Yasiel Puig. The Wild Horse.
Everyone knows just how polarizing of a player and a presence Yasiel Puig is in baseball. Nobody knows it better than we do as Dodger fans.
Puig was a fan favorite through a minor league demotion and a spectacular rookie year. Many fans in Los Angeles have yet to move on from the blockbuster that shipped Yasiel Puig, along with Matt Kemp, Alex Wood, and Kyle Farmer, to Cincinnati.
This is for good reason. We had gotten attached to seeing Yasiel throw darts from right field, race around the bases like a madman, and lick his bat. However, it appears that Yasiel has moved on quicker than we have as a collective fan base.
He no longer dons the Dodger blue, which is fine, but the swift change of heart to a love for the Reds’ crimson stings a bit.
Sports Illustrated’s Jon Tayler recently wrote a piece on Puig’s quick acclimation to Cincinnati, the Reds organization, and Puig’s current distaste for the Dodgers that effectively digs the knife a little deeper.
The article is a fantastic read if you are interested in some more insight into where Puig is at in his divorce from the Dodgers.
According to Reds manager David Bell, “He [Puig] keeps saying he likes red. I think that’s code for he likes it here.” That stings.
We know Yasiel Puig’s tenure in Los Angeles was rocky to say the least, but the smile, the bat licking, and the bat flips endeared us to him. But now, it is time to move on. Yasiel has and he has not been quiet about it.
“Now I have to do my part to show that they made a mistake,” Puig says. “I’ll show them what I could have done for them if they’d kept me.”
This comes in conjunction with recent comments made by Puig that produced further questions about how much effort he put into his Dodger years and that he would put in full effort with the Reds because of the divorce and the fact that he is in a contract year. Yasiel is trying way too hard to win this breakup.
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Yasiel Puig’s Bitterness Towards the Dodgers
Trade rumors swirled around Yasiel’s head for most of his career. It always seemed inevitable.
Yasiel Puig still seems bitter about the situation, though.
“It’s their problem,” Yasiel Puig said of the Dodgers’ trading of him to the Cincinnati Reds. “I don’t know what they did with that trade, because they didn’t get anyone who could help them the way I could. But that’s business.”
From a financial perspective, the deal made sense. But in a way, he is quite correct.
He also had quite a few words regarding the Dodgers’ failures in the past two seasons.
“It’s nice, but we haven’t won,” the 28-year-old Puig says in Spanish of his frequent trips to the postseason. “The only thing we’re getting is one more month instead of being on vacation. It’s as if you did nothing.”
“From what I’ve seen the last few years, we’ve been right there, but we haven’t gotten anybody good,” Puig says.
Again, he is possibly right, but on the other hand, Cincinnati has not put up a winning record since 2013. It isn’t like his new home is in much better shape. The Dodgers remain the class of the National League without the presence of Yasiel Puig in right field. How much winning is Yasiel going to do in his new home? Probably not much. The Reds made a lot of moves to better their ball club in the short-term and do have a solid long-term outlook, but they remain behind the Dodgers in both respects.
Puig is beloved and has fully made his mark in Dodgers history. He remains the type of player that you root for. He remains the type of player that you pay to see. Although the marriage has come to an end, Yasiel’s contributions to the Dodgers should be appreciated.
I wish Yasiel the best of luck in his endeavors in Cincinnati and beyond.
Still, it’s okay for us to root for woeful performances when he plays against us right?