The bright spot of the season for the Los Angeles Dodgers and major league baseball has been outfielder Yasiel Puig.
Because of this, I have found no reason concerning why Puig should not be selected to play in this year’s MLB All-Star Game in New York City.
Since his first start on June 3, Puig shattered prestigious baseball records and the expectations of the Dodgers season.
Since Puig has been in the Dodgers’ lineup, the Dodgers record is 21-13. Before his presence hit the locker room, the Dodgers were 23-32 and sitting at last place in the NL West, with no chance of survival.
At the beginning of the season, a lackluster start gave way to questions about the consistency of outfielder Matt Kemp and longevity of an experienced ball club. More surprisingly, “Think Blue” fans were even contemplating the firing of manager Don Mattingly.
However, like a Hollywood twist, Puig has come onto the screen in true Los Angeles fashion.
In fact, what makes him appeal even more to the city of Los Angeles and baseball is his humble nature off the field. There is more to be said about Puig’s winning character with the Dodgers this season than any story, including performance-enhancing drug use with Alex Rodriguez or Ryan Braun.
Puig’s 44 hits in June were the second most in a single month in league history, only behind Joe DiMaggio’s 48 in May of 1936. Also, Puig and DiMaggio are the only two players in the history of the league to have at least 40 hits and four home runs in the same month.
In 34 games with the Dodgers, Puig has posted a .407 batting average, including eight home runs and 19 RBI.
Almost at the halfway mark of the season, Puig’s numbers may come down in the second half. Still, baseball fans should watch in awe of the Cuban phenomenon that wears the Dodger Blue proudly and is not afraid to show his ruggedness in the outfield.
Puig has every right to be on the national stage, given his unique athleticism and never-ending will to finish games. The league needs Puig to bring back the excitement and joy of baseball, which has been lacking due to the popularity of the NFL and NBA.
The NL Final Vote should undoubtedly go to Puig, considering the fact that his teammate Adrian Gonzalez would rather see Puig in the game than himself.
In 1989, Bo Jackson, who never led off for the Kansas City Royals, homered in the first at-bat in the All-Star Game in Anaheim, California and won MVP honors. Jackson was not considered one to breakout between the two legendary lineups in the game. In Puig’s case, who says he cannot achieve the same glory?