Dodgers News: Yasiel Puig Joining Bryce Harper’s ‘Make Baseball Fun Again’ Campaign
Dodgers News: Yasiel Puig Joining Bryce Harper’s ‘make Baseball Fun Again’ Campaign
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Few sports debates can incite such a split and passionate argument than how to play a game ‘the right way.’ While there are fundamentals that remain etched in stone no matter the generation, other aspects become blurred as what’s acceptable changes.

No two players in Major League Baseball may embody that more than Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig and Washington Nationals outfielder and reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper. The duo have drawn the ire of opponents since their respective debuts, and are no strangers to facing constant criticism.

Harper was just 19 years old when he played in his first MLB game in April 2012. Puig was 22 when he debuted in June 2013.

Harper gained some reprieve in the spotlight last season as he put together an MVP campaign, while Puig largely remained a polarizing figure despite being limited to a career-low 79 games due to multiple hamstring injuries.

In an interview with ESPN’s Marly Rivera, Puig called Harper his idol and said he’s joining the MVP’s campaign to inject personality into the sport:

Bryce Harper is my idol now. I’m going to join him in the “make baseball fun again” campaign; I’m just waiting to get my shirts and baseball caps. He’s always been a great friend and a great athlete, and I admire him. I like how he plays the game, and I think he gets it. It’s good to see an American player saying that there needs to be a little more fun in baseball. Fans leave everything behind to come and see us play. We have to make baseball fun for the fans and not take everything so personal.

Harper wore a white trucker’s cap that read, “Make Baseball Fun Again” in red, capital letters, after his team’s win against the Atlanta Braves on Opening Day. It was a game that saw Harper club a solo home run in his first at-bat.

On the season, Harper is batting .265/.432/.633 with six doubles, 10 home runs and 27 RBIs. Harper set a MLB record on Sunday by reaching base seven times without an official at-bat; he was walked six times and hit by a pitch.

Meanwhile, Puig enjoyed early success as he built on a successful offseason in which he lost weight and established a renewed focus. He’s since slowed a bit, and is hitting .243/.294/.396 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 31 games.