Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Puig/Hanley and Their Feud with Sergio Romo

Amongst all the cool stuff that we’re loving about Yasiel Puig, add one more trait to his bag of tricks and exciting personality.  He dislikes the Giants and specifically, Sergio Romo.

(all photos captured from Comcast Sports Bay Area)

Romo’s antics following his inning of work in Saturday’s action rankled a few Dodgers, specifically Hanley Ramirez who popped out in his final at bat to end the game.  As the teams went their separate ways, Romo couldn’t walk just off the field and simply just shake hands with his teammates.  He had to make an “I see you” gesture to Ramirez and mouth off as he returned to the dugout following the Giants 4-2 win.  Some words were exchanged and fires lit in the bellies of Dodger hitters that knew they’d see Romo again.

Ramirez tripled in the second inning today.  Immediately he used the "I see you" gesture again.  For some reason, Romo seems to take offense to it.  
Sergio Romo may be a fine closer, but he isn’t the smartest guy in the world.  We know that closers have quirky personalities and intimidation and confidence is a big part of their makeup, but Romo, intimidating?  The guy is 155 lbs. soaking wet.  

Now some closers are intimidating.  Think back to Goose Gossage.  That guy was a large man and he'd be breathing fire when he was out there.  Then he'd wind up with all the elbows and knees coming at you with that wild contortion before he released an upper 90s fastball.  His physical presence was enough to make you feel a bit intimidated.  But Romo is a closer in the physical ilk of Kent Tekulve.  There’s nothing intimidating about the guy.  He grows a beard to try to look the part but it only makes him look like a barbudo from the Cuban revolution, without the machine gun in his hands.  The Dodgers have hit this guy before and the last thing a guy like Romo should want to do is fire up the likes of hot hitting Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig.

So, some Dodgers took umbrage to the Giant closer’s antics from Saturday, and Puig was particularly exuberant as he successfully led off the ninth off of Romo with a solid single to left.  Now we’ve all seen the Puig bat flip on homers since spring training, some even brought it up last year when he did it at Rancho Cucamonga.  But on a single, we hadn’t seen that yet, until today.

Puig flips bat after singling off Romo to lead off the ninth inning rally in today's 4-1 Dodger victory 

When A.J. Ellis broke the game open with a 3-run double in the ninth off of Romo, Puig simply couldn't help letting Romo know his he felt about him.

It looks like Yasiel gets the rivalry and I have a sneaking feeling that he might see some chin music from San Francisco hurlers in the future.   

Ah, the Dodger-Giant rivalry.  It just goes on and on.


  1. as a Dodger fan born in '87 I haven't seen too much to get excited about other than 2004, the few years Torre got them to the LCS, and some Cy Young winners. Puig coming along is a real surprise because in my lifetime the Dodgers have never had that megastar player who makes an impact on the whole franchise. That being said, I don't have a problem with him being perceived as cocky or really with him popping off at someone who is doing the same to him. He hasn't been the one to instigate any of these comments or gestures, so the fact he's rolling with it and standing up is a good thing to see for the team. All the talk about who the leader was going to be coming into the season - Kemp, Ethier, AGon - who knew all along they had one in a rookie? He can't even speak English but he's already a leader with just his play and hustle which is another great sign...for all the praise for Bryce Harper last year, I'm surprised Puig is catching some jealousy heat from critics and opponents alike. Harper played in something like 8 more games than Puig by the All-Star break last year, not to mention batting .270 with a few homers, and everyone was raving about how this guy has to get in the All-Star game and he's the next coming of Mickey Mantle. All of a sudden everyone's about paying their dues and cutting in line kinda talk because Puig is ripping up every game basically. Harper didn't come on so strong rather he eased in, therefore he didn't appear as threatening. It's easier to praise someone who has great potential, but when somebody is just doing everything at first at an extraordinary level and pace, that's when the hate comes out. Not to mention it's the Dodgers, everyone loves to put LA down whenever they get the chance, so that makes me love it even more....Sure I don't expect Puig to stay this hot, I know my baseball... But there's no denying he's here to stay... nothing better than losing 5 of 6 to SF to open the season, then take 5 of 6 back once we got healthy and a fire lit under us with Yasiel. They could have what it takes to make playoffs this year, they may not... All I know is the future for the Dodgers looks good, especially with the new ownership.

  2. Silly little boys. It would be a lot better if they could overcome these petty little things and just play the game.

    I'm not big into the unwritten rules or supposed code of etiquette in MLB baseball. Not much good ever comes of those things i injuries, hard feelings, distraction, immature behaviour for highly paid professionals. I understand it happens but I really dislike it. I do believe it is a bit early in his career for Yasiel to be getting involved in that kind of behaviour, a distraction. If Romo insulted Hanley, Hanley will look after it. He doesn't need Yasiel fueling a flame.

    I expect some will call Yasiel's response being a good team mate, or a sign of confidence. I would suggest he might have a bigger ego than he should have and it will not assist him when he hits the inevitable rough spots. There is always a place for humility in the game and it will always top the Romo/Puig antics. Who is the Dodger leader - Matt, Adrian, Hanley, Yasiel? I really like the tandem of Clayton Kershaw and AJ Ellis as leaders.

  3. @LADODGERS: Good points about the comparisons of Harper and Puig. I didn't realize that Harper's debut before the ASG last season was in so few games too. THere's no doubt that Puig is a star that will tear up the league for years, (if he can stay healthy). Regarding his cockiness that you mention: such is the modern athlete. Puig's swagger is part of what makes him great. It was Mike Brito that told him to be on his best behavior and not argue with umpires. He has done that. Yesterday was a fine example as he disagreed with the 3B umps call in his attempted steal of third. But he just got up and walked off with barely whimper of protest. Yasiel got his fill of the SF crowd over the weekend. They really let him have it after striking out 4 times on Sat., so I'm sure it was extra satisfying to him to bang out a hit and score the winning run off of Romo the next day. Thanks for the comment!

    @Harold: I know and respect your position on such things Harold. You're very consistent with them. I'd agree with you about Kershaw as a team leader BUT there's no question that this season turned around after the arrivals of Hanley and Puig. The W/L records speaks for them. We don't know what Romo said after and during that save on Saturday, but it most have struck a nerve with some and if they used that to fire them up to victory the next day, then that's great. Such is life for the modern athlete.

  4. Mark Twain said it best, and Romo should have followed his advice:

    “It's better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt”

  5. I'm not saying that the season hasn't turned around by Hanley and Yasiel. I love what they have done. It has been turned around by them.

    First I was saying "silly games" but secondly when I was speaking of leadership I was speaking of more than on field performance. AJ to me is a leader. He takes command, plays hard, speaks well, is respected by his team mates. I expect when he speaks they listen. I liken him to Steve Yeager who also wasn't the greatest hitter in the lineup but was definitely a leader often getting a big hit, handling pitchers well and throwing out runners. That's what AJ does. I really like his leadership qualities.

  6. Now this bothers me - from Dylan Hernandez's article in the Times.

    "But it was Puig's up-and-down weekend that was the story of this series."

    "There were several downs."

    "His refusal to grant interviews the first two days of the series drew the ire of national reporters who traveled to San Francisco to chronicle his exploits. It was becoming increasingly clear the Dodgers had little or no control over their temperamental outfielder. When Puig spoke after the series finale, he did so only at the insistence of locker-mate Juan Uribe, with whom he had a heated exchange."

    That would seem to indicate Yasiel is getting a little big feeling. As the article mentioned - AJ got the big hit and all the attention was on Puig. AJ would be fine with that.

    1. Interesting that we didn't hear of Puig's refusal to talk to the press on the two previous days. You'd think that if reporters were upset about it, we would have heard something much earlier. I wonder what the impetus was to want him to ignore the press corps. Yasiel has a lot to learn and I think he'll get it.

      As far as AJ Ellis and his leadership. Yeah, I get your points, Harold, He's a mature adult that understands the game, and 10+ years in the minors prepared him for it. With Puig, we're talking about a kid with all the talent in the world that is thrust upon the national scene due to his talent and performance. That still can lead...he just needs some guidance along the way.

      To my surprise, Vida Blue on the Giant's post game show was quite diplomatic when talking about Puig's antics, specifically the bat flip. He summed up Puig's behavior by saying "he's young and he'll learn, but it's the Dodgers-Giants, It's a rivalry!"