Yasiel Puig Wants To Make Baseball Fun Again Like ‘Idol’ Bryce Harper


Bryce Harper drew the ire of many a baseball purist when he called the sport “tired” during spring training, but he has a believer in Yasiel Puig.

Harper told ESPN The Magazine back in March that Major League Baseball needs more fun and entertainment, saying players should be able to flip their bats and showboat without drawing criticism. The Washington Nationals right fielder even rocked a “Make Baseball Fun Again” cap after a game.

And Puig, who’s a fan of the bat flip himself, told ESPN.com’s Marly Rivera in Spanish that he’s a follower of the school of Harper.

“Bryce Harper is my idol now,” the Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder said. “I’m going to join him in the ‘make baseball fun again’ campaign; I’m just waiting to get my shirts and baseball caps. He’s always been a great friend and a great athlete, and I admire him. I like how he plays the game, and I think he gets it. It’s good to see an American player saying that there needs to be a little more fun in baseball. Fans leave everything behind to come and see us play. We have to make baseball fun for the fans and not take everything so personal.”

Puig abandoned his bat flip during the 2015 season to prove he wasn’t disrespecting the game and that he didn’t have a bad attitude. But he still was able to provide a pretty airtight argument in favor of the flip.

“It’s not about Harper or Puig making noise about it,” Puig told Rivera. “In baseball, it is more common for a pitcher to punch you out three times than for you to hit the ball out of the park. So after you have struck out three times against a pitcher and you finally get a home run, bat flips are just an emotional expression — not about taunting the pitcher.

“That’s what Jose Bautista did (in Game 5 of last year’s American League Division Series); he changed the result of that game with that swing. It was a big thrill for him, and he flipped the bat. He has always been a respectful player and only flipped his bat when he was overcome by emotion. Afterward, he was criticized as if what he did was wrong. But he had fun!”

And a little bit of fun is never a bad thing, right?

Thumbnail photo via Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Apr 23, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) doubles in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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