“There’s nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it”?
Right. It’s commonly attributed to William James, the father of modern psychology.
There’s a newer saying, related to the first. One variation goes, “Nothing really puts a performer on the map like coming up big in New York.” Another contends, “a player hasn’t really proven what he can do until succeeding or failing under the bright lights of New York City.” Here’s one more: “the Bronx still provides the game’s greatest stage, and it is a place that helps make stars and bolster myths.” And when the New Yorker and Bleacher Report can agree on something, it must be true. Right?
If Yasiel Puig indeed thrived on a bigger stage Wednesday, the perception will be that he’s a bigger deal now than when he was belting pitches halfway to Eagle Rock as if he’d been playing in Dodger Stadium all his life. In reality, New York Yankees right-hander Adam Warren is the worst pitcher among Puig’s five home run victims (though the San Diego Padres’ Clayton Richard might object). His opposite-field home run in the Dodgers’ 6-0 victory bore no meaning on the outcome of the game, as did his 2-for-5 performance in the Dodgers’ 6-4 loss Wednesday morning.
But perception and reality don’t always line up. If you flipped to ESPN yesterday hoping to catch highlights of Lebron James and Tim Tebow, and saw Yasiel Puig go 4 for 10 against the Yankees, maybe your interest in baseball has been piqued by the ripped Cuban kid from L.A.
Consider the myth bolstered, the star made. Again.
Some bullet points for a Thursday morning:
• This might be one of the most interesting things I’ve read on Twitter. Leave it to Vin Scully to provide:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 20, 2013
• Mariano Rivera-Yasiel Puig is the type of matchup you might remember 20 years from now, maybe for Rivera striking out Puig to end a game once, maybe for its mere existence. Here’s what Rivera said afterward.
• From Grantland.com: “Hitters swing at more bad pitches as the season goes on, and a group of scientists at Vanderbilt University believe it’s because they’re not sleeping long enough or well enough.”
• Ray Thistlethwaite has the best name ever. I guess “Sun Rai” is a more marketable moniker, because the Australian-born singer/songwriter is doing quite well for himself with a style that blends soul and pop. I love his keyboard work; he makes it look easy on this tune: