Quick hits: Mets' Wright gets beaned in head

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– The nightmare season for the Mets continues as David Wright had to leave Saturday’s game against the Giants after getting beaned in the head by a 94 MPH fastball by Matt Cain.
Of course, Johan Santana had to follow that up with his best Shawn
Estes impression, throwing behind Pablo Sandoval in retaliation. What
happens two pitches later? Kung-Fu Panda hits a moonshot to the second
deck in left. Only the Mets, folks. Only the Mets.




– Brett Myers was supposed to start for Single-A Clearwater on Saturday night,
but the rehab outing was scratched after he was hit in the eye while
playing catch with his four-year old son. Nevermind, it happened when
he fell out of his truck. Nothing else to see here. Move along.




– According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, John Smoltz doesn’t have any plans to retire and would be open to joining a club as a starter or a reliever.
The Red Sox have until Monday to trade or release Smoltz, but moving
his contract is pretty unlikely at this juncture. The Dodgers, Rangers,
Cardinals and Marlins are believed to have interest in the 42-year-old.
The future Hall of Famer had a 8.33 ERA and 1.70 WHIP over eight starts
this season.




– According to Baseball America,
first-round picks Mike Leake (Reds), Nick Franklin (Mariners) and Chad
James (Marlins) have all come to terms with their respective teams. If
you count James,
18 of the 32 first-round picks have signed, with No. 3 pick Donovan Tate expected to sign with the Padres in short order.

Oh good, it’s “Yasiel Puig is a showboat” season

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With the Los Angeles Dodgers punching their ticket to the World Series, Yasiel Puig is now going to be the subject of commentary by people who tend not to care about Yasiel Puig until it’s useful for them to write outraged columns or go on talk radio rants about baseball deportment.

We got a brief teaser of this last night when, after scoring the Dodgers’ ninth run on a Logan Forsythe double, TBS analyst Ron Darling criticized Puig for his “shenanigans” and “rubbing it in.” Never mind that his third base coach was waving him home and that, if he didn’t run hard, he was just as likely to be criticized for dogging it. In other news, baseball teams don’t stop trying in the fourth inning of baseball games, nor should they.

That was just an appetizer, though. The first real course of the “Puig is a problem” feast we’re likely to be served over the next week and a half comes from Phil Mushnick of the New York Post, who wrote it even before the Dodgers won Game 5 last night:

If you were raised to love baseball and to recognize the smart, winning kind from everything less, the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig is insufferable. As the sport is diminished by professionals who disregard the basic act of running to first base as a matter of style, Puig, an incurable home-plate poser, often makes turning doubles and triples into singles appear effortless . . . In the postseason, Puig continues to behave as if he’s in the Home Run Derby. He even seems to relish his high-risk flamboyant foolishness despite frequent backfires.

This may as well be a fill in the blanks column from 2013 or 2014, when “Puig is a flashy showboater who costs his team more than he gives it” columns were all the rage. It ignores the fact that Puig, commonly dinged for being lazy, worked his butt off in 2017, particularly on defense, to the point where he has a strong case for a Gold Glove this year. It also ignores his .455/.538/.727 line in the NLDS sweep of the Diamondbacks and his .389/.500/.611 line against the Cubs in the NLCS. In the regular season he set career highs for games, homers, RBI, stolen bases and almost set a career high for walks despite having seventy fewer plate appearances than he did back in 2013 when he walked 67 times. He’s not the MVP candidate some thought he might be, but he’s a fantastic player who has been a key part of the Dodgers winning their first pennant in 29 years.

But the dings on Puig from the likes of Mushnick have rarely been about production. They’ve simply been about style and the manner in which he’s carried himself. To the extent those issues were legitimate points of criticism — particularly his tardiness, his relationships with his teammates and his at times questionable dedication — they have primarily been in-house concerns for the Dodgers, not the casual fan like Mushnick. On that score the Dodgers have dealt with Puig and, by all accounts, Puig has responded pretty well. An occasional lapse to be sure, but nothing which makes him a greater burden than a benefit. I mean, if he was, would be be batting cleanup in a pennant-clinching game?

So if the beef with Puig is not really about baseball, what could Phil Mushnick’s issue with him possible be?

I, for one, have no idea whatsoever.