The maestro of the bat flip, as legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully once called him, had a malfunction at the junction on Saturday night. Yasiel Puig, who really has mastered the art of the bat flip, both subtle and boisterous, nearly knocked himself, Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero, and home plate umpire Bill Welke, clean out with a bat flip gone absurdly yet hilariously wrong.
The odd scene happened in the first inning after Puig drew a walk from D-Backs starter Josh Collmenter. Before jogging off to first base, Puig turned to flip his bat toward the Dodgers dugout, but apparently held on just a little too long, sending it straight in the air.
Thankfully, it missed all three parties on its descent, but unlike past bat flips, Scully was not amused this time.
"You know, it's one thing to be a bat flipper — OK, you hit a home run, flip the bat," Scully said on the broadcast. "But that's ridiculous to almost hit both men on the head."
That's the closest thing you'll hear to a Vin Scully scolding on the air, but even that was still pleasant.
The biggest takeaway here might be that bat flipping is just like any other fundamental element in baseball. It requires focus, sound mechanics and near flawless execution each and every time. It's anything but slump proof, so it will be interesting to see where Puig's bat flipping confidence is on Sunday.
It may also be worth noting that later in the game Puig's left wrist/hand was wrapped after an awkward slide at third later in the game. Perhaps the wrist was already bothering him in the first inning, or maybe it was even aggravated by that awkwardness.
Wouldn't that be something?
Of course, that's only speculation based on an observation. Also observed was Puig finishing the Dodgers 6-4 win with a single in four at-bats, so odds are he'll be good to go again on Sunday.
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