We have another instance of Yasiel Puig’s comments being taken completely out of context. The Cuban phenom was recently quoted in the LA Times stating that the Dodgers main rivals were not the Giants, but in fact the Cardinals. Of course the Cardinals are the club that knocked the Dodgers out of the postseason the last two years in a row.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
"“If we can beat them, we can win the World Series,” Puig said. “We have to pass through them. They’re our principal rivals, not San Francisco, not anyone else.”"
At first glance that seems like an uneducated statement. Obviously the Giants are the Dodgers main rival over the last 80 plus years, including being their main division rival as well. However on closer inspection you can kind of understand what Puig is saying.
Apparently this statement infuriated Christopher Russo of the MLB network show called “High Heat.” Russo ranted about Puig for an entire segment. Yelling and screaming about how Bobby Thompson would roll over in his grave. And then saying “where was he in 62!?” Oh brother. I thought Russo was going to have a stroke. I don’t mean the usual strokes he seems to have every five minutes on his show.
I’ve seen High Heat before, and have usually enjoyed it. Russo is a very opinionated man, which makes the show enjoyable to watch. This time I think Russo is a bit out of line.
Not surprisingly the Giants had a response to this. But it’s not who you think it would be. It wasn’t manager Bruce Bochy, or catcher Buster Posey, or annoying greasy center fielder Angel Pagan. No, it was broadcaster Mike Krukow. Why in the world he’s getting involved is beyond me. Krukow went on to say….
"“He’s just young and dumb, and he’s going to say some stuff. As a group , I doubt if the Giants are going gonna be talking about it openly, but they are gonna be thinking about it.”"
Come on, really Krukow? This is a club that has won three championships in five years, yet according to Krukow NEEDS Puig’s comments to motivate them in an odd numbered year.
"“They don’t miss stuff like that. If there’s any way to refocus a whole group with a World Series hangover, this is it. Thank you Yasiel Puig.”"
I think Krukow is one can short of a six pack.
This isn’t about the Giants though, this is about Puig, and Russo’s overreaction to his comments. Russo continues to freak out by saying that Puig “Wiped the Giants away”, and called the Dodger’s NLCS appearance in 2013 a disaster. According to Russo, the Dodgers have never sniffed the World Series since 1988.
Call to the Pen
First of all Mr. Russo, the Dodgers have had three NLCS appearances since 2008. That’s nothing to scoff at. Second of all, I would hardly call the 2013 NLCS a disaster. A sweep would have been a disaster. They lost the series in six games, coming within two games of the World Series. Was it frustrating? Yes. Was it disappointing and irritating? It absolutely was. However to call it a disaster is just overreacting.
Then Russo goes on to bring up Puig’s benching in game 4 of the NLDS, and spurts out that Puig “can’t play defense.” He then called Puig “dopey”, and praised Mike Krukow for commenting about Puig’s comments. Even more ridiculous is when Russo goes on to accuse Puig and the Dodgers of “taking the Giants for granted”, as if the Giants had done the Dodgers a favor of some sort, and the Dodgers owed them. What a weird thing to say.
Maybe you forgot to take your medicine or something Mr. Russo, but this is totally out of context. The whole quote is taken out of context. What Puig actually meant was that the Cardinals are the Dodgers main POSTSEASON rivals, and the Giants are their division rivals. This makes some sense, as the Dodgers and the Giants have never faced each other in the postseason, save for the 1962 three game NL pennant tiebreaker, which technically is not a playoff series. Normally the Dodgers never face the Giants in the playoffs and are more likely to face the Cardinals before San Francisco. The Dodgers could easily face the Cardinals again in the postseason this year for the third year in a row.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
I think that’s what Puig meant, and his comment was taken out of context. Is Puig young and dumb? Yeah sure he is. I mean he didn’t grow up out here. He’s not from the United States. He’s from Cuba and he doesn’t know anything about Major League Baseball history.
Therefore can we give him a break? Look Puig has got a point. So Mr. Russo, maybe you forgot to mention that the Dodgers did beat the Giants in the regular season last year. The Dodgers beat them by six games and won the division. If it weren’t for that lame second wild card, the Giants wouldn’t have even made the playoffs.
Again this isn’t about the Giants though. We already know they have a great club up there, and we know who they are. This is more about people continuing to make out Puig to be some sort of a villain, or village idiot. He’s neither of those. He’s a good natured kid from Cuba that is growing up in an unfamiliar culture and been thrust into the national spotlight. He takes it all in stride with a smile on his face, and a good heart.
Oh and by the way Mr. Russo, you better believe us Dodger fans will be flocking to Chavez Ravine again in 2015 to watch Puig hitting bombs into the pavilions and throwing out runners with that cannon arm. Do yourself a favor Mr. Russo, take your pills and shut up.