Yasiel Puig Isn’t the First Dodger to Make News With a Different Kind of Flip

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In the second inning of yesterday’s game against the Indians, Puig blasted a home run, and on his trot back to the Dodgers’ dugout, he let loose with two middle fingers aimed at some fans behind home plate. After the game Puig said he was being heckled by those fans before he batted, and it continued after his home run. We don’t know exactly what was said, as Puig claimed to have already forgotten the words that set him off. He did have this to say:

“I reacted that way. I stooped to their level.” – Yasiel Puig, through an interpreter

Puig is now a double-fingered member of an exclusive club of Dodgers that have lost their cool and flipped off the crowd. At least Yasiel directed his animosity toward fans of the other team.

Back in 2011, during batting practice at Dodger Stadium,  Andre Ethier made headlines when he did this:

Ethier later explained he was directing the birds at a photographer who was taking too many pictures of him during batting practice. Other witnesses said Ethier was also dropping verbal F-bombs and it all seemed unprovoked.

Further back, in 1991, Dodgers pitcher Kevin Gross also used his hands to express his displeasure when Dodger fans booed him for failing to run out a routine grounder. In his defense, it was the fifth inning of a game he was leading 4-1, and he was possibly trying to conserve his energy, as in those days pitchers were actually encouraged to pitch beyond five innings.

There aren’t any photos of Gross actually flipping the bird, and newspapers were a bit more quaint back then. The L.A. Times referred to Gross’ actions as waving “angrily” at the fans. He even upped the ante by flinging his batting helmet into the air for some added punch.

Puig, Ethier and Gross are known for being open with their emotions, and they probably won’t be the last members of this club nobody really wants to belong to. On the bright side, at least the Dodgers don’t have a mascot in their club.


Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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11 thoughts on “Yasiel Puig Isn’t the First Dodger to Make News With a Different Kind of Flip

  1. Oscar. I was at a game in 1974 where Bill Buckner was playing LF. He made an error that led to a couple of runs. When he came back on the field the following inning, a bunch of guys in the LF pavilion, which cost 1.50 to sit in, started chanting You suck Buck. He turned his head slightly, looked back at them and flipped them off. No pictures were taken but I was close enough to see it clearly. Then the cat calls really started. He pretty much ignored them the rest of the game. I was really riding Roger McDowell one time when he was running in the OF pre game. He had blown a game the night before. He just looked up at me and shrugged his shoulders. Like, oh well, it happens…different players have different attitudes. I do not blame Yasiel. He gets crucified a lot of the time because of the fact most fans just dislike his post homer bat flips, and some just dislike him for no good reason other than DODGERS across his chest. If he was Ty Cobb….he would have went into the stands after them…He gets degraded by home fans too because they do not feel he is playing up to the potential seen in him when he was signed. Or just plain old racial prejudice. I have a little more tolerance than most, and I do see positive signs from the guy. I know he is working hard to get better and you and I both know this game is not easy. And for the most part, his behavior is excellent. I am not going to let this minor incident change what I feel about him as a player. Fans pay good money to be assholes…….I know, I have done it a few times.

    1. For the most part I agree with that. But, it’s still an obscene gesture. We’ve all scene and heard much worse. But the fathers of the kids who saw that will not be happy when they get the call from the school principal that their child gave the double Bud Adams to the classroom teacher in front of 35 classmates. Don’t think that couldn’t happen. I think there will be some disciplinary action, even if it’s minor.

      1. He got 1 game and a fine….not saying it is ok. But I have seen and heard a lot worse at a little league game and most of it from angry parents.

    2. Yup, different guys handle that kind of stress in their own ways. Like you, I’ve heckled opposing players in my time. But I never cursed at them or said things about their wives or mothers. I usually went for the funny angle. Fans paid for the tickets, so they get to be vocal. But there is a limit.

  2. I was at that Kevin Gross game. It was a mid week day game. I was sitting in LF. I remember the boos and Gross waiving angrily as if trying to dismiss the entire scene. That made the fans boo even more. I don’t recall a middle finger. I dont even remember the opposing team.

    Oscar who did the Dodgers play that day? A wild guess says Houston or Pittsburgh or SD.

    1. Your wild guess is correct, Artieboy. It was the Houston Astros. You win two birds! lol, just kidding.
      I wasn’t at that game, but my friend was. He sat behind the Dodgers dugout and he said to me that Gross flipped off the fans. I held that story as true ever since. Different people will see the same thing in different ways.

  3. I believe we are finally turning into Roberts team, as the steals and play actions are steadily increasing.

    Another step would be the DFA of Hatcher. I still like Romo, but as a ROOGY only with a 9 pitch count upper limit.

  4. Michael, you heard parents scream FU*K YOU at a Little League game? Was this in South Chicago?

    1 game is just a day off. They had to do something.

    ROOGY with a 9 pitch limit. That’s funny. 9 sliders and you’re outta there. He could pitch 100 games on that schedule.

    McBrittle looked good again. 5.1. Hang in there Brenda.

    1. I heard it more than once when I was coaching in Texas. Even had to pull two guys off each other during a game. People expect too much sometimes. And Parents can be real jerks. Rules say every kid has to play every game. One parent got pissed because I pulled his son out of a game that was a blow out so one of the less skilled kids could play. He really let me have it. Glad to say I kept my temper in check, because normally you talk to me like that and I would clean your clock. He pulled his kid off the team. I felt sorry for the kid. Was only going by the rules.

    1. Yeah I reported that earlier on another thread. Nice AB by Kike HR off Miller…Calhoun has a strained hammy….wow, that guy missed 2nd by a mile! Nice call NY.

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