MLB

Dodgers star Yasiel Puig nearly takes out umpire with bat flip

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Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has upset plenty of baseball traditionalists in his year in the major leagues. He has yet to care.

They don't like the way he flips his bat after a home run, the way he dances in the dugout, the way he catches a ball in the outfield or just his overall confident demeanor.

On Saturday, he gave those people even more ammunition, because this time the bat flip went wrong. He walked, he was headed to first while flipping his bat toward the Dodgers dugout.

But the bat got stuck in his hand and, instead, flipped it the other way and it went flying over the umpire and Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero.

You might recall that last year it was the Diamondbacks who were upset when the Dodgers clinched and went to their outfield pool to celebrate afterward. They were also involved in the fight that broke Dodgers starter Zack Greinke's clavicle.

Puig also ran Montero over at the plate last season, on a play when Puig was clearly out, then Puig stared him down as he headed to the dugout, which caused Montero to open up about his thoughts on Puig.

"If he was my teammate, I probably teach him how to behave in the big leagues," Montero said at the time. "He's creating a bad reputation around the league, and it's unfortunate because the talent he has is to be one of the greatest players in the big leagues.

".. He's got so much talent, it'd be really bad if he wasted it doing the things he's been doing. You have to respect and earn respect. If you don't respect anybody, you aren't going to earn respect."

Dodgers legendary voice Vin Scully has been amused with most of what Puig has done early in his career. But even he didn't like what happened on Saturday, though no one was hurt.

"You know, It is one thing to be a bat flipper. OK, you hit a home run, flip the bat," the team's long-time on-air voice said. "But that's ridiculous to almost hit both men on the head on a ball four."

This came just over two weeks from when Puig hit a double that he thought was a homer and Scully gave an extremely amusing response.

"If you really want to learn how to flip a bat, here's the maestro," Scully said after a Puig double on May 30. "He thought that was a home run, but that was definitely a home run flip."

When asked about Saturday's flip, Puig acknowledged that it obviously went wrong.

"It almost slipped off me," Puig said through an interpreter to MLB.com. "I was more afraid it would hit the umpire or catcher (than me)."

After tearing up the league following his call-up last season, Puig has continued that this year, hitting .319 with 11 homers and a team-high 33 walks after two of those on Saturday night.

"I think that patience is going to pay off for him in the long haul," manager Don Mattingly said told MLB.com. "I think it's an interesting phenomenon, because I've never seen anyone flip the switch that easily."

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Topics:
Los Angeles Dodgers
MLB
MLB National League

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