Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Street Preaching the Puig Respect in South Florida

“That right fielder you have, he’s just a flash in the pan.”

It’s not like you always hear things like that out of the blue, but such is life when you wear the Dodger gear while on the road.  Those words came from this guy wearing a Yankees shirt who struck up a conversation with me at a Pompano Beach, Florida Mall yesterday, as I walked around shopping with my wife.    My Dodger hat apparently attracted some attention.  Now, usually I just blow off the negative comments about the Dodgers.  After all, living in Giants country it is quite normal to hear them all the time, but this was different, I was in neutral territory.  On top of that, his opinion was ridiculous.   Puig is the most toolsy player to come out of the Dodger system since Roberto Clemente.

Puig poses for pictures with fans before Monday's game in Miami.(photo by Lynn Sladky/Greenwichtime.com)

“Have you seen him play?   Have you seen his tools?” I said.  “Yeah, I watched him get dominated last night against that Cuban pitcher the Marlins have,” he replied.

“Well, I saw him strike out four times in San Francisco a month and a half ago, and despite that one game he’s still the most amazing player to come on the baseball scene in decades,” I replied.  “Just keep watching my friend, he’s a potential Hall of Famer.”  That’s all it took for two baseball fans who didn’t know each other to engage in a heated baseball conversation for 15 minutes.  All the while my wife rolled her eyes and eventually walked away and continued shopping.

We talked about just about everything baseball and a lot of stuff Dodger related.  A lot about Mattingly, who he revered.  The fact that the Dodgers are real, their amazing run and how they should be favored to win the World Series.  It was a detailed talk on baseball with a complete stranger who said he knew his baseball, but admittedly hadn’t seen much of the Dodgers.

“Just watch Puig, because your tune will change on him.  He was pressing on Monday night because it was his first appearance in Miami, he had friends and family here, plus a lot of attention from the Cuban community.  You saw the big crowd reaction to him, he’ll be okay.  He makes some mistakes and he’s learning the nuances of the game at the biggest stage, but you don’t hit .350 over 300 plate appearances without having some ability.  He’s got Clemente’s arm, Bo Jackson’s speed, and a flair for the dramatic like a Reggie Jackson.” I said.

“Those are mighty lofty predictions,” he said. “Well, we’ll see.”

We did see.  About five hours later we saw.

(photo by Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports)

Thanks, Yasiel.

Thanks, Yasiel.

1 comment:

  1. People talk baseball in Miami? I didn't know they even watched the sport.