Yasiel Puig cutting back on bat flips, doesn't want to disrespect baseball

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Yasiel Puig's trademark bat flip might become a rarity instead of the norm.

The Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder told the Los Angeles Times that he is toning down his bat flips to show he's not disrespecting the sport of baseball.

"I want to show American baseball that I'm not disrespecting the game," he told the newspaper.

Puig already has begun to tone down his home run theatrics. When he homered Monday night in the Dodgers' 6-5, 10-inning victory over the Seattle Mariners, he tossed his bat aside rather than flipping it into the air.

Puig said his emotions have fueled his bat flips in the past and while he is cutting back on them, he acknowledged they might return if he homers in a big situation.

"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 told the newspaper. "You never know. I can't say I won't do it."

Puig, who is hitting .222 with two homers and three RBIs this season, was not in Tuesday night's lineup because of a hamstring injury. He was limping at the end of Monday's victory.

Puig's left hamstring tightened up near the end of Monday's game, but it wasn't severe enough to keep him from sprinting out of the dugout to dump a bucket of sports drink on Alex Guerrero's head after the fellow Cuban came up with the game-winning hit in the 10th inning.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Puig likely will miss just a game or two.

"I think any time you see anybody limping in general you worry," Mattingly said. "But the fact he came in here today bouncing and ready to play was really a pretty good sign."

ESPNLosAngeles.com's Mark Saxon contributed to this report.

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