CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Parting truly is such sweet sorrow; a feeling Reds fans know all too well Wednesday morning as reality sets in that outfielder Yasiel Puig is on the move to the northern part of the state.
The player who endeared himself to the Queen City confirmed the news on Twitter in a heartfelt goodbye.
The relationship between Puig, the Reds, and Reds fans went out with a bang — quite literally — Tuesday night during yet another bench-clearing brawl between the Reds and Pirates.
Moments after the trade that sent fan-favorite MLB star Puig to Cleveland, Great American Ball Park descended into chaos when Reds reliever Amir Garrett rushed the Pirates dugout.
The game broadcast on FOX Sports Ohio captured the moment the brawl began, with Garrett throwing punches and Puig forcing his way to the center of the scrum to defend his teammates, even though he’d already been traded.
Puig can be seen in the video going back for a few rounds before the fight ended and he was forced to leave the field for the last time as a Red.
Overnight, Puig expressed his love for the Queen City in a tweet, thanking the team and the fans, confirming the news that he was on the move.
“Thank you for the support, love, respect and all the support in all this time we have been together. I love you very much. God bless you,” Puig’s tweet said.
Below his tweet, he shared a picture of himself in his Reds uniform with a message above it reading:
"It has been an honor and a pleasure to play for this historic team. Since the day I was traded from L.A., I felt the love from this city and I’ve enjoyed every moment since then. I would like to thank the Reds Community Fund for partnering with the Wild Horse Children’s Foundation to make a lasting impact int he lives of local children during my time here — that’s what I’m most proud of. Thank you to the entire Reds organization, my teammates, and the fans, for all your support. I will cherish the friendships and memories I’ve made here!
To the city of Cleveland, I look forward to joining the Indiana and contributing to a championship season!"
Puig spoke with reporters following the game and continued to express his love for Cincinnati and explain why he’s so involved in the community.
“I don’t do things in the community to try to stay here,” Puig told reporters after the game on FOX Sports Ohio. “I do them because I know there’s a lot of kids that needed help and there’s people like me that God has blessed with a lot of different things. Coming from Cuba with nothing to now having a lot of things in the United States, that’s the reason I try to hangout with the community and help the community and the kids that don’t have the same opportunities that I have right now.”
“I have a lot of respect for Amir Garrett,” Puig said of the brawl.
He said Garrett was just trying to do what he was supposed to do — pitch, win the game, and not throw at anyone.
Puig says the Pirates and their recent history of throwing at Derek Dietrich is what sparked Garrett to stand up for his teammate — something he chalked up to being a good teammate.
“Amir got his (Dietrich) back and the game finished like that — a little hot. It’s part of the game. It’s hot for the moment and for tomorrow it’s going to be different for both teams,” he said.
He says the goal for the next game, though he is no longer on the team, is to win the game, not to throw at anyone or fight.
This is not Puig’s first heated exchange with the Pirates.
Puig, Reds Skipper David Bell, and Pirates Pitcher Chris Archer received suspensions April 9 from a brawl two days earlier.
That fight was memorialized on a shirt by Queen City company Cincy Shirts.
Puig, now infamously, rushed the field and appeared to take on the entire Pirates team in defense of his teammate.
The image from April mirrors a similar image of Puig’s now-former teammate Garrett taking on what looks like the entire Pirates bench Tuesday night.
Suspensions have not been announced from Tuesday night’s brawl, but Puig is expected to miss playing time in Cleveland once they are, along with Bell and Garrett for the Reds.
The team tweeted their thanks to Puig in a series of pictures Wednesday morning.
The team confirmed all pieces of Tuesday night’s Wednesday morning.
Reds President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams confirmed the team acquired right-handed pitcher Trevor Bauer from Cleveland as part of a three-team deal with the San Diego Padres.
Cleveland acquired Puig and pitcher Scott Moss from Cincinnati and outfielder Franmil Reyes, pitcher Logan Allen, and Victor Nova from the Padres.
The Padres received Reds outfielder Taylor Trammell.
The Reds say Bauer, 28, leads the league with 156.2 innings pitched while ranking fifth in the majors and fourth in the American League with 185 strikeouts.
He currently has a 3.79 ERA and wen 9-8 in his 24 starts for the Indians, they say.
In 2018, Bauer finished fifth in the Cy Young Award voting and was an All-Star.
The team says Bauer is expected to join the Reds in Atlanta and will wear the number 27.