For the eighth consecutive year I attended the Dodgers home opener, and for the first time since 2008 I went as a civilian, not a member of the media. When Cathi and I arrived at the Ravine, she received a mobile alert from the Dodgers: Yasiel Puig would be benched for arriving late.
“I can’t wait for the goddamn columns to be written about Puig,” I told her.
Don Mattingly did the right thing: he benched Puig and inserted Matt Kemp in his place. Puig had been late before and needed to pay the price.
“Yasiel Puig is the very thing that stands to undo the Dodgers’ World Series championship hopes,” wrote Jill Painter in the lede of the her column in the Daily News. Continues Jill:
Not injuries to Clayton Kershaw or Brian Wilson or any other player.
Puig couldn’t even make the time to be on time for the Dodgers’ home opener Friday. He doesn’t care about his team or his bosses or the fans who hang on his every at-bat.
Don’t listen to anything he says. He’s not responsible. He’s reckless and selfish and his mistakes are inexcusable.
I love Jill, and we had fun disagreeing. But this is a bit melodramatic. I know if we talk she will say something like, “At some point he needs to learn.” To which I will reply, “You are right, but it won’t be his fault if the Dodgers don’t win it all.” Besides, the Pittsburgh Pirates will win the World Series this year.
The Dodgers lost spectacularly to the Giants 8-4, the Giants scoring all eight runs while Hyun-Jin Ryu was on the mound in the first two innings. Ryu couldn’t find the strike zone in the first inning without finding a Giant bat. Balls were bouncing like pinballs in the outfield. It was two of the more amusing innings I’ve ever witnessed.
I have more about this day, but for fear of this being a thousand-word post I’ll just leave it at this.