Reds outfielder Yasiel Puig explains why he licks and talks to his bat

Standing in front of more than 40 boys and girls at the Reds’ urban youth academy Wednesday, Yasiel Puig took questions from the kids about what sports he played growing up, whether he tried Skyline chili and what did he want to do in Cincinnati.

During Puig’s 15-minute chat with kids he offered some advice: “Don’t lick your bats. It’s nasty.”

That doesn’t mean Puig plans to stop his unusual, perhaps bizarre, habit during the upcoming season. He feels like he can’t stop. Like many players, he’s superstitious. Only his superstition involves licking his bat between pitches.

Puig's habit dates back to the 2017 NLDS, during a long at-bat against Arizona's Taijuan Walker. Puig licked his bat after the eighth pitch and then laced an RBI double.

“I said, ‘Wow. This is cool,’” Puig explained. “I started doing this after a couple fouls, two or three fouls, or when I know that I miss something right on the plate, good (pitches) to hit the ball.”

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