The Yasiel Puig excitement is palpable … but

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Call this a deep thought. And it’s even one I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, so it’s a recycled deep thought. But given how the heat around Yasiel Puig is rising, I feel like it’s still timely.

Puig, the Dodgers’ young Cuban import, has been hitting the friggin’ cover off the ball this spring. He’s hitting .527/.509/.855 through 16 Cactus League games this spring, and despite the fact that the Dodgers’ outfield would appear to be set with Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier, Puig is still on the big league roster so he may very well break camp with the team.

For a couple of weeks we’ve been hearing comparisons of Puig to other established stars like Vladimir Guerrero and physical beasts like Bo Jackson. Today Buster Olney has a big writeup on him which talks about some of that. There will be more in the coming days.

I also predict a bright future for Puig because he is so damn strong and big and fast and, at this point in his career, defensively versatile.  Seeing him rake in the multiple Dodgers games I witnessed in Arizona in late February and early March was easily the highlight of my spring training trip, and the biggest baseball-related takeaway. He was quite impressive. But I also remember seeing him swing at fastballs in his eyes a lot and seeing him do is worst damage late in games against marginal pitching talent or when guys were behind in counts and had runners on base and just needed to get something over.

Which, hey, to be an awesome hitter you have to hit slop too. But I also feel like major league pitching has something pretty harsh in store for him at first. Specifically, lots of stuff out of the strike zone which he has to show he won’t offer at all the time. The kind of stuff you simply don’t see a ton of in spring training, at least not early. Puig may very well have his own adjustments in store too. He may anticipate that no one will give him good stuff to hit, he may exceed expectations and make a giant splash once the bell rings.  But I’m a bit skeptical right now.

I’m not hating on him. Just saying that, if Puig is to be a big star, as I feel he could be, it could take a while, that’s all. He’s green.

Here are your World Series Umpires

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The men in blue. Although it often looks black, yes? They still wear blue sometimes though so it probably doesn’t matter. Let’s just call ’em the baseball cops and not worry too much about what they’re wearing.

Here are the baseball cops for the 2019 World Series: Alan Porter, Doug Eddings, Gary Cederstrom, James Hoye,
Lance Barksdale, Sam Holbrook, and Jim Wolf.

Cederstrom is the Crew Chief and will have second base in tonight’s Game 1, after which they rotate as they always do.

Wolf will serve as the Replay Official for Games One and Two, after which he will join the on-field crew as the left field umpire for Game Three. Porter, the home plate umpire for Game One, will shift to Replay Official duties from Game Three through the conclusion of the World Series. The Replay Assistant throughout the Fall Classic will be regular season crew chief Jerry Meals.

The umpires will wear a uniform patch in memory of umpire Eric Cooper, who passed away over the weekend. The patch will say “Coop.”