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Yasiel Puig says he’s trying to cut down on his patented bat flips

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Keen observers may have been noticing that Yasiel Puig, known for his habit of demonstratively flipping his bat, has seemingly cut down a bit on his flamboyant signature move, something that has become so synonymous with the Los Angeles Dodgers slugger it’s even used as comedic fodder in video games.

It turns out it is a conscious effort on the the outfielder’s part, as he hopes to better ingratiate himself to fans who may feel his patented bat flip is an arrogant, self-promoting act, a gesture that both disrespects his opponents as well as dishonors baseball.

“I want to show American baseball that I’m not disrespecting the game,” Puig reportedly said in Spanish recently, per a report from Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times.

It’s not due to any notion of disrespect, either, Puig insists.

“I don’t do that because I lack respect,” he added. “I do that because of the emotions that I have.”

The 24-year-old, while reportedly acknowledging that some fans like the way he flips his bats — oftentimes really giving it an over-the-top heave-ho — says that while he cannot promise to stop doing it altogether, he may reserve the celebratory move for special occasions only.

“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.”

Many argue that demonstrations of unfiltered emotion are severely lacking from the game of baseball and that antics such as those done by Puig inject entertainment in the game. Others, however, obviously beg to differ, especially staunch traditionalists argue for preserving the integrity of the game.

Regardless of which side of the fence a person stands on Puig’s bat-flipping issue in particular, most likely would agree that engaging, entertaining and charismatic personalities are integral to baseball’s continued relevance. And that’s exactly what Puig is, whether he’s flipping his bat or not.