On hot month and 100 at bats, doth not an All Star make. – Not Shakespeare
The Los Angeles Dodgers rookie phenom Yasiel Puig has been the talk of baseball in the past month, with an off-the-charts start to his career, with 44 hits in his first 101 at bats, 7 home runs, highlight reel throws, and probably most importantly, a 15-11 record for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He’s provided them a much needed spark and now put them within 5 games of .500, and 3.5 games of first place. All this does not impress Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon. Papelbon sounded off to MLB Network Radio (via Philly.com):
“To me, it’s an absolute joke. It’s really kind of stupid if you ask me. The guy’s got a month, I don’t even think he’s got a month in the big leagues, and just comparing him to this and that, and saying he’s going to make the all-star team, that’s a joke to me. It’s just really what happens in baseball when… to me it really does an injustice to the veteran players that have been in the game for eight, nine, ten plus years, and it kind of does them an injustice because they’ve worked so hard to stay there.” – Jonathan Papelbon
For emphasis or not, Papelbon seemed to stumble over pronouncing the 22-year-old Cuban’s name \Pooeeg\. The Phillies closer has made 5 All Star teams himself, including last year in his first with the National League club. At 2-0, with 15 saves and a 2.02 E.R.A., he very well might find himself in the clubhouse with Puig.
You would think Papelbon would be impressed with the kid, as the Phillies watch the Dodgers take 2 out of 3 from them, with Puig going 7-16 and scoring 5 runs.
Last year, a debate was fevered over whether Bryce Harper should have made the All Star team, with questionable numbers (8 HR, .282 avg.), but popular intangibles that eventually led to his inclusion.
Given it is just a month, I would tend to agree with Papelbon, that a player who has demonstrated a longer period of performance probably deserves the nod. But it’s hard to ignore the buzz that Puig would create, in a game that’s struggled to maintain its moniker in fans eyes as “the midsummer classic”
- David Whitlock (@lhd_on_sports)
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