Tagged: Yasiel Puig

Trade Deadline, Puig’d

My takeaways from this trade deadline:

1) Dodgers. Boring moves. I’d like to think they’re not done; I’d love to see them acquire Archer, whom I really believe has Ace ‘stuff’ without much mileage on his arm. Not to mention his contract; $6mm, then $9mm/year through 2021. Might be the most club-friendly deal in baseball. Reddick is solid, but I really do think Puig will be a star player –  I really do. Maybe it’s just not meant to be in L.A. Rich Hill is a total yawn and totally in the Alex Wood/Brett Anderson/hey-let’s-get-a-solid-but-not-spectacular-fourth-starter-type mold of this front office. Not inspirational. Then again, I’m not in favor of a ‘balls out’ approach if (maybe they know) Kershaw isn’t coming back. Unless you get Archer and Sale, it’s not happening without Kersh.

2) Yankees. Great work. Absolutely awesome hall. The kid Dillon Tate is a legit Ace, I’m hearing good things about their other players – I believe I read five guys in the top 100 in BA’s latest. That’s a haul. Good work Cashman.
3) Giants. I like Matt Moore. Shocked they’d get rid of Duffy, though. Wasn’t he a local kid/fan favorite? Biz is biz, though, and that front office makes quality moves. Nunez was such a great pickup. Dude plays like seven positions and can hit a little bit. Not a ton, but that park is going to play to his game, triples, doubles, etc.
4) Jay Bruce, Meh. He’s good, but he’s not 2015 Cespedes. And now they have like six OF’s, none of whom can play CF? Hmm. . .
5) Rangers. Wow. Lucroy is an a-hole for spurning Cleveland but it worked out. Man that was sneaky good.
6) Adios to Hector Santiago. Not many better dudes in baseball, and he’s a HUGE card collector so he always has my vote. I guess i won’t get to witness his bewildering inconsistency from aclose anymore. . .
7) Don’t sleep on Francisco Liriano to the Jays. I know this one went under the radar, but ‘if’ Liriano recovers what he has last year, maybe by pitching behind his former Pirate buddy J.A. Happ, the Jays might have pulled a coup.
8) Love Cashner to the Marlins.
9) Kemp for Olivera, what a deal. Blech for everybody.
10) Aroldis to the Cubs. Man.
Lastly, Yasiel Puig was sent down to Oklahoma City, perhaps ending an era for the Dodgers. Dylan Hernandez, on Puig, in today’s L.A. Times, explains the factors that led to his sendoff.

This really kind of ‘breaks my heart’ from a sports perspective. I’ve never been down on Puig’s long-term outlook because the talent – and enthusiasm – are so palpable that he really is, for me, the best singular player to watch in baseball “when things are going well.” We all know what led to this, and some say this was inevitable, but I really, REALLY hope he catches on somewhere and turns into the dominating force I think he can be.
Advertisements

Ethier, Donnie & The 2016 Dodgers

So regarding whether Andre Ethier was mad at the umpire, missed a bunt sign, or was just f-bombing an invisible entity, the Dodgers petered out of the playoffs following the in-game, public outburst. Apparently he’s been simmering since the beginning of his Dodger tenure Spring Training when he asked not to play Centerfield despite previous success in Center for the Dodgers. He’s very passive aggressive, and has notoriously bottled his feelings until a blowup at the manager or the front office, or simply in the press. He’s not quite a malcontent, but he’s on the border. 

Bottom line is, that was the most demonstrative I’ve seen him in the realm of the field, and to have that kind of blowout in an elimination game speaks to both Ethier’s (somewhat understandable) general unhappiness with his role as a Dodger, despite a great career (top 15 in HR, hames, hits career as a Dodger) in L.A., as well as the general frustration within the clubhouse regarding Mattingly’s lack of consistency and clear strategy.
I believe that Friedman is going to clean house as much as possible, building the team around Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager and Yasiel Puig. I think the entire coaching staff is gone, Wallach finds a big league job somewhere, but 2016 begins with an out-of-house manager that changes the culture (Jason Giambi is a dream, but doubtful). It’s not like it was a horrible season. . .it was a stopgap season and they finished in line with (my) expectations, unfortunately.
It’s worth noting that I personally believed Puig needed to be jettisoned to end up more like Adrian Beltre than Raul Mondesi, but seeing a Puig-less lineup, even with Puig deservedly not starting, was painful. We’ve seen Puig’s talent and he needs to be supported & coddled to perform the way he can. It’s obviously not certain, but in my opinion, Puig is one of the top talents in baseball, so with him along with Kershaw and Seager, you have one of the best cores possible to compete with the Cubs & Mets for the next decade.
I also discussed something last night with my brother from another: those wacky ’25 cabs for 25 guys’ Red Sox winners were somewhat despicable, but the Dodgers seem more like ’25 iPhones for 25 guys.’ The difference is there was an emotion – passion? hatred? loathing? – amongst the Sox that made them hatable, but these Dodgers inspire. . . ambivalence.
Adrian Gonzalez is a great hitter, but he’s very dull. Joc Pedersen should be the awe-inspiring, young talent, but he’s shown only regression since June – and definitely doesn’t play with emotion. Jimmy Rollins & Chase Utley are awesome – but they’re old. So Seager, a promising young rookie, is easily to be excited about but these playoffs (I’m calling them his Kobe ’97 performance) dampen the expectations. Puig is a potential cornerstone, but would it shock anybody if he ended up like Mondesi? Or worse? Kenley Jansen is a great closer, but who gets excited about closers? Alex Guerrero? Jose Peraza? Who cares? Justin Turner turned into a gem, and could be the type of player that the Giants would LOVE, and the Dodgers just might look to improve upon, furthering the disparate chemistry issues. Really tough team to root for, and  I’m a die-hard.
I will say this, though: watching Kershaw is amazing. As my dad said via text during his final (301 K) start of the regular season:
“remember that you’re watching a Hall of Fame pitcher every time you see Kershaw pitch”
Either way, Go Dodgers in 2016. Should be a completely new team.

2015 MLB Predictions

Let me start by saying I don’t think any team wins 95 games in all of MLB. Very competitive and not so much parity as a lack of dominance. The game doesn’t lend itself to one team – or a handful of teams – asserting themselves, so you’re going to have the upper tier, and everybody else is going to battle. A good brand of baseball, if you will.

AL East – good or bad, and this year trends more to the latter, this is a fun/competitive division. I am loathe to pick the Orioles because, cmon, but they might STILL be the best team here despite losing Markakis and Cruz. Sheesh. I love the Yankees but there are sooooooo many question marks. The Red Sox pitching is underwhelming though their offense is thunderous. The Blue Jays probably have the best team, the loss of Stroman hurts, but they’re incapable of playing any extended periods of good ball under Anthopolous (sp). 87 winsOrioles (uuggghh).
 
AL Central – Tigers are the easy pick, but probably wrong with both Sanchez and Verlander iffy. Also later Max. The Indians are all chic and fun and honestly a good team and I like Francona a ton, but no. The Twins are going to be the team next year, but not yet. The Royals, maligned as they are, are my pick – and I think they win it going away. 91 wins. I think that top to bottom, it’s a team. Kind of reminds me of the 80’s Dodgers. People thought Lasorda was a dunski but a helluva players’ manager and ended up being HoF. That’s Yost?
AL West – going to be some fun baseball played in this time zone, so post-Felix bedtime I may have to binge. The Astros and Rangers are out of the conversation, the A’s should be but they’re still the A’s so I’ll give them a soft letdown by saying ‘not this time,’ thus leaving the Angels (sigh) and the Mariners (yay but no). I love the M’s, they just feel too bandwagoned too soon. I’d be happy to be wrong on that one, but for now Angels win the division with an AL best 94 wins.
WC – Indians, Mariners. I don’t love the White Sox. I love Sale, Quintana is a creep that can roll, and Abreu is the real deal. They’ll be in the mix, but fall just short.
NL East – It’s so hard to not pick the Nationals here. So I won’t. They will win this division with an MLB-leading 95 wins, and somehow feel like a slight disappointment despite Bryce Harper’s 37 homeruns. The Mets would be a fun pick, the Marlins will be competitive, but the Braves and Phillies are the worst two teams in baseball.
NL Central – I’ve always hated the style of baseball that comes out of this division, and that means especially the Cardinals. And the Reds. And the Pirates. But seriously, emphatically, the Cardinals. And those jerks are going to win the division again with a tooth-and-nail 89 wins, as the Pirates and upstart Brewers combine to form a .500 ball trio in games played against each other. Some would say it’s a intra-division bloodbath, but most of those people won’t live in Chicago because the improved Cubs will win 81 games, but never really be a serious division contender.
NL West – Does this Kimbrel trade put the Padres over the top? I’m not as high on the Dodgers as I ‘should’ be, but that lineup is stout. We know the Dbacks and Rockies are out of it, but 1-8, the Dodgers have the best bats in the West. But what about the Padres pitching? Ross, Cashner, Kennedy, Shields, Despaigne, wowzers. Good stuff. But still, the Dodgers win it with a robust92 win season. Also, the Giants have a nice staff, will make an annoying run, will win 88 games, and steal the last WC slot.
WC – PadresGiants. I just don’t like the Pirates rotation, I don’t think the Brewers have quite enough, and the Marlins are a win and a Jose Fernandez full season away.
Indians win Wild Card, face the Angels.
Angels vs Indians – Angels
Royals vs. Orioles – Royals
Angels over Royals
Giants win the Wild Card, face the Nats.
Nats vs. Giants – Nationals
Dodgers vs, sigh, Cardinals – Dodgers
Winner of this series likely wins the WS. VERY difficult decision, personally and objectively. Had to sleep on this one. Finally, I was thinking about this during my morning “commute” to Sherman Oaks:. How can you beat the Nationals? Fister is the number four Gonzalez is their number five? My man Bryce who I’ve been hyping shamelessly this entire off-season? I really don’t see how a team beats them, unfortunately. Luckily baseball comes down to magic, mojo, and moments of greatness. You can’t rely on these things, but they occur. Keeping in mind I do not love this Dodgers team – I think this is more a reflection of the league itself, not in subpar fashion but the lack of a dominant team. The Rizzo Curse is real, and as much as I don’t want to be a Homer, Simpson, I have to pick the Dodgers.

Honestly? At this point it’s a little nuts.

After three more hits today (so far) Yasiel Puig is batting .489. He has 8 multi-hit games in his 13 MLB contests.
Only twice has he went hitless (one of those ballgames was when he was ejected). He is 23-for-47 & his OPS is 1.301.

Have a great Father’s Day.

Yasiel Puig – #66, RF

624577.jpg Bats: Right Throws: Right
Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 245 lbs Age: 223-for-3: Single (2)

Today’s Stats

AB H R RBI BB SO AVG
3 3 1 0 0 0 .489

Season Stats

AB H HR RBI BB SO AVG
47 23 4 10 1 8 .489
Loves to Face: Curveball
Hates to Face: Cutter

Puig, Mattingly, Brawl. Dodgers Win.

First of all, leave it to Gibby to preside over a Yasiel Puig ambush. And leave it to that a Trojan, Ian Kennedy, to take it to another level with said ambush and hit the Cuban in the face.

Kudos goes to none other than Chavez Ravine’s resident toughguy Zack Greinke having balls on top of balls – the man has now sparked the TWO biggest brawls of the year?! Maybe I had him wrong or maybe he’s really mixing good medications. Either way, thank you Jared for live-tweeting me the brawl while I was at the Bjork concert. Sorry, Björk. Guh. I mean, “I love you, wife.”

Either way, awesome awesome awesome of MLB to not pussy out and edit anything, so here is the brawl in its entirety.

A couple observations:
*Puig throws a punch! at 0:34 right before the camera flashes away. He is irate when the camera pans back out, and rightfully so. The man took a fastball to the face.

*Don Mattingly, the MANAGER of the Dodgers, throws Alan Trammell to the ground at 0:44 (top left).

*1:02. Vin Scully, “no sense calling out names. They’re all there.”

*Mark McGwire at 1:22 – 1:32 and 1:38 is so rageful, so angry, so intense (and literally STILL paul bunyon-esque) that his stature as a dodger just jumped about seven levels. Literally awesome work, McG. You might not be able to coach hitting but you sure have forearms like the Ultimate Warrior.

*Mattingly, back at it at 1:33, right in Kirk Gibson’s face.

*Juan Uribe, the most underrated Dodger (i know i know his 2012 was abysmal but the guy loves the game and loves being a Dodger. Plus he just hacks so recklessly and violently that even though he K’s like a quarter of the time he’s fun to watch. Plus when he gets hot, he goes yard like five times in a week) wild-eyed, charging and looking for any target to smash. Great brawlplayer. Check 0:23 – 0:33 for highlights.

*Don Baylor and Josh Beckett (?!!?) in the middle at 2:00. Yeah, Josh Beckett!!!

*Uribe, again out of nowhere in the middle 2:20, right before Puig, still angry, starts jawing again.

*Puig’s solo walk at 2:58, very poignant and great camera work. Ejected, battered & (literally) bruised – but not defeated – retires to his corner.

*Great shot of some 80’s/90’s stars now in their 50’s at 3:30. Charles Nagy with Gibby, as Baylor and Trammel join the discussion.

*Dodger crowd at 3:45, showing some great energy and appreciation for what was witnessed.

*4:51 (replay) Vin notices Miguel Montero eyeballs Greinke up & down when he steps into the box “not that that means anything” Uh huh.

*5:30 (replay) Really good and apt shot of Belisario (Blow-a-Savio) flailing and ending up on one knee against, well, nobody. Pretty indicative of his year thus far.

*6:05 (replay) in what looks like a shot out of American Me, Turner Ward up against the camera (and over the railing) as he gets pounded.

*6:38 (replay) real closeup shot of McGwire, in which Vin says “boy McGwire is really dangerous, he’s so angry.”

Angry enough to even coach some hitters, starting with Federowicz, who walloped the game-winning double. But in baseball, tomorrow is another day and momentum is only as strong as your starting pitcher. Hyun-Jin Ryu has been throwing well, but he’s going against an undefeated Patrick Corbin. We’ll see if this was indeed the brawl that started it all for the Boys in Blue.

Puig Time.

“I have learned over the years that there is a precious moment where there is absolutely nothing better than silence. Nothing better than to be absolutely speechless to sum up a situation. And that was the moment. Holy mackerel.”

– Vin Scully, tonight after Yasiel Puig’s grand slam.

Puig