If you follow baseball at all you probably have an opinion or eight about the Wild Horse himself, Yasiel Puig. Maybe you dislike him, maybe you don’t love him but you respect his antics from an entertainment level, maybe you love him more than anything else because of his antics — even if he’s not on your favorite team.
Puig contains multitudes, but more often than not those multitudes include either licking or flipping his bat and — this NLCS anyway — crotch chopping towards the opposing crowd or dugout whenever he does something good. In short, he’s perfect and an amazing heel and he should never stop.
During Game 7, he hit a three-run home run to make it 5-1 Dodgers in the seventh, and boy did he soak it up. He did just about everything that would annoy an already-unappreciative crowd (to put it lightly) and it was awesome. In fact, I’d go so far to say that it was one of the best moments in the postseason so far. If not the best. Why exactly? Come with me.
First, let’s watch the entire celebration once through for good measure.
The bat flip
Puig is known for his bat flips at this point. They’re usually pissing at least one group of people off, which is what makes them exceptional. This bat flip was a top tier bat flip, something that even if you trained for year at the Wild Horse In Your Face Bat Flip Academy you might not be able to achieve. This takes an attitude, and a touch.
What makes that bat flip even better is the area of the park he hit the ball to wasn’t exactly somewhere that guarantees a home run. In fact, Puig could have been easily tricked into thinking he had a dinger when he didn’t. Not that that would have made the bat flip any less fantastic to watch.
But this is a bat flip that knows the ball is gone when he couldn’t have truly known that was the case when he did it. That’s because Puig is the best. It’s art, it’s like watching a perfectly choreographed ballet. Puig bat flips never get any less fun.
In case you want to watch it as a gif (you’ll want to watch it as a gif).
Rounding the bases
Puig had SO MUCH FUN rounding the bases after this home run. If you hit a three-run, possibly game-sealing home run late in a Game 7 when your team hasn’t really been able to get their bats going all series, you would celebrate too. He earned every bit of his celebration here and it was a celebration. My goodness.
He got some tongue action in there, for starters. Not shocking.
Then he did this, which is also not surprising but shows some great versatility in his celebratory catalogue.
I'm thankful that GIFs were invented in time for Yasiel Puig. (#5) pic.twitter.com/Y2U6EwDKBn— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) October 21, 2018
Then he ... well let’s take this to another section because it’s so good.
The crotch chopping
By far the single best part of Puig’s home run — besides the stress relief it surely brought Dodgers fans everywhere — was the crotch chopping. He and Manny Machado have been doing it a lot this series because they are fully owning their heel roles in the best way possible. Earlier in the game, there was some coordinated crotch chopping towards the crowd. The postseason is so great, you guys.
During his trip around the bases after the home run, Puig spent at least a quarter of his time emphatically crotch chopping. Crotch chopping so forcefully he might have hurt himself if that weren’t such a natural thing for him to do.
Puig just set the single game record for “most crotch chops in 90 yards” out his jersey in the hall of fame pic.twitter.com/3UGjssumfL— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) October 21, 2018
If any mere human tried to crotch chop like that while also running they’d end up with torn groin muscles and a sprained ACL. Maybe some shoulder problems. This is also probably the most the phrase “crotch chop” has appeared in an SB Nation article but I’m not going to confirm that for sure.
If there’s ever a sure way to know that someone hit an absolutely backbreaking home run and then deserved to go off while rounding the bases, it’s in the reactions.
Erik Kratz looked like this, not even watching it leave the park.
Pitcher Jeremy Jeffress looked like this and yeah, that’s about right.
Puig also did this ...
This also happened later in the game after going first to third and barely making it. In case you thought he was all out of Puig Juice after that dinger and the ensuing excitement.
Puig remains the best at doing random stuff on the field and not being ashamed of it at all, and whether you love that or not you have to admit it’s pretty entertaining.