“Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about a science book
Don’t know much about the French I took”
I had a thought a while ago about how the Dodgers maybe lacked a little something. A rally something. An intangible whatever. Madison Bumgarner of all people provided that in his overzealous thought that no one is good enough to look at him, especially someone who he is known to have disdain for, Yasiel Puig. After Bumgarner yelled at Puig not to look at him, that phrase took on a life of its own. Hashtags popped up on Twitter. People took selfies with their eyes covered. Justin Turner went out and had #DontLookAtMe t-shirts made, and several players including Puig, Turner, Adrian Gonzalez, and Jose De Leon posted pictures of themselves wearing the shirt and covering their eyes.
You may very well remember a month ago, there was an uncertainty about whether Puig would be brought back with the September call ups. Whether he would be able to contribute, keep his antics under control. He very nearly was traded away for Ryan Braun. Now here we are, in a series that is deciding who wins the National League West, and a kerfuffle with the opposing pitcher happens. Puig is involved. But, it’s not Puig’s fault. Even though he hit a dribbler, he put his head down and raced to first base. When Bumgarner tried to take him on, all of Puig’s teammates raced to his defense on the field, and continued to do so later with the media and with the t-shirts.
Maybe Puig is not truly reformed. Maybe he will forever be a problem. But right now, in this pennant chase, he is needed and a spark plug for this team. In Wednesday’s game alone, he hit a three-run homer, made another just incredible throw home that would have gotten the runner had catcher Carlos Ruiz been able to handle the ball, and a fantastic over the shoulder catch. And in all that, he absolutely delighted Vin Scully, and that alone is worth it.
Asked after the game about the team’s chemistry, Puig had this to say:
I agree, Yasiel. There’s no need to question this team’s chemistry, because it certainly is shown on and off the field.
Now is the time for that chemistry to carry them through the postseason. Next up for the Dodgers is the Colorado Rockies, who start a four game series in Los Angeles tonight. The Dodgers have a good chance to clinch at home as their magic number sits at five. Both Scott Kazmir and Brett Anderson will be returning to the mound, with Anderson going tonight and Kazmir starting tomorrow. I think we all are pulling for this, because if they wait until San Diego to clinch, the world will be denied Vin calling it. That would be a travesty. So here’s to them locking up the division in the next four days at home, and for us to be able to hear it. What a wonderful world it will be.