When one thinks of Yasiel Puig, one thinks of the Los Angeles Dodgers, a rocket arm and bat flips.
Well, it appears that one of those could be eliminated from that association. Puig has become known for flipping the bat at the end of his swings, whether it’s a home run or just a ground ball. While he’s made it known that he does it out of excitement, not disrespect, many people have categorized it as disrespect to the game of baseball.
Those critiques have seemed to reach the Cuban outfielder and will lead to a change, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
Though acknowledging that some fans are entertained by his theatrics, Puig said in Spanish, “I want to show American baseball that I’m not disrespecting the game.”
Puig hit a home run on Monday at Dodger Stadium and his signature move was reduced to nothing more than a drop of the bat. It was his second home run in as many games, and was part of a three-hit night in the Dodgers extra-innings victory.
While he plans to limit the bat flips, he made it clear that he is not eliminating them completely:
If it’s a big home run or if I’m frustrated because I couldn’t connect in my previous at-bats or if I drive in important runs for my team, I might do it,” he said. “You never know. I can’t say I won’t do it.”
Even with a boon in players from other countries, where bat flips are common, baseball “tradionalists” still consider them as a detriment to the game rather than a form of expression. These players are then considered as “disrespectful” and often change their style.
While he’s making an effort to change, it will be hard to not expect more bat flips from Puig.
Dodgers 2015 Spring Training – Paco Rodriguez