Did you read the title properly, ye who lurk in comment sections and hide anonymously on twitter, waiting for the chance to complain or express discontent with objects of baseball that you misconceive? Yasiel Puig has submitted. The signature bat flip will (try to) be no more.
Puig expressed to the Los Angeles Times that his concern falls on what others think of him. 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.”
That’s depressing. Did no one tell him that not every one will love him? That you can’t please everyone? Did someone let Joe Maddon into the Dodgers’ clubhouse? He’s the one who told player’s not to ‘pimp’ home runs, right? Or did Andrew Friedman carry a part of Maddon with him to the west coast?
So many questions, so few answers. There is one thing in all of this that is clear, according to the internet’s mighty keyboard soldiers and stodgy fans across the map: YOU MUST RESPECT THE GAME. There’s no room for renegades in baseball. You have to play baseball this specific way. Don’t even think about expressing emotion or stepping outside of the box — the game isn’t meant to be played that way.
If you stick out or “show up” in baseball, you get the short end of the stick. Conformity isn’t something that baseball should be about (though it unfortunately is). A man shouldn’t have to change the way he carries himself or how he plays the game because others don’t agree with how he presents his emotions.
“I don’t do that because I lack respect,” he said. “I do that because of the emotions that I have.”
Some of us know that, Puig. Some of us don’t. I say keep flipping the bat. You’re exciting and energetic, just like baseball should be. The greatest respect you can pay to the game is enjoying it as much as you do.
To those who would see a boring, batflip-less baseball rather than a game that’s supposed to be fun, take note:
“Man, this is baseball, you gotta stop thinking! Just have fun” – Benny ‘the Jet’ Rodriguez