Love Affair: Yasiel Puig Explains His Obsession With Licking His Bat

Mike Murphy

It’s been well documented throughout the 2017 MLB postseason that Yasiel Puig has had a love affair with….wait for it…his bat!

Now we have heard of players sleeping with their bats (like a teddy bear, just to clarify) if they seem to be doing well at the plate with a certain bat. The greats like Bryce Harper and Ted Williams have admitted to committing such acts during their careers.

In fact, Williams used to treat his bats extremely well. Rubbing them down after each game to get rid of the dirt they collected on them because he didn’t want the weight of the bat to be off. Yes, that is a story for another time.

Puig does not sleep with his bat. No, he goes to the next level and does the most extreme thing a player can do with his bat when stepping out of the box. HE LICKS IT! *insert multiple sexual innuendos here*

This is not a small lick by any means. Puig gets a good amount of visible tongue on the barrel of his bat between pitches and after foul balls. We have seen players smell their bat after they hit a foul ball before because the bat smells like smoke after the impact of a 90-plus mph fastball clipping the bat. Maybe Puig can actually taste the smokey smell from his bat?

This theory seems more plausible than Puig’s actual explanation for licking his lumber. He told Jame Fegan that he licks his bats because: “I make love to the bat and he pays me back with hits.”

We can’t fully discount this because baseball players are known to be some of the most superstitious creatures in the world of professional sports. And the licking has paid off this postseason for Puig, so if it ain’t broke why fix it?

As of Monday, Puig is hitting .300 with three home runs, 10 RBIs, and an OPS of .935 this postseason. That is including his clutch 2-run homer in Sunday night’s Game 5 shootout between the Astros and Dodgers. The Dodgers would eventually lose the game 13-12 in the bottom of the 10th, but Puig has a proclamation for his Los Angeles faithful.

“This is not going to be finished Tuesday,” Puig told ESPN. “There’s going to be Game 7. All the fans in Los Angeles expect a lot from all of us. From spring training, we’ve done a lot of work. A lot of preparation. This is the reason I think we’re in the World Series right now.”


The Dodgers will need the heroics of Puig and other members of the lineup if they are going to try and stop Justin Verlander from closing out the series in LA on Tuesday night. Verlander was undefeated in the postseason heading into the World Series, but he experienced some turbulence when facing the Dodgers in Game 2.

Verlander only gave up four earned runs in four postseason starts before Game 2. But he would surrender three earned runs to the Dodgers that game. Luckily, his lineup picked him up as Houston tied the series at 1-1 that game.

Puig will be showing a lot of love to his bat in Game 6 because he’ll need all the hits he can get from it (or her…maybe).

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