|Yasiel Puig connects with his first major league homer, a 439 foot shot to left center field. It was a 3-run homer. (photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)|
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
There are no words...
Yasiel Puig’s debut is about as exiting a debut of any Dodger position player ever. You never can expect such a start, but if there ever was a player that I’d expect it from, it’s Puig. A .519 Spring Training batting average does that to you.
Outfield assists, taking extra bases on the paths, running out infield singles, blasting massive 439 foot homers, sending scud missile shots opposite field pavilion. AND...no major bat flip either. You name it, Yasiel has done it in just two short games. I’m sure you’re doing what I’m doing and counting how many places have to hit before it’s his turn at the plate again.
Puig is one of those “stop everything your doing and watch” hitters. We’ve seen them over the years, and they’re all hall of famers or potential hall of famers. Bonds, Mays, Aaron, Griffey, Killebrew, Mantle. I know, it’s unfair to talk about Puig in that way AFTER TWO GAMES, but I can’t help saying that I want to watch ever single pitch coming his way.
That snack you want to grab in the kitchen? Forget it, I’ll get it when Schumacher’s hitting. Gotta hit the restroom? Not when Puig’s coming up, I’ll hold it.
It’s time for a nickname: we’ve heard the “Cuban Missile,” and that’s not bad, but there’s got to be something better out there. “Superman” comes to mind, but there are more than a few athletes that took on that moniker, not that they deserved it as Puig does.
This kid is a physical specimen. A perfectly proportioned muscle man. I could see him walking out in a wrestling or boxing ring. Few baseball players are chiseled in his physique. Bo Jackson was, but we know that football was in his genes too. I pity the catcher that attempts to stop this freight train when he decides to collide with him at the plate.
In pauses during today’s game I’m switching over to the MLB network and listening to Harold Reynolds, Matt Vasgergian and Billy Ripken as they rave about “the most excitement in Los Angeles since Manny Ramirez arrived” in 2008. They’re getting all giddy at their New Jersey studios watching history in the making in Los Angeles. “Mike Brito deserves a new Panama hat, for signing Fernando and Puig,” says Reynolds, “and a new doppler radar speed gun,” adds Vasgergian.
So it was the bottom of the 8th, and Puig was 4 hitters away from hitting. Jubilation erupted in the Dodger fan portion of my household as Schumacher led off with a single. Then the disappointing shrug came as Fedex bounced into a D.P. Cruz bounced out and there was no more Yasiel at the plate for the evening. We didn't get a chance to see him raise his average over .650. What an amazing turnaround to a dreary Dodger season. In two games, suddenly optimism reigns with the Dodgers.