Tag Archives: Yasiel Puig

Oh Those Lowly Dodgers ……..

Baseball Surprises!

Recently, I asked my brother-in-law if he thought the Dodgers would be able to put together 100 wins this season.   It seemed a given, but they’ve lost 9 of their last 10 games and it reminds me of the 2008 season when the first place San Diego Padres lost 10 in a row in the last month of the season to allow the Giants to win the division, and eventually the World Series.

I know.  I get it.  Us Giants fans are supposed to hate the Dodgers so we’re always cheering for their demise, but I’m older and have a different perspective.  Back in the 1950’s when there were only 16 MLB teams, the closest being located in the Midwest, you had to be a Dodger or Yankee fan, but you couldn’t be both.  I was torn because Mickey Mantle was my hero.  But the Dodger’s were generally considered the underdog, so they had to be my team.

When the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers moved West it changed everything.   West Coast fans were of course delighted.  Since I was an Oregonian at the time the closest MLB team was now San Francisco Giants.  And that’s how it’s been since 1958, when I got to watch my first live pro baseball game between the Giants & Dodgers at Seal Stadium.

I may be the only Giants fan who’s delighted in watching  Yasiel Puig, the snot nosed rookie from Cuba, dive in over his head to become a bonafide contender against the odds.  And it wasn’t because he didn’t have the talent, he did.  But his attitude stunk up the place and we generally cheered for his demise. His numbers aren’t all that great even now, but I still pay attention when he’s at bat.  And then there’s Kershaw.  If we could have him and the D’Backs Goldschmidt we could easily be back in the saddle again.   But “what ifs” are for Fantasy players.

So this morning’s Wall Street J0urnal published a great article by Jared Diamond bringing up some memories of the 2001 Mariners and comparing that team to the current Dodgers in their win/loss record.  The semblance is striking and should make the Dodgers a bit nervous about their chances in this year’s playoffs.

After the awful season the Giants have put us through this year, I’m going to root for the Dodgers and hope I can get some sort of satisfaction through them.  I’ll just pretend it’s 1958 and start all over again.

 

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Video: Yasiel Puig made a fantastic throw last night to nail Brandon Belt at the plate

That Pesky Puig just won’t go away. I was trying to explain this play to someone today, but nothing I could say did it justice.  It was just one of those plays dreams are made of.  Thanks to Hardball talk here’s an instant replay ….. if MLB will let us use it for awhile and not delete it.

HardballTalk

It came in, ultimately, a losing effort. And maybe if he doesn’t make this amazing throw the game ends two innings earlier and everyone gets a better night’s sleep. But you can’t deny the beauty of Yasiel Puig gunning down Brandon Belt at the plate in the 11th inning of last night’s Giants-Dodgers game.

And let’s not ignore Drew Butera — I think it was Drew Butera — positioning himself perfectly to apply the tag without running afoul of the plate-blocking rule:

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Baseball is dying, you guys

SF Giants Fan Fest 2013. Good Grief!

SF Giants Fan Fest 2013.
Good Grief!

A few weeks ago my grandson said this exact same thing. I took into account his passion was basketball and surmised he watched only a few baseball games each year, if he had to. Jake lives in Oregon and, granted, there’s not a lot to get excited about in Oregon except maybe Oregon Duck football and OSU Beavers during baseball season, and maybe once in a while the Trailblazers.

Juan Marichal.  Just your Basic Pitching Form

Juan Marichal. Just your Basic Pitching Form

But having grown up in a baseball family I just don’t get it. I don’t get that others don’t get the athleticism of baseball players, the finesse of a perfectly thrown ball, the artistry of a catch that was so impossible to make, even the opponents keep playing it over and over in the clubhouse the next day. Once-in-a-lifetime stuff. So when I read this comment on Hardball Talks,one of my favorite blogs, I had to ponder again what Jake said, and meant, about baseball not making it more than 5 or 10 years. And to Scott Conray who posted this little ditty, I have to tell you we have not seen baseball’s most famous player yet.

LA Dodger Yasiel Puig on  an ordinary day.

LA Dodger Yasiel Puig on an ordinary day.

One example, and there are many, is the rookies coming up from the farm teams. These kids are exciting to watch. And they’re winning games. And they’ll continue doing this. If you have any doubt about the fans love for the game read “Casey at the Bat”, again and you’ll get it. The poem was written over 100 years ago with the same passion and fervor that baseball fans still experience every time they watch a great play, a fantastic pitch, an out of the park home run or a rookie walking to the plate making the sign of the cross and blasting it out of the park. And I don’t care which sport you’re passionate about, it just doesn’t get any better than that. In my humble opinion, of course ……

HardballTalk

From RealClearPolitics’ national political reporter:

I guess if you only pop your head up once every decade or so to pay attention to baseball, it’s understandable to feel that way. Last I checked, though, there were no plans afoot to stop teams from signing good baseball players and said baseball players performing at a high level such that they may be exposed to lots of people, thereby generating fame.

I wonder if that sentiment would’ve been all over Twitter if it had existed when this aired:

[nbcsports_video src=//www.youtube.com/v/DOv1HlN_eQ4?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0 width=620 height=465]

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Yasiel Puig flipped his bat on a walk, almost took out the catcher and umpire

Ronni’s Comment:Well this helped lift my spirits a little after last night’s Giant vs Rockies fiasco. You can always count on the Dodger’s Yasiel Puig for entertainment, one way or another.

HardballTalk

Even Vin Scully called this “ridiculous.” And not in that good, “redonkulous” sense. More in the “Jeez, kid, shape up, will ya?” sense.

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This Blogger’s Choice ~ BBA 2013 Post Season Awards.

Voicing an Opinion!

Voicing an Opinion!

It’s time, once again, for the annual Baseball Blogger’s Awards, sponsored by the Baseball Blogger’s Alliance.  I usually manage to vote for a few in sync with my fellow bloggers and this year will be no exception, I’m sure.

For no particular reason other than these are  guys that I like and have pretty good stats to boot, and probably because they’ve had the most  game-day exposure on network television, I submit the following National League (because I’m supposed to) choices:

1.  CONNIE MACK AWARD  (Top Manager).  For the life of me I still can’t figure out why Bruce Bochy hasn’t won this award or really even been nominated  for 2010 or 2012 when he so ably brought his team to the World Championship both years.   I mean he by-passed GO and  lead those Giants  straight to the top.  Oops, sorry, got carried away because now it’s 2013, and my choice for Top Manager is Mike Matheny, St. Louis Cardinals.

2.  WILLIE MAYS AWARD  (Top Rookie).  Yasiel Puig.  And not just for  his amazing stats, especially that first week, but I have to consider his entertainment value.  He was benched a few times due to his behavior on the field, but you have to attribute most of his training, or lack thereof, to being raised on Cuba baseball.   When I watch him play I’m not sure what training he’s had because he appears to just have incredible raw talent that needs to be cultivated and refined.  I’m sure it will come.   In the meantime, he’s just a lot of fun to watch.

3.  GOOSE GOSSAGE AWARD (Top Reliever).  I had to look over everyone’s stats for comparison and it looks like there is none, or, at least, very little.  It will be interesting to see if Brian Wilson contributes as a Reliever next year or makes the cut as a starter, but, in the meantime, Craig Kimbrel for those reasons just listed.

4.  WALTER JOHNSON AWARD  (Top Pitcher).  And the winner is, has been and probably will be again in the future, Clayton Kershaw.  I love watching this guy pitch and he rarely disappoints.  My favorite pitcher is Madison Bumgarner because of his calm, cool and collected demeanor, (at least on the mound!) much the same as Kershaw.  My guess is he’ll end up third to Kershaw’s 1st place in the Cy Young vote. 

5.  STAN MUSIAL AWARD  (Top Player).  And the winner is ……once again, Clayton Kershaw.  I love this guy!  Based my vote on gut feeling and sentiment and lots of stats.

I know, not a lot of depth, statistics and comparisons here folks.  Much like my blogs.  Strictly from a fan’s viewpoint with the usual prejudices and sentiments.

Remember when Yasiel Puig was gonna cost the Dodgers a playoff game with his recklessness?

GFBB Comment: Loved this post by Craig Calcaterra. I was one of those naysayers, but he hit the nail on the head. I think Puig’s going to be one of those love em or hate em guys. And right now I’m sorta loving him. After that great base running performance last night I kept waiting for him to do something stupid, like sticking his tongue out at the opposing bench, but he refrained and I’m glad. Hang in there Dodger fans. Only a month or so to go!

HardballTalk

Last night, Yasiel Puig’s smart, heads-up base running got the Dodgers a run. His arm in right — and the manner in which he kinda deked Even Gattis as to whether he was gonna catch a ball and then throw — ended the Braves second inning when he doubled Gattis off first. It was quite a playoff debut for the Dodgers rookie.

Which makes it a perfect time to go down the memory hole. Specifically, back to August, when Yasiel Puig was supposed to be unsafe at any speed and was going to cost the Dodgers playoff games with his lack of discipline and unprofessionalism. First, Bill Plaschke:

Puig’s antics are the sort that will cost a team in a close game in October. For every playoff game that Puig wins with his bold arm or crazy legs, he could cost them two.

Then Jon Morosi:

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So Who’s Your Favorite Team Now?

Okay, so Division play is winding down and most of the Playoff teams have been decided . If your team isn’t one of them who you gonna cheer for?  I mean, what’s a girl to do? Personally,  I’m going to be hollering for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  I know, I know, I’m a Giants fan and I said I wouldn’t.  Go figure.  But hear me out because there’s some logic to it.

If your team is beaten by another team and that team makes the Playoff’s, what happens if they’re knocked out early?  It probably means that your team “really” sucked.   If, what if, on the other hand, the team that beat the socks out of you for the Division, goes on to win the Pennant?  It means that you were probably beaten by a really good team, a team that’s better than 14 other teams.  So now your team isn’t looking so bad.

And what if, by some miracle of a chance, that team goes on to win the World Series.  Then you can stand up really proud and say you were beaten by the best team in baseball this year.  And really, there’s some honor in that don’t you think?

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig

But, if the Dodgers get whacked out of post season early  we can always blame it on that little pipsqueak, Yasiel Puig, and not on the fact they’re a better team than we are.  I know Puig’s good, well, really good,  but he IS just a rookie and a bit of a smart aleck at that.  And if they don’t do well, maybe we could also attribute it to Brian Wilson’s whining (think Larry Baer). Or to another 19-3 thrashing. I mean think of the options available if the Dodgers don’t produce in post-season.  Just saying …..any way you look at it the Giants still come out smelling like a rose!

And you’ve got to hand it to the kids.  They managed to stay out of the cellar (depending on the final three games to be determined) and at the end of a grueling, injury-filled season they’re wearing their last year’s World Series rings with smiles on their faces realizing the irony of it all.  Baseball.  You gotta love it.