista after punching World Series ticket

The Cleveland Indians are headed to the World Series. They’ll host Game 1 on Tuesday night at Jacobs Progressive Field.

But before attempting to end the franchise’s 68-year drought without a World Series title, and before making their way through customs and out of Toronto and back to Cleveland, several Indians sent some parting shots to Blue Jays veteran Jose Bautista.

Wait what?

Here’s a bit of the back story: even with a win on Tuesday afternoon, the Blue Jays entered Wednesday fighting for their playoff lives. With another loss, they would be packing their bags and going home for the winter.

But the way Bautista saw it, there should be just as much pressure on Indians 24-year-old rookie left-hander Ryan Merritt, who had all of one major league start (four big league appearances) to his name before taking the ball for Cleveland’s injury-ravaged rotation in Game 5.

Merritt, of course, went on to set the tone for the decisive game of the ALCS when he retired each of the first 10 batters he faced on Wednesday afternoon, including Bautista twice, to put the Indians in position to hand the ball to their shutdown ‘pen and leave Canada with a 3-0, pennant-clinching win.

So much for shaking in those boots, huh? The Indians, who have really taken to riding the disrespect train in the last month, made sure they didn’t leave Bautista out of their champagne-infused celebration at the Rogers Centre, grabbing their phones and firing off an array of cyber jabs at the Jays slugger.

Oh. Wednesday also just so happened to be Bautista's 36th birthday.

And last but certainly not least, the lesson anyone can probably take from this story (which, in the end, likely had very little effect on the results on the field).

As Nancy Sinatra once said, and as the Phillie Phanatic often illustrated in his in-between innings hijinx, these boots were made for walking, and what’s just what they’ll do. And Wednesday happened to be the day they continued to walk all over Bautista and the Blue Jays.

Bautista, a free agent in a couple of weeks, began his 2016 season sparring with the Phanatic. Perhaps he should take a page from the furry green fella and just let his actions do the talking from here on out.

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @ryanlawrence21