Jul. 8, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig reacts after popping out to end the third inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Yasiel Puig and His Bat Flip Are Here to Stay. Get Over It.

Since debuting on June 3, 2013 at Dodger Stadium, there hasn’t been a more polarizing player in Major League Baseball than Yasiel Puig. Even if you love him or hate him, he is here to stay. The rookie phenomenon has bat flipped his way into the hearts of many, but others are ripe with jealousy and bitterness toward the Cuban outfielder. Some Giants fans are even calling for him to be beaned  on purpose. Some haters are just unimpressed. The hate mail keeps pouring in from around the division, but perhaps these other teams need to focus on winning instead of what Yasiel Puig is saying or not saying or who he is looking at. The Giants fans seem to forget a certain arrogant slugger who used to sit back and watch his homeruns leave the park then slowly flip his bat and trot around the bases.

Flipping his bat after leaving the batter’s box has caused the Puig haters to stir with contempt. How can he be so arrogant they

Yasiel Puig’s bat flips are beautiful. Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

ask. He needs to learn how to be professional and not so immature. They have taken his bat flip out of context. Yasiel’s bat flip is not something he does to be a show-off, which he has every right to do by the way. It’s part of his style. It’s part of his routine. If you watched the World Baseball Classic this past summer, you saw the machismo and strong sense of masculine pride some of the Latin baseball players emit. Don’t take it personal. Now Hanley clapping toward Gerardo Parra or showing off his chiseled abs after the Dodgers won against Arizona Wednesday night is a different story. Those gestures were aimed directly at the slithery Snakes, but Yasiel’s bat flip isn’t aimed at anyone particular unless you count his hat tip to his family, friends, and fans of his home country which he plays for.

The D-backs seemed to think Yasiel’s frustration after he failed to make a diving catch during the seventh inning of game two was another moment of arrogance. Immaturity, perhaps. It was more of a feeling of frustration with himself for not making the play. He threw his glove angrily, and I can’t say it wasn’t childish, but I will say I appreciate his emotional involvement in the game. Some players act as if they don’t care when they blow a game in the ninth inning or when they drop a ball in the outfield. Puig cares, he really does. It’s refreshing to see a young player play with such vigor and all-out effort. Some of these bitter veterans should take note (*cough* Papelbon *cough*).  

If you take the attitude out of the Puig, you take the baking soda out of the cake. It just won’t work. I for one am enjoying his antics and aggressive play. He may get caught trying to stretch a double out of a single, but it was sure exciting watching him try, right? Like Dee Gordon‘s speed, Puig’s ferocity for the game has the ability to fluster opponents. This gives the Dodgers an added edge. The league became aware of his cannon arm and self-confidence within his first week as a Dodger. It’s time to accept Puig’s personality and move on to actually trying to contain his baseball prowess. In 34 games, the 22-year old is hitting .407 with 8 homeruns, 19 RBIs, 8 doubles, and a triple. He has collected 55 hits in his first 135 at-bats. Puig will be tormenting rival teams for many years to come, and you can either dwell on his reluctance to talk with the media and other personality cues, or you can try to get him out on the baseball diamond.


July 6, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) talks in the dugout before the game against the San Francisco Giants at AT

Yasiel Puig should be an All-Star. The All-Star Game is an exhibition for the fans, it’s essentially a popularity contest. This isn’t a #VotePuig post, although you should really go do that, but the excitement and dialogue he has stirred up within the world of baseball should be showcased for all to see in the All-Star Game. Not only is it good for the National League who will gain Puig’s bat, but it is also a way to shine light on the trove of baseball talent that is in Cuba.

I for one never thought Puig was going to be this good right out of the gate. Even though he will not continue to hit over .400 the whole season, Dodger fans have something to be excited about and they have every right to be. There hasn’t been a position prospect this good come up since Matt Kemp. Puig reminds me of a young Raul Mondesi rather than a Mike Trout or Bryce Harper. The Puig haters have to remember that Puig grew up in Cuba, and he escaped the hold of Castro and risked his life to make his dream come true of playing baseball in America. His arrogance and aggressive play was formed on the streets of Cienfuegos, Cuba. Let’s relish in his birth-given talents, and watch as he matures as a player and a person. You can take the Puig out of Cuba, but you can’t take the bat flip out of the Puig.

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  • Al

    Don’t understand nor do I care about the hate.its a friggin bat flip, get over it already!! Haters gon hate!!

    • Quasimodo

      I listened K.M.’s take on ‘Intentional Talk’ and he made some points about respecting all the ‘what’s connected to the game’ and I now am able to see how far any disrespect can go. The main point he brought up was Barry Bonds. Stating Bonds didn’t have many friends as a result of his behavior. Bonds was unpopular on more levels than PED’s alone. Perhaps a little curbing might be a wise path to take with Puig. I’d really hate seeing a gem grow into a monster.

      • LasordasLair

        Well in all fairness Quasi, Bonds was just a tool in many ways. Bonds was just generally disliked because he was a mean person, as much as his antics were annoying. Puig is more genuine. He’s being passionate and not trying to be “in your face”. But I can see what you are saying though, but I have faith that Puig will not turn into a Barry Bonds. Ughh god forbid right? ha ha.

        • Quasimodo

          Oh I know. And I wasn’t comparing Puig to Bonds. But kevin’s example made me think how important it is to start on the right foot. Bonds still has loyal fans, though not likely any outside of Giants base. Its easy for Dodgers fans to love Puig and except things beyond what others would. Kevin just made me think. And I sure don’t want Puig to lose any love for the game is all.

  • AaronKnuckleCurve

    id like to write an article about how racist people are toward the latin players. as i said elsewhere, Gibson won’t even throw out the first pitch at Dodger Stadium…no one calls him a “boy” or unprofessional. guess what, he’s an American White boy

    • Quasimodo

      Sorry Aaron, I can’t quite bite into that. Gibson had a very valid reason behind turning down that offer. Its clear that he represents a different team and wants that team and its fans to recognize his drive to celebrate as a D-Back. You can be certain he holds his brightest moment of life came wearing a Dodgers uniform. Its just not the message he chooses to deliver at this time. As far as ‘race’ being an issue I’m unable to see a fit as well. At least in baseball. I would bet every member of every baseball organization in MLB wish they were the one that nabbed that bargain by signing Puig. Happily it was the Dodgers. Cheers!

    • northbeachScott

      Latin is not a race dumb, dumb. In fact many do call him unprofessional and immature, because he has demonstrated those behaviors on the field, even with his hot start.

      • AaronKnuckleCurve

        You’re right, Latin is not a race. But can you stretch what i said into making sense? Or does everything have to be specific down to the molecular level? Whatever race you deem him…ok? I listen to the announcers for every team but the Dodgers because i live in New York and have to by default. They make a lot of, oh, let’s say culturally insensitive observations regarding the Latin players and especially Puig. It’s buzz words, like professionalism and lackadaisical. Funny enough, in Colorado, Dante Bichete “pimped out” every home run he EVER hit. But no one mentioned it. I know no one likes being called prejudiced. However, listening to Vin Scully spoiled me into thinking that all announcers were culturally sensitive.

      • LasordasLair

        This comment coming from the person who believes that Puig compares to Jeff Francoeur. using this logic, do you also believe Mickey Mantle compares to Eugenio Velez? Or perhaps F.P. Santangelo is comparable to Ty Cobb. According to you right?

  • Deandre Willis

    This article will be entertaining come July of next year, when Puig is batting .224 with 115Ks and a sub-.300 OBP. I’m sure he’ll be afforded many opportunities to flip his bat during frequent assignments down to AAA to try and learn plate discipline. You can bet that pitchers will respect his inability to lay off a first-pitch fastball out of the zone; in fact, I think they’re already starting to pay homage to that today.

    Dohoho, I kid, I kid – I’m sure he’s the perfect combination of Mickey Mantle and Barry Bonds, on a locked-in path for HoF glory and multiple titles; definitely doesn’t have any of the statistical traits, signs of overhyping or small sample size extrapolations like Jeff Franceour or Cory Snyder. No sirree, his career is cemented – I mean, if you can’t make these kind of bold, broad-sweeping predictions a month into someone’s career, when can you?

    • LasordasLair

      Your comment reeks of jealousy and bitterness. Plate discipline can be learned, and this kid has all the talent and tools in the world to succeed. Yes he won’t hit .400 all year obviously, but you could just learn to appreciate a unique talent and not be so bitter because him and the Dodgers are beating your team, or beating everyone. But please go on, because these comments amuse me. Opposing teams jealousy and scathing bitterness amuses me greatly.

    • Stacie Wheeler

      Yes, please bookmark this article and we can revisit this discussion come September.

      • Nick Gurz

        lol ok

    • Jason Powers

      Actually as bad as his 1st pitch rate has been, I have seen more patience there recently. I read a similar post from back in January about Puig’s chances at the bigs. A blowhard stated he was 2 to 3 years away. So much for that opinion. And that’s the problem: opinion and snap evaluations.

      If Puig was so easy to dissect, and I say he is, hard in and up, soft away – 6 inches off the plate, then let him beat himself. Except, and I mean except, he still is getting his fair amount of hits. He makes terrible decisions too; most 22-year Cuban defectors are quite similar to 22-year ADD-having college kids, it seems – no control, or decision making methodology. Yet, the raw talent is there. He gets the guidance needed, he’ll stick around.

      Can we say you’ll stick around to your opinion? (Or will you hide it? Or always hate away?)

  • Joe

    Francoeur hit .400+ over a month in 2005 when we first came to the league and look where he is now. Maybe Francouer should go to the ASG too.

    • LasordasLair

      Well that’s a bit of a reach don’t you think?

  • Rhonda Wood

    Stacie, A-ROD and how many others are about to get 50- 100 games off for PED usage, including the guy that got the MVP award over Matt Kemp 2yrs. ago, and players are saying Puig is arrogant, give me break! Ian Kennedy needs just to shut the @*## up! Is this the dude that tried to end Puig’s playing days before he even got started? Not to mention hitting Zack in the head also, maybe he needed 50 off, instead of 10 games! Viva EL PUIGO, GO BLUE, take 1st. before all star break!!!!!!

    • LasordasLair

      Other teams are very jealous and bitter towards Puig and the Dodgers Rhonda because the Dodgers are winning. When Puig first came up nobody complained until the Dodgers started winning. Now the other teams in the division are so jealous and bitter it drips from everything they say.

  • northbeachScott

    What a classless, immature douche bag is Puig. Having a great 5 1/2 week start to his career makes him Jeff Francoeur (look up The Natural story on him in SI vintage about 2005). What the Dodgers likely have is another piece of garbage non-professional like Yunel Escobar–good luck with that. When the new wears off what will remain is an embarrassing, but talented guy. I predict a nice beaning to help him get his mind right.

    • Stacie Wheeler

      Keep on hating. Puig has the raw talent, and he will mature.

    • LasordasLair

      Are you really comparing Puig to Francoeur? That is the stupidist thing I have ever heard. Your comment reeks of stupid.

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