With bat flips on home runs, triples and at times routine fly balls, Yasiel Puig had the tendency to rub opponents the wrong way this season.
Among those who weren’t particularly fond of Puig were the San Francisco Giants. During a May game between the two teams at Chavez Ravine, Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner shouted in Puig’s direction as the outfielder round third base after hitting a home run with a swing that included a bat flip.
The two then bumped heads again in September after Bumgarner hit Puig with a pitch and it led to benches clearing. After the Dodgers were eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 4 of the NLDS, Puig told SportsNet LA’s Alanna Rizzo he doesn’t mean to disrespect anybody:
I want to make sure everybody knows that I respect every team that we play. I’m not trying to do anything bad, I’m not trying to be disrespectful. It’s just the way that I play. No disrespect to anybody else in the league.”
The Dodgers and Cardinals also have a history of dust-ups and it carried over into their postseason series. Adam Wainwright hit Puig with a pitch and while the outfielder took first base without any protest, Adrian Gonzalez wasn’t as forgiving.
Gonzalez and Yadier Molina got into an argument and had to be separated by the home plate umpire as players from benches came onto the field. During the regular season, the Cardinals made a habit of pitching Puig and Hanley Ramirez inside, and hit both players during a series in July.
While Puig’s bat flips and other antics may have drawn the Cardinals’ ire, Matt Adams’ home run in Game 2 of the NLCS Sunday night included a rather noticeable bat flip. Some of the issue taken with Puig can be tied to the old-fashioned nature of baseball, though there appears to have been a small shift recently in what’s accepted.