There is a lot that comes with having Yasiel Puig in your team. Yasiel Puig is not like most players. As LA Magazine published, becoming Yasiel Puig, Baseball Supernova was not an easy process. It took money and guts and tears and all sorts of help, if you want to call self-interested crooks “help.”
Being Yasiel Puig means attracting attention. It means, in its own way, loving attention. The Los Angeles Dodgers are much better off with Yasiel Puig than without him, I’m sure the 24 other men in the clubhouse would agree.
Already this season we’ve seen the bad side of Yasiel Puig. The off-field stuff and the lateness and the circus that follows the previous transgressions everywhere they go, blowing them up and inflating them beyond the true impact that have on his teammates.
For the rest of his career, people will question Yasiel Puig’s motives, his maturity, and his commitment to winning. This will go on for a long time because Yasiel Puig is going to have a long, long career.
It doesn’t take much to re-realize why the Dodgers “put up” with Puig. It can happen in a second and the “cheat code enabled” skill is put on display and all previous sins melt away in the endorphin rush. Pleasure takes over when Yasiel Puig does something spectacular and all is forgiven.
The above video was probably the second best play Yasiel Puig made on Sunday. He hit a three run laser beam that appeared to get no more than 20 feet off the ground before it left the park to left center field that made the difference in the Dodgers win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
But many people can hit home runs off Josh Collmenter. How many players can make a throw like you see above? How many people can do both in the same game?
It is when a player like Puig does something so special, like spinning and throwing a 200 foot strike to nail a runner digging hard out of the box worth every headache, be they real or perceived. These skills are hard to come by, the distractions pale in comparison. These are the kinds of abilities required to transcend your place in the world, as Puig did, to fuel an exodus to the land of milk and honey and endless riches and a life so alien to the one he knew, the growing pains are inevitable.
There will always be missteps but they are easily brushed away when the team wins. When Puig plays, the Dodgers win. Even when he errs, there is always that ocean of talent ready to wash away the misgivings.
It’s all worth it. The slow start to the season and the insanely bad base running (like, the worst) and the lapses of attention and the sideshow. Every last bit is worth the gamble for the Los Angeles Dodgers and their fans. Investing emotionally in Yasiel Puig is the best bet any baseball fan can make. The bitter and sweet and all that good stuff. Watching Yasiel Puig is never a bad idea.
Baseball has its rhythms. The laconic pace that allows for conversation and reflection and whatever else. These well-worn truisms hold a certain appeal and resonate with most baseball fans. There is a excitement and denouement – except when Puig is on the field.
When Puig is in uniform, there is stand up and take notice. There are bolts of lightning. There is tragedy lurking at every corner. But there is always something, almost an air of danger. It is a beautiful thing.
Take it in an enjoy it, because these moments, when the two opposing sides are so powerful and so equal, are rare. Let all the noise fall by the wayside and, if you can, just appreciate how good and entertaining a baseball player Yasiel Puig is and will be. It’s a great ride, we’re lucky to be aboard.