(This post is for the Puig haters and non-Dodger fans)
PuigMania has been in full effect over this last week. The Cuban outfielder has been at the forefront of the Baseball news seemingly forever now. It almost feels like he’s been here all along the entire year or something. Maybe it just feels like that because he is so good, and the Dodgers are winning everything in sight.
Puig lost the final vote, the last chance for a player to be voted into the all-star game by fans to Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman. Who by all measure is having a terrific season. But he’s not Puig. The braves fans may have come in with strong numbers during this online campaign, but what the majority of fans really want, is more Puig.
Personally I don’t care much about the all-star game. I would rather have Puig resting up for the second half than risk injury in what is basically a meaningless exhibition game. Besides Puig will have lots of chances to play in the all-star game. I would rather see Puig win a World Series before he plays in an all-star game.
Puig has been called out by a bunch of different players around the league. Philadelphia Phillies reliever and tool Jonathan Papelbon publicly critized Puig. Miguel Montero and a few others have publicly griped about Puig’s aggressive and flashy style of play. While Puig has been busy tearing up the league, he has also been making enemies. People are usually jealous of other people that are naturally better at something they have been doing for years.
Last night Dodgers manager Don Mattingly removed Yasiel Puig from the game in the bottom of the seventh inning, during the Dodger’s 6-1 win over Colorado. I didn’t know at the time, but it seems Puig felt a little tightness in his hip. Remnant from his crash into the Colorado wall. The removal was a precautionary measure. Puig looked just fine in the clubhouse after the game, talking with the media. Yes by the way, he does talk to the media. Of course Puig is fine by the way. Mattingly said it was the injury was not serious. I am sure Puig will play tonight and get even more hits. Maybe he’ll hit a home run or two? He will strike out a couple of times too I’m sure.
Anyways, if you are a Puig hater that is waiting for that Puig slump all of the jealous malcontents have been foretelling us would happen, well think again. You may be waiting for an awfully long time.
The funny truth is that Puig is actually slumping right now. It’s true, he is. Hard to tell isn’t it? Puig has been whiffing a lot of late. Yes he has been having trouble making contact. He’s just 22 years old, give the kid a break. We never said there wasn’t going to be some polishing. He’s too aggressive sometimes, and I think he stands way too far off the plate to reach outside stuff. But he always does somehow. This kid is incredible.
However while you think Puig is struggling, he is still on a roll. (I am addressing the Puig haters and non-Dodger fans of course)
Puig is still hiting .397! (58 for 146) he has 58 hits, and 18 multi-hit games in 36 played. Puig has now hit safely in five straight games, and 13 of his last 14 games. He may have whiffed 36 times and walked seven times, but Puig’s OBP is .429. Still think he’s slumping? Keep dreaming haters. Even tonight, while playing with a sore hip, after a 14 inning game the night before where he went 1 for 7, he still had two hits. Puig went 2 for 4 today. He had two singles, grounded into a double play, and then struck out in the sixth inning.
The energy that Puig has brought to the Dodgers has lifted them and contributed heavily to their recent lengthy hot streak. (I haven’t forgotten about you too Hanley!) The Dodgers have won 16 of their last 19 games, and probably wouldn’t have done it without the spark Puig has provided the Boys in Blue. Puig is lively in the clubhouse too, bringing the same kind of energy on the field as off. Puig sings and talks, and turns up the music and dances around the clubhouse. He chats with a lot of people, and looks like a fun charismatic, outgoing young guy. Heck I wanted to dance with him too! His personality and persona are larger than life. This was just what the Doctor ordered for the Dodgers.
“Everyone’s wasting their time talking about me. Whoever doesn’t like it, I don’t care, I’m not going to change.”
So keep on hating haters. Puig told ESPN recently that he doesn’t care what others think of him. He plays the way he plays, and he is not going to change. I love that. Good for you puig. Don’t change. Don’t change for anyone. They’re just jealous and bitter, because Puig and the Dodgers beat them. Do you think Puig actually cares that Miguel Montero thinks less of him?
Look I get it. Puig’s trouble making contact is going to hurt him eventually. Yes he’s not going to bat .400 all season long, so yeah sure he’ll slump at some point. Everyone does. But I have a feeling that this may be what his slumps look like. Remember during Matt Kemp’s best season in 2011, when he was blistering the National League, would have little spurts or lulls of outs. Not like a slump mind you, but more like a malaise for about nine or ten games. He would strike out for a few games, and then go right back to raking the ball every day. That’s what I think will happen to Puig. He may have little pauses, but overall you won’t be looking at many prolonged slumps from this talented kid.
Sorry haters, but if you are looking to point out and laugh about how much Puig is slumping, better luck next time. Puig is not slumping. Puig is not even close to a slump right now. Guys in a slump don’t bat .397.
Tough luck haters. Puig is going to slump. But not today or anytime soon. Better get used to it.