Last week, we had a guest writer share his displeasure with the way Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig pimped his home run against the New York Mets. Today, I would like to respond to our guest’s post with my feelings toward “taking a look.”
If you need a refresher as to what happened, you can find it here.
Watching Puig as he took a good, long look at that bomb and held his pose then slowly walked toward first base made me enjoy it even more. I find nothing wrong with any of it. Put simply, it’s entertaining, it should happen more often, and it’s good for baseball.
Let’s be honest, people take sports too seriously. It’s a game and it’s supposed to be fun and entertaining. So, let’s make it that way by celebrating such an achievement. Think about this, the home run is used to assimilate the pinnacle of achievement. When you make a good decision or make something great, you “hit a home run.” After a solid presentation, you “knocked it out of the park.” Aren’t you going to “take a look” at something that is considered a fantastic achievement? An artist is going to take a step back and “take a look” at their work when it’s complete. A hitter should be allowed to admire his work of art, especially if it’s a dinger that’s crushed like Puig’s.
We’ve accepted the touchdown dance as part of the scoring routine, and basketball players have individual celebrations after baskets (especially 3-pointers). Receivers, running backs, defensive backs, and quarterbacks will all bust a move when they reach pay dirt in the NFL. But if a guy hits a ball into the upper deck at Yankee Stadium, he’s expected to set his bat on the ground, put his head down, and trot around the bases like he’s been there before. There’s no reason for this anymore. There were more touchdowns per game (2.6) in the NFL than home runs per game (2.3) in the MLB in 2016. We’ve accepted the touchdown dance and the 3-point celebration, accept the bat flip and taking a look. Maybe it’s time we appreciate a home run for what it is and loosen the reins on how the game should be played.
The unwritten rules of baseball still have an iron grip on some aspects of the game, and young people are getting disenchanted and bored of the game. The NFL and NBA have flash and flair, the MLB needs more of it.
Puig is a habitual bat flipper and home run watcher. It’s exciting to watch him hit because he hits towering home runs and you can tell he loves hitting homers as much as we love watching them. If pitchers don’t like it, they should get him out.
Photo by Brigham Berthold