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Yasiel Puig’s time in Cincinnati was brief, but he made a big impression before leaving town.
Puig remains in game after trade
News of the trade broke during the eighth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Pirates that Pittsburgh won, 11-4. But the outfielder still took his place in right field for the top of the ninth inning. Why is unclear.
What isn’t unclear is Puig’s dedication to his now-former Reds teammates when tensions boiled over at the end of the game.
The Reds and Pirates engaged in an all-out brawl after Cincinnati pitcher Amir Garrett charged the Pittsburgh dugout, apparently weary of chirping from the visiting bench during a mound visit.
Garrett momentarily took on the Pirates bench singlehandedly before his teammates had time to join the melee. Of course, Puig arrived to join the action.
After around a minute the fight died down, but players continued to jaw at each other. With tension not dissipating, Puig decided to go in for seconds before being physically restrained from the action.
Puig in the middle of the action
Again, during all of this, Puig was unofficially a member of the Cleveland Indians. Thankfully for everybody involved in the deal, Puig appeared to walk away from the fracas unscathed.
The game between the divisional rivals had been tense for much of the night and included multiple ejections prior to the fight, including Reds pitcher Jared Hughes for plunking Starling Marte earlier in the inning.
"Emotions got the best of me,” Garrett told reporters after the game. “I was fed up with it."
Puig and Garrett were ejected for their roles in the fight along with Chris Archer, Kyle Crick and Trevor Williams of the Pirates.
Managers were involved, heated
Reds manager David Bell, who was ejected in the eighth inning prior to the fight
for arguing balls and strikes, also got in on the action. He returned to the field to join the fight and immediately shoved Pirates manager Clint Hurdle.
He chastised the Pirates after the game for pitcher Keone Kela throwing up and in at Derek Dietrich in the seventh inning and called for a change from MLB for something that’s “been going on all year.”
The pitch sparked the tensions that escalated two innings later.
“I can’t tell you how disappointing it is that it’s still going on and nothing’s been done about it,” Bell said. “It’s a shame that this is allowed, that they’re able to get away with it.
“They celebrate it. They support it. They clearly allow it. I don’t know if they teach it. But they allow it. It’s dangerous. There are so many things wrong with it. ... It’s too bad that anyone who would allow that or support it’s even allowed in the game at this point.”
Hurdle took a less-pointed approach to his response to the fight.
“I think the last time I ended up in a fight might have been at a bar somewhere way back in the day, back in my drinking days,” Hurdle told reporters.
It’s not the first time the two teams have been involved in a dust-up this season.
During an April 7 game that saw tensions rise when the Pirates threw at Dietrich, who was in the midst of a home-run spree, both benches cleared.
Who led the charge for the Reds that day?
You guessed it — Puig.
Puig’s last act as a Red is a memorable one. He will certainly be missed by the Cincinnati faithful.
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