Former Cleveland outfielder Yasiel Puig (66) is looking to play on a big league team as he seeks his fourth MLB team of his career. Is his “Wild Horse” reputation making him less attractive to joining a club? (sportscasting.com file photo)
Yasiel Puig – A Showman without a Show
That’s Amaury News and Commentary
By Amaury Pi-González
If baseball returns in 2020 it will be without fans and maybe without Yasiel Puig. Puig still a free agent and there have been many rumors, one of them (seem like years ago) is that the San Francisco Giants were close to signing him. The talented Cuban-born outfielder is not in a hurry to sign as he said in an interview with Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald in Miami. Puig indicated his focus is slowly turning toward 2021.
In the occasions I have been able to interview Yasiel, he always indicated to me that his love for the game was the key for him playing baseball, he likes to talk baseball he enjoys every second he is on the field and I cannot think of any other player that enjoys to play in front of a crowd, more than Yasiel Puig.
The first time I spoke with him was during his rookie season with the LA Dodgers. The Angels were visiting Dodger Stadium for an inter-league Freeway Series and at that time he was doing stuff as a rookie and, his name was getting compared to Joe DiMaggio. Of course he is no Yankee Clipper but his talents are well documented. A great arm from the outfield, great speed and good instincts. Puig generates excitement from the time he is in the lineup and he plays with abandon and a lot of passion. As much as he wants to play this year, I do not believe the notion of playing at empty stadiums excites him at all. .
Yasiel’s best years were with the LA Dodgers 2013 to 2018, and then in 2019 he played for Cincinnati and Cleveland. There are many nicknames in the game of baseball some are corky or some might be even tacky. But when the great Vin Scully named Yasiel “The Wild Horse” he could not have described him better.
If there is no 2020 season we will not see Yasiel Puig, if there is a season there is a chance a team like the Giants, who were not supposed to be a contender this year might take a chance with him on a one-year deal. Like many Latino players Puig wants to play every day and with a team like the Giants, there would be no reason he could not do that. Image Puig wearing a Giants uniform,facing Madison Bumgarner now with the Arizona Diamondbacks? Many fans would pay just to see that.
In a way it is sad that this Showman doesn’t have a show to perform. For the real baseball fan, not to see him play is not a positive. But this is no “regular” year in baseball, so anything goes and nothing should surprises us. I am sure Puig would be content returning in 2021. But in case you forgot, he was a free agent before the virus, and he is a free agent during the virus.
Stay tuned and stay well.
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