When Yasiel Puig burst onto the scene last June he wowed fans with his flashy style of play that quickly gained the attention of Major League Baseball. One of Puig’s most notable actions are his bat flips, which he’ll do on home runs, doubles and at times, routine outs.
In a recent home game, Vin Scully marveled at the height of one of Puig’s bat flips and called him the “maestro” of the bat flip. Manager Don Mattingly is among those who has accepted Puig’s bat flips and he told ESPN LA’s Mark Saxon times have changed.
This comes after Puig’s home run and subsequent bat flip last month off San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner. As Puig made his way towards home plate, Bumgarner shouted in his direction and the two had a brief, but tense confrontation. Mattingly furthered his comments by implying baseball as a whole, needs to lighten up on the unwritten rules via Saxon:
“I don’t think there’s any going back. It’s already gone. The days are gone where a guy does something and he gets drilled for that, because everybody does it pretty much.”
Dan Haren also commented on the changing views in baseball:
Fans like the flair the players have, they like when players have personality, so if it’s good for the game, then great,” Haren said. “I’m all for the fan experience, because really there would be no baseball without fans. So, if they like it, sure keep doing it.
While bat flips have become more common in today’s game, it does represent a dramatic change in what’s accepted as part of baseball’s culture. That being said, while the Dodgers, their fans, and some outside of the organization may tolerate Puig’s bat flips, he still evokes plenty of negative reactions.
Dodgers Update: Yasiel Puig’s Hitting Streak, Maturity And Bat Flips