That’s right. I said it. Yasiel Puig is bad for the game.
While Southern California has become infected with the plague known as Puig-Mania, I could only sit and watch in horror as my fellow baseball fans fell victim, one by one, to this horrible condition.
“But he’s so good…”
The last words of one of my closest friends right before he succumbed to the disease.
Yes. Yes he is. And that’s not what I’m horrified over. I’m insulted at his apparent lack of respect for the game, its traditions and the history that precedes his arrival in Major League Baseball. I’m irritated at his constant antics, his acting like the world owes him something. Because despite what you Dodgers fans may think, it doesn’t owe him a damn thing.
Without Puig, the LA Dodgers probably don’t make the playoffs. That’s fine with me. He hit .319 with 19 home runs and 42 RBIs in 104 games this season, leading an improbable second half charge for a team that was written off by the majority of the sports world after the season’s first two months.
Again, that’s not my problem. He’s a terrific player. He hits for power, average, has a cannon for a right arm and has insatiable speed when on the bases. He demonstrated that the other night in the NLCS. Oh, what’s that? You missed it? Let me lay it out there for you.
Puig took an outside corner pitch deep to right field, and thinking he had a home run, he flipped his bat halfway down the third base line, while standing and admiring his ‘shot.’ Only one problem. It went off the wall. Puig then had to turn on the afterburners, and easily cruised into third standing up with a triple.
That’s my issue. He’s so good. He could be the savior of the game. Instead of being an icon of integrity, humility and tremendous skill, he’s teaching the next generation of baseball fan that it’s okay to showboat, complain and throw a fit when you don’t get your way – as long as you’re good at the game.
I miss Craig Biggio.
No batting gloves, hit by more pitches than all but one player who had ever played the game and always put his team first. Always. Play second base? Sure thing. Center field? Let me get started on outfield drills. Biggio, and others like him, were class-act ambassadors for the game of baseball. They stood for something that is hard to even quantify. I guess, I’ll just say it this way. They stood for the innocence and hard work that baseball has come to embody over the past century and a half.
Only to have the game decimated by Puig, his ‘swag’ and his arrogance.
It’s a sad day, indeed.