Sunday, July 7, 2013

To Be or Not to Be an All-Star

Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers' young and, at most times, sensational outfielder, has set the baseball world on its ear in just over a month since the team brought him up from the minor leagues.
Aside from replacing an injured player, the Cuban's promotion to the big leagues was done in part to inject some energy into a team that has the highest payroll in baseball and was stuck in last place in the National League West.
Now, with the All-Star Game set to be played in New York in just over a week, everyone from fans and pundits to managers and players are asking and being asked if Puig belongs on the National League roster?
Puig has pretty much already answered that question, and the answer is no.
If the All-Star Game was meant to be pure entertainment as an exhibition game, then it is a no-brainer, Bruce Bochy, the NL's manager, adds Puig  and maybe puts him in the game as early as the second or third inning.
But with home-field advantage in the World Series going to the All-Star Game's winner, would Bochy want a player who runs into outfield walls, overthrows cutoff men and swings at pitches out of the strike zone in the lineup, especially with the game on the line?


add Puig: In Saturday's game against the Giants in San Francisco, Puig struck out four times, swinging at high fast balls and low and outside sliders. Pitchers are figuring out how to take advantage of Puig's impatience and lack of discipline at the plate. Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said on TV that Puig even looks good striking out. Maybe once, but not four times.
On one of his throws from right field to home plate not only missed the cutoff man, it airmailed the catcher. Arm strength is one thing but accuracy helps save runs.


last add Puig: It is sure that the Dodgers were concerned when Puig appeared to injure himself when he ran into the right field wall recently at Coors Field in Denver chasing a fly ball. The remarks after the game included one that said the wall had survived the collision.
Making light of Puig's aggressive and, at times, reckless defensive play, is OK as far as it goes. But somebody on the Dodgers should show him a video tape of the time Matt Kemp ran into the center field  wall in Denver, injuring his shoulder and knee which eventually put him  on the disabled list for a long recovery.

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