Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig cause a minor stir with their celebrations.

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig raises his arms to celebrate his triple off the right-field wall in the fourth inning of Game 3 of the National League Championship Series on Monday. (Associated Press photo)

Ah, the age of Twitter.

Monday night, the days of reporters running from one clubhouse to the other for reaction to controversy were officially laid to rest. It happened shortly before 9 p.m. Pacific Time, when a reporter in the Dodgers’ interview room noticed a tweet from a reporter in the St. Louis Cardinals’ clubhouse. Probably this tweet:

Here’s the celebration Wainwright was referring to. It came in the bottom of the fourth inning, after Adrian Gonzalez doubled to drive in Mark Ellis with the game’s first run — the Dodgers’ first run in 22 innings:

 Adrian Gonzalez Mickey Mouse celebration

(.gif courtesy of

Anyway, the frantic hustle to the opposing clubhouse died a hilarious death. Gonzalez responded to the allegation by saying “We are in L.A., so Mickey Mouse is close. Mickey Mouse is only an hour away, so you know, it fits us.”

Yasiel Puig, sitting next to Gonzalez on the dais, was cracking up. “We’re in the playoffs,” he said in Spanish, then in English: “Playoffs, playoffs, playoffs.”

Puig didn’t escape the Cardinals’ ire on this day.

Like Gonzalez’s RBI double, Puig’s triple to drive in Gonzalez had been a long time coming. The rookie right fielder began the NLCS 0-for-11, striking out seven times, before pouncing on a 93-mph Wainwright sinker on the outside corner.

Puig thought he had a home run. He flipped his bat, paused, pointed to the sky, then busted into a full-on sprint. It takes Puig a while to get his motor going sometimes; this is why he is 11-for-20 in stolen-base attempts. But opponents don’t take offense when Puig is late to get going on first base.

Wainwright said he didn’t notice Puig on third base, gesturing some more to rile up the Dodgers’ dugout. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny did.

“Guys are going to handle successes and failures however they’re going to handle them,” Matheny said, “and that’s not really our say.”

It’s been difficult to get Puig to qualify his passion for baseball, as if it was as innate and indescribable as a gall bladder. But we tried again Monday night.

“I always give it my best,” he said. “I’m always having fun on the field. In St. Louis, it was obvious that I wasn’t quite having as much fun as I was really focused on trying to get a hit. But coming back to Los Angeles, and with the help of my teammates, I was able to get back to really having fun. That’s all it really is for me is having fun playing the game.”

Later, asked if his exuberance sets him apart from other Cuban players, Puig added this: “In Cuba you always see a lot of emotion on the field. Everyone is really giving it their best. It’s their job to go out there and do the best they can just like it’s here in the big leagues. The people in Cuba are born to play baseball and that’s what you see on the field, mostly.”

Share this post ...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page
This entry was posted in JP on the Dodgers, Playoffs, Postgame thoughts and tagged , , , , by J.P. Hoornstra. Bookmark the permalink.

About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.