In praising one opponent, Yasiel Puig has ruffled the feathers of another. Or at least its broadcaster. With the Los Angeles Dodgers’ community caravan on hand at Los Angeles City Hall on Friday, Puig said the St. Louis Cardinals are the Dodgers’ primary rival.
His comment largely goes against what much of the fan base, and perhaps players believe, given the long history with the San Francisco Giants. Along with calling the Cardinals the primary rival, Puig added if the Dodgers are able to beat them, that they would go on to win the World Series.
That didn’t sit well with Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow, who had this to say on air with Brian Murphy and Paul McCaffrey on KNBR 680-AM:
He’s just young. He’s just young and dumb and he’s gonna say some stuff.”
Krukow also said he believes the Giants will use Puig’s comments as additional motivation in their first season removed from winning a third World Series in five years:
As a group, I doubt if they are gonna be talking about it openly, but they are gonna be thinking about it. They don’t miss stuff like that. If there was any way to refocus a whole group with a World Series hangover, this is it. Thank you Yasiel Puig.”
In his two years with the Dodgers, Puig’s season has twice come to an end at the hands of the Cardinals — in the 2013 NLCS and 2014 NLDS — which may have fed into his comments. It may also be tied to a young Cardinals fan who Puig said is driving him crazy.
That being said, Puig has more than gotten familiar with the Giants rivalry. During a May game at Dodger Stadium, he hit a home run off Madison Bumgarner and the two exchanged words as Puig closed in on home plate. Then in September with the NL West title still hanging in the balance, Bumgarner hit Puig with a pitch and the benches cleared.
Following the Dodgers’ win that night, Puig admitted to reacting to Bumgarner’s comment; the Giants’ ace maintained he didn’t intentionally plunk Puig. The Dodgers and Giants first Spring Training meeting will come on March 9 with their first regular season game scheduled for April 21 at AT&T Park.
The Dodgers finished 10-9 against the Giants last season, including winning seven of the last nine games. They set an opponent record with 24 hits and 17 runs scored in their 17-0 win at AT&T Park on Sept. 13.