Manny Machado has become this year’s postseason villain, due to some questionable dirty play and how he seemed oblivious when asked about an incident with Brewers’ first baseman Jesus Aguilar during the NLCS.
When the Dodgers clinched a postseason berth, outfielder Yasiel Puig called his shot by saying they were going to the World Series. Then he backed it up when it mattered most, going 3-for-4 with a game-breaking three-run home run in the Game 7 of the NLCS.
Puig invites criticism with his occasional careless attitude/lack of fundamentals, bat flips and general displays of brashness on the field at times. But there’s no denying his talent level, and it’s amazing to think he’ still just 27 years old.
Whether it comes from a talented “villain” like Machado or a line-toeing fun-lover like Puig, the Dodgers have some swagger and cockiness going into the World Series. That takes pressure off their teammates, which is something manager Dave Roberts can surely appreciate looking back on his stint with the 2004 “Cowboy Up” Red Sox.