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#pounditFriday, December 3, 2021

Javier Baez defends playing with flair, says he will not change

Javy Baez tag

The Puerto Rican team at the World Baseball Classic drew both praise and criticism for their emotional, flashy style of play, and Javier Baez thinks everyone should remember that it’s only a game.

Baez said the game is about having fun, and said he wasn’t going to apologize for that.

“We do a great job playing and having fun out there,” Baez said, via Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago. “That’s what it’s all about. This is a game. It’s not as serious as a lot of people take it. But, you know, everybody’s got their style and their talent. I have a lot of fun.

“It’s their choice to look at how we play, how excited we get. To us, it’s really huge what we did, even though we didn’t win. All of Puerto Rico got really together. We were going through a hard time over there and everything got fixed up for at least three weeks. Hopefully, they keep it like that.”

Baez said nobody from the Cubs has asked him to tone it down.

“No, not really,” Baez said. “Joe (Maddon) came to me last year about doing the routine plays and not (only) the great plays. That’s about it.

“But in the Baseball Classic, I think everything counts. You can do a bat flip. You can pimp whatever you want, because it’s the Baseball Classic. You don’t know how many times you’re going to do that in life.”

The WBC reignited the age-old debate about baseball’s culture clash, with the Puerto Ricans — and Baez, as you can see here — fell very much on the flair side.

H/T HardballTalk

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