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Yasiel Puig is on fire and the Dodgers won’t stop winning when he’s in the lineup

May 2, 2014, 9:42 AM EDT

Yasiel Puig AP

Yasiel Puig started yesterday hitting .276 with an .835 OPS on the season. He ended yesterday hitting .309 with an .891 OPS. And in between he got on base eight times (six hits, plus two walks) in the Dodgers’ doubleheader sweep over the Twins.

Puig has been ripped apart by the media for much of the season and manager Don Mattingly benched him for showing up late to an April 4 game, but he’s hitting .325 since that benching and his overall numbers are basically identical to his overall rookie numbers. Or, put another way: Puig has again been very, very good and the Dodgers are again winning a whole lot of games with him in the lineup.

In fact: Puig has now played 129 career games, hitting .317 with a .392 on-base percentage and .526 slugging percentage. He’s started 119 of those games and the Dodgers’ record in them is 78-41, which is the equivalent of winning 106 games over the course of a full 162-game schedule. But yeah: What a huge distraction he must be.

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  1. tmhofficial - May 2, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    As a Twins fan that attended both games yesterday, Puig is a monster. I don’t understand why people hate him, his passion and enthusiasm for the game we all love is contagious.

    He does need to mature, but he’s worth the early “headaches” if you want to call it that.

    • renaado - May 2, 2014 at 10:19 AM

      Absolutely, Puig got’s a ton of potential in him, if he reaches that maturity this guy will definitely be a star athlete where kids can look up to.

      • Old Gator - May 2, 2014 at 10:29 AM

        I don’t want to see him reach maturity. I want to see him become all the ballplayer he has the talent to become, and to drive somewhere other than here. Frankly, baseball could use a bad boy buffoon and if Puig ultimately becomes the Dennis Rodman of baseball – El Gusano, as it were, which has multiple delicioso layers of Cuban irony to it – then let’s face it, he’s in the right town for it. More power to him as long as he still electrifies on the diamond.

      • renaado - May 2, 2014 at 11:16 AM

        Yeah, he sure does electrify the ballpark when he plays Old Gator. Even some of the guys I showed them the game here especially videos on how he plays certainly amaze the guys here when I showed them the game of Baseball, To tell you the truth back in 2010 back when I was in high school they weren’t very much interested in the game yet cause of players lackin the passion to play. They thought it was just a game for introverts ( where I strongly denied when they said that though.) Then there in 2011. I showed them the truly most remembered game 6 World Series Texas Rangers and St Louis Cardinals where they were awed at. Same goes to Bryce Harper in 2012 when they started gained interest in the game, they saw his passion he saw his tenacity he showed to us he cares about the game. Then the 2013 Puig came and they sure are damn crazy on how they saw this guy play, Even though we’re a country where almost half the country that only watches the NBA were surely surprised about this guy. But what I’m worried here is that it could be a magnet for criticism especially on how they play the game not just for Puig but also for Harper. These guys are young talents were they can probably change the game of Baseball from my standpoint. Overall I’m really happy on how this guys play the game and shows us they truly care.

      • Old Gator - May 2, 2014 at 12:41 PM

        Ren – we’ve got him down here for three games. Looking forward to watching the Bums bring their mojo to Macondo. I just hope Puig has hisself a chauffeur this weekend. I’m not venturing forth on the 836 if he doesn’t.

      • pixteca - May 2, 2014 at 12:54 PM

        I’m not sure about the “guy who kids can look up to” but he sure is fun to watch and could be a star throughout his career if he matures and keeps this rhythm.

      • renaado - May 2, 2014 at 12:55 PM

        Ohh i see, don’t know what this 836 means but I’ll sure search it in the net when I have the time.

      • Old Gator - May 2, 2014 at 1:44 PM

        It’s the state highway that runs past Macondo Banana Massacre Field, also known as the Dolphin Expressway or, in local parlance, just “the Dolphin.” Smiling cetaceans are big around here.

    • asimonetti88 - May 2, 2014 at 11:09 AM

      Yes, he needs to mature, but what 23 year old doesn’t

    • ilovegspot - May 2, 2014 at 11:35 AM

      The people that hate him are simply jealous trolls. They wish that their team took the risk on him. He will only get better too.

  2. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 2, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    I hear they have one or two other talented players as well, but I don’t hear it much.

    • moogro - May 2, 2014 at 12:14 PM

      I heard that Adrian guy is kinda good.

      • notsofast10 - May 2, 2014 at 4:20 PM

        Yeah and in Triple A there is a young stud that should be in the show but is blocked by the 5 outfielders currently on the roster. Joc Pederson is raking!!!

  3. dluxxx - May 2, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    I watched both games yesterday, and I have to say that I saw both sides of Puig. The awesome (his bat) and the bonehead (air mailing a throw from deep right field to the catcher and allowing all three runners to advance on a sac fly, turning the wrong way on a single and not hustling back to the bag to be tagged out).

    I have to say, I’d take the kid on my team any day. He’s an amazing talent, and the boneheaded plays remind me a bit of Carlos Gomez when he was in his first few years. He’ll eliminate the boneheaded plays as he matures. You can teach someone that. What you can’t teach is his amazing offensive talent. That’s a gift.

    • Professor Fate - May 2, 2014 at 10:18 AM

      I must admit I didn’t realize “turning the wrong way” after passing 1st base (while still outside the line) results in being thrown out. I always thought as long as you stayed outside the line after having touched the bag you were good. Apparently the appearance of even considering heading to second means you’re in play and can be thrown out. Thanks to Puig I learned something new: You don’t have to cross the foul line for the ump to assume you’re going to second because you looked that way.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 2, 2014 at 10:24 AM

        Yeah…that is something that is taught in little league. You always…always…always turn right after crossing the 1st base bag. Unless you are rounding the bag to take 2 of course.

      • ilovegspot - May 2, 2014 at 11:39 AM

        The ump blew the call. Another loser jealous of his talenthater.

      • ilovegspot - May 2, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        The ump blew the call. Another loser jealous of his talent hater.

      • Professor Fate - May 3, 2014 at 10:44 PM

        http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/yasiel-puig-called-out-for-phantom–lean–toward-second-base-081702951.html

        My bad, Puig made no sort of move towards second. None. The umpire flat blew the call.

    • daveitsgood - May 2, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      Except that he didn’t actually “turn the wrong way”. He never even turned towards second. If you consider a lean while looking right to see if the ball got away before turning around to the left and returning to the bag. If you think he made a reasonable attempt to go to 2nd, then your bias is showing.

      • dluxxx - May 2, 2014 at 11:17 AM

        Well, he was called out. His manager didn’t challenge it, or even argue it. Soooo, not sure what bias you’re talking about. He lollygagged his way back to the base and he got tagged out.

      • daveitsgood - May 2, 2014 at 11:54 AM

        Ah, yes, the old “well, he was called out so he must be out” argument. The problem with that is as I mentioned in my first comment, he didn’t turn towards second. It’s a non-reviewable call, so the manager can’t challenge it. He ran through the bag by a good 8 – 9 feet and was tagged while walking back to the bag. Lollygagging as you call it, shows your bias. He’s walking back to the bag, nothing in the rules say he needs to sprint or jog back to the bag with immediate haste, it just says return at once, which he was doing. Show me a player who doesn’t walk back to first after running through it or do you believe they “lollygagged” as well? Are you implying it was because he lollygagged back to first, that made him subject to being called out on the tag?

      • dluxxx - May 2, 2014 at 12:39 PM

        I’m implying that he appeared to be considering moving to second base and his hips turned that way while he looked over his shoulder. He saw the ball go past the 1st baseman and he started towards 2nd and then changed his mind. He physically turned back away from 2nd, but the ump felt that he rounded the bag towards 2nd. The first base coach asked the ump, the ump said 2 words and pointed and the 1st base coach nodded and it was done.

        A few innings later, Chris Collabello did the same thing. Only he actually turned towards 2nd. The difference? Collabello ran back to 1st base and was not tagged. Thus he was safe.

        You’re right though. He maybe wasn’t lollygagging, but walking back to the base. However normally you hustle back on a play like that. It’s a basic play, taught at the lowest levels of baseball. Was it questionable? Yes. But if it’s questionable, then you get back to the base. Especially if someone is coming to tag you.

      • polishwon - May 2, 2014 at 11:33 AM

        The runner can turn either way in the situation. What matters is whether he made a move to go to second or a feint to make someone believe he would try to go to second. It can be as little as a move with the shoulders or head. The manager didn’t argue because he knew the rule.

      • moogro - May 2, 2014 at 12:38 PM

        I think it was kind of a lame call. Puig was basically penalized for having the the an ability that is rarely seen, which to run hard through the base while rotating his upper body toward foul territory to see where the ball went. He then turned to foul territory and stopped, never made any move to second, and sauntered back to first like everyone else does. Not once did his shoulder plane break 90 degrees perpendicular to second base. If anything he was always favoring foul territory with his shoulders. Calling him out was pretty random.

      • dluxxx - May 2, 2014 at 12:58 PM

        It’s all in the hips. Watch it again.

      • Professor Fate - May 3, 2014 at 10:45 PM

        It’s all in the bias and yours is the same as the umps. You’re both wrong.

    • koufaxmitzvah - May 2, 2014 at 12:46 PM

      That throw was typical bonehead Puig, but the “turn at 1st base” was a sudden stop where his shoulder moved but his feet didn’t. He didn’t even approach the baseline let alone cross it. That call was based on Puig’s reputation preceding him.

      He also went straight to the dugout and didn’t whine and bitch and carry on in the umpire’s face, which I think says more about his maturity.

      • dluxxx - May 2, 2014 at 1:13 PM

        I agree. Everyone just moved on with the game and didn’t make a big stink about it, which does say something about the maturity level of all involved. I also agree that the play was questionable, but the lack of stink made over it also lends credence to the fact that it was probably the right call.

        And my main point still stands. I’d take Puig on my team any day of the week. The guy’s a firkin beast. That’s a special talent right there and you Dodger fans are lucky to be able to watch him play regularly.

        Honestly, whining about Puig and his “maturity” are the definition of a First World Problem.

  4. djandujar - May 2, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    Cubans do it better!

    • toodrunktotastethischicken - May 2, 2014 at 10:46 AM

      …that’s what she said?

      • tbird05 - May 2, 2014 at 10:58 AM

        Your not allowed to make that statement until you change your username.

    • Old Gator - May 2, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      Well, no one can make boliche like they can, that’s for damned sure.

      • ilovegspot - May 2, 2014 at 11:41 AM

        Change it to old tater.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 2, 2014 at 11:54 AM

      With pork and pickles?

      • Old Gator - May 2, 2014 at 12:43 PM

        Nope, boliche is somewhere between pot roast and bragiole, with hard boiled eggs in the middle. Nice savory beef gravy, like a thin stew. You can make it more like a stew by adding slices of yuca, potato, carrot and onion to the pot. Done right it will roll your eyes up.

  5. tbird05 - May 2, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    Maybe now he will have time to call Jose Abreu.

  6. andreweac - May 2, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Puig’s blatant disrespect for the game of baseball with his reckless play is serving as a horrific example for the children of America. He is basically destroying the next generation of baseball players which puts the future of the sport in serious jeopardy.

    If Selig really cares about the future of baseball he must ban Puig for life if Puig can’t learn to play the game the right way.

    • tbird05 - May 2, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      The problem is not about Puig playing the game the right way. Now, let me first say that I am someone who prefers the game be played by every last one of the unwritten rules. With that being said, anytime a particular community (in this case it is MLB) becomes more and more diverse, there will be a clash of cultures. According to Puig, he is playing the game the “right way.” Not saying it is my preference…just saying you have to look at things from his perspective. Also, he is a kid. Kids do stupid things (google Puig + driving).

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 2, 2014 at 10:23 AM

      You forgot about the Nazis. Every proper anonymous internet bashing requires comparison to the Nazis.

    • 18thstreet - May 2, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      Just like Aaron Roward.

    • sandwiches4ever - May 2, 2014 at 11:40 AM

      Can’t tell if trolling…

      • yahmule - May 2, 2014 at 12:12 PM

        It read like sarcasm to me.

    • ilovegspot - May 2, 2014 at 11:45 AM

      If he was on your team you would be singing a different tune, that’s for sure. He is new to the country moron. Look forward to him developing into a superstar in LA.
      Ban him?? Pretty fkn stupid in my book. Anyone with a brain knows this guy is going to sell many many of tickets. Even the jealous troll can’t help but watch.

    • djandujar - May 2, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      The children of America were screwed by America, not Cuban ballplayers.

      • renaado - May 2, 2014 at 12:36 PM

        How can you say that?

  7. jerze2387 - May 2, 2014 at 10:23 AM

    PuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuig

  8. phillysports1 - May 2, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    Best ALL AROUND 5 Tool RIGHT FIELDER in the game hands down !!!!!

  9. aceshigh11 - May 2, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    So in other words…he’s a cancer and he’s destroying the team?

  10. jburk003 - May 2, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    All that matters are division games….

    And you failed to mention how he has performed against division opponents- specifically SF… He hasn’t done squat against us

    • 18thstreet - May 2, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      It turns out all the games count.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - May 2, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      specifically SF

      Career (SSS alert)
      .306/.368/.484 for an .852 OPS, not his best, but not his worst

      • jburk003 - May 2, 2014 at 11:44 PM

        Nice try trying to sugar coat his BA against the SF Giants. The great thing about the Internet is it takes 2 seconds to look up sources, or false sources like you.

        PUIGS REAL BA against the Giants, per ESPN website:

        Totals 58 16 3 1 2 4 4 13 .293

        .293 is a far cry away from .306, and his career average. The Giants have him figured out…

        A few more at bats against some Giants pitchers and I expect that batting average to be lower!

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 2, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      If he were to squat against the Giants the SF press would lose their minds. That is not how the game is played.

    • koufaxmitzvah - May 2, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      Last year the Dodgers had a sub .500- record against the NL West but a 16 game lead on the Giants on the standings. That’s must be how your head exploded.

      • jburk003 - May 2, 2014 at 11:37 PM

        1. The Giants have more rings in the past 3 years than the dodgers to in their past 35 years….let that settle in for a minute…….ouch.

        2. Next, the dodgers did nothing in the playoffs. They wen’t one and done- unlike the Giants who are proven winners in their past two playoff/world series stints.

        3. The dodgers did not win a series against the SF Giants last year. NOT ONE. So enjoy your nice little “NL Pennant” banner, while we scooped up a nice low draft pick and polished up our two RECENT world series rings.

      • koufaxmitzvah - May 3, 2014 at 8:55 AM

        Hi.

        1. There’s nothing to settle here. The Giants don’t have as World Series championships as the Dodgers. Not in SF. Not in NY. Not on this planet.

        2. I don’t care what you think of the Dodgers playoff performance last season. Why? For one thing, our MVP had 4 busted from his first at-bat. For another, your baseball breakdowns are idiotic.

        3. As mentioned just above your current idiotic comment, the Dodgers, apparently, didn’t need to beat the Giants to be considered the more talented and overall better team by a whopping total of 16 games.

        If you’re looking for a battle of wits and information, I suggest you head to the Clown School which is perfect for your style of play.

      • koufaxmitzvah - May 3, 2014 at 8:57 AM

        Typo 1 *as many

        Typo 2 *4 busted ribs

  11. gothapotamus90210 - May 2, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    Did Craig write this and hold Aaron hostage to post?

  12. 18thstreet - May 2, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    One could argue that the benching had the desired effect. (I don’t believe this, by the way.)

  13. dhragonn - May 2, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    They played the Twins, let’s relax on the won’t stop winning thing here

    • ilovegspot - May 2, 2014 at 11:49 AM

      Learn to read dumbass.

      “He’s started 119 of those games and the Dodgers’ record in them is 78-41, which is the equivalent of winning 106 games over the course of a full 162-game schedule”

  14. unlost1 - May 2, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    In the future can you at least change this picture to something that doesn’t look like a big muppet?

  15. moogro - May 2, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Headline: “won’t stop winning”

    That’s future tense. That’s a pretty bold prediction.

  16. chiadam - May 2, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    OK, so the Dodgers are never going to lose another game that Puig plays in. I’ll make a note.

    • ilovegspot - May 2, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      What, What What??

  17. nbjays - May 2, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    “Yasiel Puig is on fire and the Dodgers won’t stop winning when he’s in the lineup”

    This is also a valid statement when you change a couple of words, thusly:

    “Yasiel Puig is on fire but Bill Plaschke won’t stop whining when he’s in the lineup”

    • moogro - May 2, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      nice

  18. jburk003 - May 2, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    “Last year the Dodgers had a sub .500- record against the NL West but a 16 game lead on the Giants on the standings. That’s must be how your head exploded.”

    Remind us giants fans again how they did in the playoffs?

    May I remind you what we’ve done in the playoffs the last two times???…. Since 2010 alone…. ?

    • ginfizzbear - May 2, 2014 at 1:56 PM

      yea, but the Giants have only 2 rings in the last 58 years

      • jburk003 - May 2, 2014 at 11:33 PM

        Dodger’s haven’t won a world series since color TV was the norm. You have NO arguement in my book.

      • koufaxmitzvah - May 3, 2014 at 9:02 AM

        1988. Color TVs had remote controls back then.

        You know, when it comes to “burns” and wit, you should really not give it a go.

    • koufaxmitzvah - May 2, 2014 at 5:23 PM

      Are you familiar with the concept that 5 World Series championships is more than twice more than two? Mull it over.

      • jburk003 - May 2, 2014 at 11:31 PM

        Remind me the year last that the dodgers won the world series??????

        THAT is the true California drought HAHAHA.

      • koufaxmitzvah - May 3, 2014 at 9:10 AM

        You really need to work on… well, everything. You’re completely off-topic and sound like a complete idiot who can only get his jollies by lambasting fans of other teams whom you hate the most. Good for you, but that has nothing to do with this article. Not to mention, you are such a pathetic homer that the sheer facts brought up to put you back in your place (i.e. the Dodgers beat the Giants by 16 games last year; the LA Dodgers have had 5 WS championships compared to the SF Giants 2) are considered, by you, to be fallacies, and yet you will come back with some “reel troof” about how the Dodgers haven’t won a WS since color TV? 1988, 1981 plus WS appearances in 1977 and 1978…. I’m not sure what you though life was like back when I was your age (apparently), but it’s a lot like life is now. Except we didn’t have the Interwebs and avoided communicating with itty bitty trolls who spent their lives living in basements.

        So have a great rest of the baseball season, jburk003 (another dose of your heavy originality, I am sure). But when the Dodgers win the division again, let it be a learning and growing experience for you. .

      • jburk003 - May 3, 2014 at 12:40 PM

        I dont give a flying F about their rings. They like I said again, Dodgers have won 2 rings in the past 35 years- Giants have won 2 rings in the past 3 years….You got no argument in my book, Old man.

        Anyone with a baseball IQ knows SF was plagued with injuries last year. And again Ill say it, the Dodgers do nothing when they win the pennant- you just allow the Giants to scoop up a low and better draft pick.

        Despite winning the division, the dodgers couldn’t win one of the 6+ series against SF last year, thus furthering proof of our dominance.

        And once more, NO ONE, not anyone, caress about World Series pennants pre-1990s. No one, bringing them up makes me laugh and furthers my point of how long its been since the dodgers have won hahaha.

        PS- Dodgers winning the division again??? Last time I checked your currently in 3rd place! LOL. Biggest payroll in baseball and can’t even hold down a second place spot in the division????

  19. dillongeeescapeplan - May 2, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    I remember when people called him “Francoeur 2.0″, even though Puig can actually draw walks

  20. mikhelb - May 2, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    Sure, and Adrian is not batting at all. Leads the NL in HRs, has a 0.321 Avg, 25 RBI, 21 runs… but sure, getting on base and not scoring is better, like what Puig is doing most of the time (17 RBI, 12 Runs) and the narrative is either he is a god or a devil.

    Yesterday Puig got on base 7 times in 11 PA, Adrián 6 times in 11 PA, Puig drove 2 runs and didnt score, Adrián drove a run and scored 3 times. But sure, Puig was the key to winning both games.

    Last year Hanley’s extraordinaire season was buried by the same narrative of “Dodgers win because of Puig, even if he is not creating as many runs as Ramírez”.

    • dluxxx - May 2, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      I think you’re cherry picking numbers here. Puig got on base more than Gonzales and you’re blaming him for not scoring more? The game that he got on base every time he hit a double once and stole second base another time. He can’t help it if the guys behind him didn’t hit. Heck, Hanley went 0-5 and left 6 on base. The 2 runners Hanley left in scoring position were Puig and Puig. How is that his fault?

      When the guy in front of you goes 0-5, the guy behind you goes 0-5, the guy after him goes 1-2 with 3 walks (hard to get an extra base that way) and the guy after him goes 1-5 then it’s REALLY hard to score. But let’s talk about how Puig wasn’t doing everything he could to help his team win.

      • dluxxx - May 2, 2014 at 4:27 PM

        To add to that. The only run that Gonzales drove in was himself with a HR. If Puig was on base in front of him 7 times, then why didn’t he drive in more runs? He had more opportunities with runners on base than Puig did…

  21. Marty - May 2, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    HBT Staff meeting, May 2, 2014:

    Craig: We need clicks!

    Aaron: The NL West is a pretty tight division, I’ll write about that.

    Craig: The West!??? Excuse me but f*@k the NL West! …Wait! Puig! PuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuig!

    Aaron: What’s your angle, broheim?

    Craig: We need to write about Puig, but do it in a way that iterates our image of young, not so white, and not racist. You know, go write the Anti-Puig Puig Story.

    Aaron: Praise his play

    Craig: Turn him into victim

    Aaron: A victim?

    Craig: A God-like victim. A beautiful, perfect, God-like victim.

  22. teedraper - May 2, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    Do you Puig! To hell with the unwritten rules. You’re way more exciting than these everyday stiffs.

  23. jburk003 - May 2, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    LOL. Did Craig ask u to write this for him??

    What current 3rd place-in the division- team is getting more press than the dodgers???? Yaaaaawwwwn.

    • koufaxmitzvah - May 3, 2014 at 9:14 AM

      See, I would think the big joke is the Battery Chucker who insists that articles about Puig and the Dodgers are really about the San Francisco Giants so he comes onto the thread and starts insulting Dodgers fans the only way he knows how (piss-poorly, with no sense of historical context or even the effects of last season).

      Maybe we have a different sense of humor.

      • jburk003 - May 3, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        The big joke is the Dodgers.

        Biggest payroll in baseball and they still cant win a series over the Giants…hahahahaha

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