Archive for the ‘MLB’ Category

Shouts from the Portalet May 9th

Posted: May 9, 2017 by souldysfunction in General Sports Rant, MLB

What am I shouting about today….

Matt Harvey… WTF did you do to piss off your team that they suspend you and demand you apologize to your team? How the mighty have fallen.

Red’s pitching has been oddly great however everyone seems to just be waiting for the wheels to fall off. When Scott Feldman and Bronson Arroyo are your top pitchers right now you have to just be playing 90’s music in the clubhouse and not letting anyone look at a calendar.

Reds make the list again with sending their best pitcher down to Triple A to ‘save him from innings’. Seriously are you guys dumb as a box of rocks or what? You turn Raisel Iglesias, your best pitcher last season, into a closer and then your best pitching starter this season you send down to save his arm. Brian Price was a pitching coach before he was the head coach right? (He was look it up) You’re telling me that Garrett isn’t going to be pitching as much in Triple A as he would be in the Majors? So you sent him down to just watch games? The other thought is for this contract control thing teams do now a days. So the Reds AGAIN are looking towards the future to be good…. they do know they are in first place in the division?

Why is my Joey Votto post the most read post by leaps and bounds? People are seriously googling ‘Is Joey Votto a jerk’

The Red Sox and the Blue Jays are heading south on a one way ticket via Southwest Airlines.

The LAA Angels are wasting Trout and they have absolutely no intentions of ever doing anything else.

I am so damn tired of strikeouts…. Want to speed up the game, teach the freaking batters to hit the ball.

Eric Thames is not juiced and he has the best quote in the world ‘I have plenty of urine and blood’

Why can’t the Dodgers hit left-handed pitching? It’s the WHOLE DAMN TEAM! Hire someone to just pitch to them from the southpaw side for gawds sake.

Launch angle and Exit Velocity is fun to look at but it is ruining the game. What ever happened to 2 strike hitting without trying for the fences.


Stop trying to make the games faster/shorter and make the players play every play.

I hate hate hate the Yankees and damnit I am on the edge of my seat every time Aaron Judge comes up to bat.

How are the Giants this bad…. I know it’s an odd numbered year but holy cow.

Ryan Zimmerman is drinking some serious superman juice. Wow

I really think this 10 day DL is making Fantasy baseball brutal to be a part of. I can’t remember this many DL trips for so many players in any other season.

Trumbo hit a homerun off a pitch that was nearly 5 feet off the plate… This is the pitch I swing at in my recreational league and ground it into the plate.

Never ever count out Buck Schowalter even when all of their pitchers loose their arms.

The Cubs are still hungover from last seasons World Series win.

Base running? We don’t need no stinking base running we have exit velocity! Freaking bajeebus…

18 innings is a long ass game, but I wouldn’t trade it for a guy on second after 12.

Miguel Montero pitching is one of the absolutely beautiful things about baseball.


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Was watching MLB Central this morning and they were talking about what baseball has become and how it’s different then even when the retired guys hosting it played.

This made me think, and normally that involves smoke pouring out my ears and intense pain. I did it anyway for the good of the human race… or some race that was probably wiped out by falling off curb into a sewer grate.

What would Babe Ruth think about our game if he could sit in the stands, with a beer and over sized hotdog of course? What about Mickey Mantle? What about Tony Gwynn(Since I am a Padres fan)?

I mean I look at it and I’m closing in on 40 and they play so completely different then they did a decade ago. Yes there is still a bat, a ball, and nine guys on the field but the ‘how’ is totally different. Since there are so many different aspects that have changed, in my opinion, I’m breaking this down in to a couple part series because my fingers can only type so many letters before the cramps set it.

Part 1

Evolution of the Pitcher.

Lets start with the Babe. Historically listed as an Outfielder and Pitcher. Seriously look it up, I did. When was the last time you saw this? Well honestly it was last year during the world series but before that was like never. More to the point is the fact that Ruth pitched 107 complete games out of 147 starts in his 10 year career. Let that sink in for a minute.

107 complete 9 inning games against another actual baseball team.

Even more impressive he pitched over 300 innings two years in a row where he had a 1.75 ERA and a 2.01 ERA respectively. When was the last time you heard of someone getting to 300 innings in a season? I looked it up so you don’t have to Steve Carlton of the Phillies back in 1980. Now a days if you hit 200 innings without having to have Tommy-John Surgery it’s nearly amazing. Heck so many of the pitchers are on a ‘pitch limit’ that they won’t even get close to that. Back to the 107 complete games, in 1917 Ruth had 35 complete games. The highest total for who we are currently calling the best pitcher in the league, Clayton Kershaw is 6 in one season. Not only do pitchers not throw complete games anymore but they don’t throw even close to 30 games. Again referencing Kershaw’s stats he has never had more then 26 games in a season. Saying all this lets look at Steve Carlton since he was the last one to reach 300+ innings. Carlton pitched for 24 years. Let me say that again TWENTY-FOUR YEARS. Even if we take out the years he didn’t pitch at least 100 innings (8 years) this guy pitched 4.963 innings in 16 years. Kershaw 1760 in 9 years. Max Scherzer another of the pitching greats of this age 1696 in 9 years. They both would need to throw over 3000 innings in the next 7 years to get close. By the way Ruth who really didn’t pitch more then 5 years, the other 5 years he only had 7 starts, had 1167 innings.

Do I need to go on with the innings or amount of pitches? The guys now don’t even come close to what used to take place. Even the great Kershaw and Scherzer don’t come close.

What does this tell us? That we just didn’t have the medical knowledge to know when guys were hurt so we pitched them anyways? This is possible, hell anything is possible but the probability is not there. I have no doubts that some guys ruined their arms and no one understood why back then, however that doesn’t account for all the guys that had long careers pitching huge amounts of innings. So there is no way the majority of guys pitched effectively with injuries.

What else could it be? Secret ninja tricks? Fountain of youth drinking fountains in the locker rooms? Magic Jobu dolls?  Corn Fields of everlasting baseball? Susan Sarandon in negligee posters? Like I said anythings possible but I think it comes down to one word.


Effort? Seriously? What are you talking about these guys give every ounce of effort they have and then some every day!

Now hold on cowboy. Lets look at something to emphasize my point. Greg Maddux is one of the greatest pitchers in my lifetime and possibly of all baseball. Maddux pitched for 23 years and only 3 of those years did he pitch under 100 innings. 4864 innings in those 20 years (5008 in all 23 years). Now tell me why Maddux could pitch that many innings for that long and be as incredibly effective as he was (.610 win percentage and lifetime 3.16 ERA). Effort and much more specifically MAX Effort. Maddux was not a fireballer he was a locator, by this I mean he didn’t over power you with the speed of his fastball. He over powered you with the location of his fastball and every other one of his pitches. He pitched where you weren’t swinging, to say it nicely he pitched smarter then you could hit. This goes for a lot of pitchers of his era, the pre-steroid and then the first part of the steroid era. They actually pitched, while the radar gun was around it wasn’t the only thing that mattered. Pitchers used smarts and mastery of pitches to get hitters out.

Pitchers now don’t think that way, hell they aren’t trained that way so how could they even try to think that way. Proof of that is how Noah Syndergaard came into this season saying he put on muscle weight to ‘throw harder’ then he did last season. In which he had the fastest slider mph speed in the entire league not to mention many of the top fastball mph speeds(for a starter). What is wrong with that? Well to start with Noah barely ever makes it past 5 innings per start. Yeah they are an exciting radar gun busting 5 innings but still only 5 innings out of a 9 inning game. So throwing harder doesn’t help if you’re only pitching half a game to start with. We don’t hear about pitchers anymore unless they are throwing ‘heat’. Heck the graphics for the televised games emphasize how fast they are pitching with little flames around the radar readings. Thank goodness for pitchers like Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs, so we can see what real pitching is. Remember there is a HUGE difference between throwing and pitching. Throwing means you are throwing it past the hitter, pitching means you are using your brain and PITCHES to get the hitter out.

What’s next? More of the same unfortunately. More ‘fireballers’ with short careers because of injuries because there is a dozen guys waiting to take their place. I liked what John Smoltz said when talking about this ‘The system is broken and no one cares.’ He is completely right in my mind. We are telling kids in little league to throw hard, we are teaching them in high school how to throw harder, and in college when they destroy their arms we are perfecting the surgeries to get them back on the field. I can attest to watching/coaching little league pitchers. I have been an assistant coach for many teams and watching how most head coaches use their pitchers is awful. Jimmy pitches hard and our defense is terrible so lets have him pitch 4 innings or 75 pitches before we bring in someone else. What are we teaching them? Don’t rely on your defense to help you, you have to pitch harder and strikeout every batter you see. That only intensifies as they progress in to more competitive age brackets. We don’t show them how to pitch, or when to throw a certain pitch. We just tell them to throw hard and reward them when they strikeout a batter. You don’t have to believe me, go out and watch a little league game.

Want more proof?

You do the research and figure it out for yourself, but the system is broken and it isn’t going to change anytime soon unfortunately.

Stay tuned for the next Part where I discuss hitting.

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More then just a gimmick

Posted: April 11, 2017 by souldysfunction in General Sports Rant, MLB

As I have mentioned in the past I play in an 30+ Adult recreational baseball league in my area. Just before this season started I broke my current wood bat and was in the sudden and urgent need of a new one. Like any internet savvy person I started looking online about best bats for the best price, wood vs bbcor, length and weight, ect ect. The league I played in last year was wood bat only but this other league also allowed BBCor so I got to really compare everything to anything. Something I found that sparked my interest was a new bat type on the market called the AXE Bat. I read several articles about it being used by such hitters as Dustin Pedroia and Mookie Betts and how it increased their line drive hit percentage and ‘good’ contact numbers. I’m just a guy who likes to play baseball but if something as simple as a handle design can help MLB players it might help this old man hit a few more through the infield.

Now I broke my wood bat 3 days before my first game and had to have whatever bat right then, so even though I was doing my review homework I knew I was probably going to have to head to the local sports stores to pick it up. I headed over to the Big Green Sports Store to see what they had compared to what I had seen online and to my surprise they had a 32″ -3 BBCor AXE bat mixed in with all their regular stock. Let me reiterate they had ONE AXE bat and only ONE, so of course my first indication is well if these guys don’t see it as popular will I even like it. Skeptical but intrigued I took it off the shelf and held it.

First thing you notice is the handle, which is the main difference of an AXE bat. If you haven’t seen one think of cutting a wood chopping axe’s handle off and attaching it to a baseball bat barrel. Sounds weird I know but it felt really natural in my hand. Where the normal bat handle style has the large round end at the bottom that pushes against your wrist the AXE bat has none of that. You can easily grab the bottom of the bat handle and not feel like it’s going to slip out of your hand. Of course like any kid in a sports store I had to pretend swing it, without hitting anyone or other merchandise of course. I was amazed at how easily it flowed through the ‘hitting zone’. I wasn’t swinging full speed of course but I could already tell that you didn’t seem to need as much wrist action to get it going. Another huge bonus was this AXE bat was only 120 bucks, not anymore then the standard bats it was hanging with. After some mental debating my wife told me to just get it, and as we all know you can’t say no to that.

Took the bat home and then didn’t really get to touch it much before my first game, you know kids and all. Game day comes around and I do my pre-game swings, a couple of the other guys look at it and swing it. I’m all psyched thinking well lets see what this can do. First at bat I looked like I was swinging at a Kershaw curve ball.Way out front and off balance.

Definitely NOT what I had hoped for!

However it was the first time I had swung it at full speed and I noticed something I hadn’t felt previously. The bat flung itself through the hitting zone way faster then I had expected. What I mean by this is during your normal swing you have the: Load, where you coil up with the weight primarily on your back foot. Uncoil, where you start to shift your weight towards your front foot bringing the bat down into the hitting zone. At this point is where the AXE bat launches itself through the hitting zone like a badger with its butt on fire. Seriously I was really not expecting the increase in ‘umph’. Needless to say I struck out my first at bat and looked like I should go back to Teeball. Fast forward to a few days later when I got to take the AXE bat to the cages and really put some time into feeling what this bat does different. Their website said 30 swings, honestly it took me more like 60 swings to really get the hang of the new swing. You don’t really realize at first how much different the swing feels but the more you swing with it the more comfortable you get with it. Just like anything really, but you don’t automatically think of a bat swing being different for what you’re used to.

By the end of the time I spent in the cages I was in love with the way the AXE bat felt. The swing was easy, comfortable and repeatable. The way the modified handle pushes itself through the hitting zone really increased the force I was able to get onto the ball. By my next game it felt like I had always swung that way. I’m not saying suddenly I’m hitting .750 and belting homeruns but I can tell when I do make contact it feels much more solid. I really do love this bat and have absolutely no plans on going back to a traditional style handle. Each game, each at bat I get more and more confident in how I am swinging it and the ease of feel it has.

The other thing I have noticed which should already be clear is the increase in bat speed. This was something I was worried about with my old bat and had actually taped up the bottom a couple inches to get more speed out of it. With the AXE bat I didn’t even have to worry about ‘choking up’ it just naturally added bat speed because of its design.

The only two things that I have noticed that I am still working on are the handle is thin for what I like and lining up the bat so that it always comes through the zone on the hitting side. The thinness of the handle was easy to remedy just a bit of string and some athletic tape got it to the thickness that feels right in my hand. As for the lining up the hitting face that I am still working on. The AXE bat has a dedicated hitting zone just like how a real axe has a certain side you use to chop wood, the pointy end as we call it. You can’t just hold the bat like you used to with any part facing forward so figuring out where the best spot to hold it takes a little adjustment. I’ve found that holding the handle between the start of your palm and your first finger joint seems to line it up the best as it comes through the zone. Getting it comfortably there every time is taking a little more adjustment but I know I’ll get it.

Again I love this bat and definitely see using ONLY AXE handles from here out. I’ve actually started looking at getting my boy, who is in 12U little league, one as well to help with his bat speed and length of swing.

Here is a link to the bat I purchased except on Amazon – AXE bat Origin 32″ -3 BBCor

Here is a link to the AXE bat website

Just so it is clear, I bought the bat and this review is because I used the bat. Since I do this blog however I thought I would share my experience.

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There is no question on my feelings towards Tim “The Kardashian of Baseball” Tebow. If he fell into a giant sinkhole while running in the outfield and landed somewhere in Siberia I’d totally be okay with it.

I’m really starting to think he might be the Anti-Christ… Okay we got it he hit a homerun during his first MINOR league at bat. So did a lot of other guys and remember he is IN LOW A MINORS so he is playing against guys probably 10 years younger then him. Also the dude is huge, I totally give him that. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know strong big guy hits ball it has a chance to go a long way.

Saw this and had to share:

Of course I had to look this up if I was going to share it.

Domenic is 22 (Tebodashian is 29) and was drafted in the 22cd round by the Giants he plays for the CLASS A South Atlantic League Augusta GreenJackets. Not only does he exist but the MEME is true. Here is the other thing the media isn’t telling you do you know what his stat line was from that game?

4/6/17 @COL W – 0 L – 1 ERA – 23.65 SV – 0 Innings Pitched – 2.2 Hits – 7 ER – 7 W – 1 SO – 2

Sooooooo it’s not like this guy was burning down the house out there.

Please stop hyping this freaking guy, Tebow is not the great white hype. He’s a damn media circus that can’t get over the fact that he isn’t famous for being a ‘great player’.

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Stick’em up

Posted: April 7, 2017 by souldysfunction in General Sports Rant, MLB
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Okay you can put your hands down, this isn’t a train robbery. It is however one of the weirdest things I have ever seen in my life.

People that is not photoshopped. That is actually a major league baseball stuck to Yadier Molinas chest protector.

Is Molina made of velcro? Did that phrase “I’m rubber and your glue” statement actually come true? Did physics finally break with the weight of Trump winning the presidency? Did Bizarro Molina replace our Cardinals catcher?

Honestly there is not a great explanation for this unprecedented situation. There are some thoughts on it but no one is rushing to ‘examine’ them.

1. Pine Tar

First it could be pine tar that is on his chest protector that the ball stuck itself too. Everyone knows the majority of players in the MLB use pine tar to get a better grip on their bat so it doesn’t go flying out of their hands when they swing for the fences. It could be that Molina grabbed his chest protector with pine tar on his hands and it just happened to get on there. Problem, Yadier wears batting gloves. Most of the pine tar would be on the gloves not his hands. What if someone else handed him his chest protector that had just lubed up on pine tar? Possible but eh… kind of a stretch.

2. Velcro


3. Impact force upon said chest protector

Lance Lynn doesn’t throw that hard and the ball bounced in the dirt before it attached itself to Molina so No.

4. The Force is strong with Molina

This is quite the possibility and I won’t discount it.

5. Stick’em

There is this closely guarded secret goop stuff that magically exists for pitchers to get a better grip on the ball just like batters do with pine tar. The thing about stick’em is it is like “don’t tell don’t ask”. Some retired guys will admit to using some such thing but it is the quickest way to end a conversation. We all kind of know they use it but NO ONE talks about it.

Why would Molina have stick’em or pine tar on his chest if this benefits the pitchers grip? One clear answer is so that the pitcher doesn’t have any foreign substances on him and Molina easily adds a bit of ‘grip’ to the ball before he throws it back to the pitcher on the mound.

Is this legal? Not really Does everyone do it? Yes they do. Should we be upset about it? No not at all. Look if the pitcher needs to get a better grip on the ball so he can throw a 100 mph fastball and actually locate it rather then throw it and hit the batter with it then let him use something. Seriously just like pine tar for the batters the pitchers need something as well. I just wish it wasn’t so hush hush don’t talk about it.

Here is the whole at bat. Like I said, I got no problem with this and I’m actually surprised that it doesn’t happen more often.

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It’s official baseball season is under way and thank gawd. While spring training gives you a taste it is not the full steak and potatoes that a normal day in the baseball season give you.

So what did we learn this opening day… days. Yeah it’s a little odd to have opening day part one and then part two but the more baseball the better.

First when you start Scott Feldman, Jhoulys Chacin, and Ricky Nolacso as your opening day starter your fan base knows this season is going to suck.

Second Madison Bumgarner is a beast. 2 homeruns and had a perfect game through 4 innings on opening day. Yes I know the Diamondbacks ended up winning but damn is Madbum awesome.

Dodgers offense looks primed for this season and Kershaw is just Kershaw. However they did open against my Padres…

Eric Thames looked good for his questionable hype coming into this season after killing it in the Korean leagues.

Trout homers, Trumbo homers, Harper homers. All is right in the world.

Benintendi is Rookie of the year, just go ahead and give it to him now.

Melancon blew his first save but don’t expect that to happen often.

Yankees Baby Bombers looked good but still lost. Pretty much what I expect from them all year.


Andrew Miller at some point is going to remember he was the Yankees closer and not be happy with being the setup guy. It will happen faster if the Indians start loosing, thank goodness I don’t think they will.

Padres, Reds, Brewers, Royals, Braves, and Angels lost. Get used to it you’ll be seeing a lot more L’s

I think the Hitters are slightly above the Pitchers this year.

Sutcliff and ‘Boog’ are terrible to listen to on ESPN baseball…. sorry but it’s the truth

Blacking out games is fucking ridiculous in this day and age

Man am I glad baseball is back

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Yahweh is a baseball fan

Posted: March 9, 2017 by souldysfunction in General Sports Rant, MLB
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I have to say Team Israel of the WBC is the feel good story of the year so far. With all the crap going on in the world these guys are a shining light.

I wrote earlier about them winning their first two games shocking both Korea and Chinese Taipei. Next up was the Netherlands who was ranked #9.

The Netherlands has a pretty damn good roster featuring the likes of Xander Bogaerts, Didi Gregorious, Kenley Jansen, and Jurickson Profar. They also had won their first two games against the same Korea and Chinese Taipei teams, which were ranked #3 and #4 respectively at the tournament start.

Going into this game even with Israel winning their two games they were considered underdogs to the Netherlands.

WBC Moneyline Odds: Netherlands -215 / Israel +166
WBC RunLine Betting Odds: Netherlands -136 / Israel +100
WBC Betting Total: 9.5 (Over -120)

For betting people that probably means something but for me I just see a huge pay out on Israel. I’m definitely not condoning betting but I don’t think many people bet Israel would win.

So you are asking “What did Israel do?”

Drum roll please *bum bum bumbumbum*

They won of course. 4-2 scoring 3 of those runs in the first inning. Who would have thunk it. So very excited for these guys. Ranked 41st at the start of the tourney playing the #3, #4, and #9 teams and winning the round.

Even if for some reason they don’t win another game these guys deserve all the recognition in the world. Great job guys keep it up.

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Strike out go home

Posted: March 8, 2017 by souldysfunction in General Sports Rant, MLB
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A one Mr Tebow, as I am starting to call him Tebodashian, stepped up to the plate today against the Red Sox in a spring training game.

Yes the marketing machine in the Mets front office decided they needed a ticket boost and probably a jersey sale boost.

Lets have Tebodashian play in a spring training game that is nationally broadcast!

Said some intern at the water cooler and they actually made it happen… sadly… Thankfully they didn’t let him play in the field setting him as DH instead.

Of course the broadcasters are talking about him and pumping that ego. It would be like Urban Meyer himself was standing in the booth.

Tebodashian stepped up to bat in his first plate appearance and promptly strikes out looking. It was adorable. He looked at the umpire like “No” and the umpire just said “Yes go home”

Okay he didn’t actually but he should have.

Next at bat, yes unfortunately they let him hit again, he hits into a double play with the bases loaded.

The saddest part is he got a standing ovation for hitting a weak ground ball into a double play. Seriously the fans were louder and on their feet for him. WTF is wrong with people? He is a terrible baseball player, he was a terrible pro football player, STOP CHEERING FOR THE GUY. This isn’t give a gold star to him for trying kind of thing.

I will never understand Tebowmania… Someone tell him to find something he is good and and quit encouraging him to be something he has no business doing.


Tebodashian was just up for his third at bat and got hit on the shoulder. He took his base which loaded the bases with no outs. Next batter hit a line drive to the second baseman for an out. Normally that would be that but no Tebodashian was caught to far off of first when the out was made and was thrown out trying to get back to first. Yup go home.


Tebodashian just got struck out on three pitches at his 4th at bat. Bat never left his shoulder. Yup go home again.

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WBC Madness!!

Posted: March 7, 2017 by souldysfunction in General Sports Rant, MLB
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The World Baseball Classic is under way and already there is a huge story.

One word: Israel

Yes I said Israel. The team that coming into the tournament was 200-1 odd of winning the whole thing. The same team that has Sam Fuld (previously of the Oakland A’s), Ike Davis (who is in the Dodgers minor league system), and Scott Feldman (who is now pitching for the Reds in his 12th year in the league) as their BIG name MLB Stars. The team that had to play back to back games on the first day. When I say back to back it was more like they played in the early AM then took a 8-10 hour break and then play a late PM game in the same day. Personally I would think that a large gap of time like that between games would kill any groove from the first game.

So what did the Israelis do?

They go out and beat the host nation and 3rd ranked team Korea 2-1 in 10 innings. Behind stellar defense and pitching they shocked everyone. Normally after a huge victory over a team that you were not supposed to even be in the same stadium with one might think the groove and adrenaline would have been spent. However Israel decided to bottle it up and spray it all over the next team they faced Chinese Taipei. This time they were definitely not content to win by the skin of their teeth as they whooped Chinese Taipei 15 to 7. The Chinese Taipei team didn’t even get a run across till the 6th inning and hadn’t even recorded a hit till the 4th.

Israel lead throughout the game and never looked back. It was incredible. They are already qualified for the second round which is awesome.

This is why you play the game you never know what the baseball gawds are going to do.

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Mid season form… Ummm

Posted: March 6, 2017 by souldysfunction in General Sports Rant, MLB
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I think I might have professed on here before that I have no love for Yasiel Puig. The Dodgers right fielder is an incredible talent, with a ego and attitude even larger. Last season it got so bad that he was sent down to Triple A and was threatened with being traded before the guy finally got it. Yes he has more natural talent in his little toe then maybe a quarter of the guys in the majors so that has never been questioned. His desire, hustle, attention, and drive have been questioned many… many… many times.

So what does this walking side show do in spring training?

Keep his head down and make no waves?

Let his effort on the field do the talking for him?

Man do I wish…

Puig decided to show everyone that he is the man, in spring training by launching a bat into the air after a homerun. Sigh…. Yes Puig batting stance looks much more upright then last season so he has spent some time in the cages in preparation for this season. However it looks like he has spent a lot of time trying to rival Jose Bautista’s epic bat flip.

Puig… It’s spring training dude. Get over yourself and just play the game. Now if you make it to the playoffs, and hit a 2 run homer after getting pelted in the at bat before to win game 5 then you can bat flip till then just play the game and quit showing off.

Thanks to Mets and Islanders fan for the video.

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