Last Friday, Yasiel Puig
sacrileged a century and a quarter of baseball tradition offered one man’s opinion by calling the St. Louis Cardinals the Dodgers’ biggest rivals. In case you missed my story,
“We just have to beat St. Louis,” Puig said in Spanish at a Dodgers community caravan stop at Los Angeles’ City Hall on Friday. “If we beat them, we can beat the AL team.
“The principal rivals are the Cardinals. It’s not San Francisco. It’s nobody else.”
That quote found its way to the Bay Area yesterday. Veteran Giants color analyst Mike Krukow, who pitched in San Francisco from 1983-89, responded to Puig’s quote on a local radio station and expressed his gratitude. Via CSNBayArea.com:
“He’s just young. He’s just young and dumb and he’s gonna say some stuff. As a group, I doubt if they are gonna be talking about it openly but they are gonna be thinking about it. They [the Giants players] don’t miss stuff like that … if there was any way to refocus a whole group with a World Series hangover, this is it. Thank you Yasiel Puig.”
And with that, Krukow — who’s a great analyst and highly respected among fans – became a much bigger a homer than he is on the air.
Clayton Kershaw delivered an MVP-caliber performance
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw joins a group hug after beating the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday, 9-1. (Michael Owen Baker/Staff photographer)
in the Dodgers’ National League West-clinching victory. His line: 8 innings pitched, 8 hits, 1 run, 0 walks, 11 strikeouts. The full box score is here
Not to be a downer (part 1) but: Colleague Vincent Bonsignore writes that the Dodgers should have their sights set on bigger celebrations.
Not to be a downer (part 2) but: Chad Billingsley accepts that he might never pitch for the Dodgers again.
In case you missed it, the Dodgers can clinch the National League West by beating the Giants today.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, in his pregame remarks to the media (above), was careful in choosing his words. After all, the Dodgers’ haven’t clinched the division just yet.
“It’s a good situation, obviously, that we’ve put ourselves in,” he said. “Anytime Clayton’s pitching, you feel pretty good.”
Giants manager Bruce Bochy seems to have embraced the possibility of losing the division with a slightly firmer handshake.
“We know it could happen,” Bochy said. “If it does, I’m not going to get caught up in what they do.”
Last year, the Dodgers celebrated the NL West title by jumping in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ pool. This year, there’s no pool in sight: Just 24 cases of beer, 204 bottles of champagne and four cases of Martinelli’s sparkling cider — MLB doesn’t allow alcohol on the field — buried in the bowels of the stadium in case the Dodgers clinch.
In light of that, Mattingly had an interesting message to his players: Restrain yourselves.
“I know it’s a rivalry but in the situation, there’s a good chance if we’re able to do this tonight you want to stay humble because you have a chance of playing (the Giants) again,” Mattingly said. “They’re a championship team. They have a chance to move forward.”