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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Puig for MVP

A few months ago, one of my students, a die-hard Los Angeles Dodgers fans, was lamenting how poorly the Dodgers were playing, and he asked me (knowing that I had played a little ball) whether I thought Don Mattingly (the Dodger's manager) should be fired. The Dodgers, after all, were loaded with talent but couldn't pull things together.  "No." I said. "Mattingly isn't the problem. What they need is someone who can bring the team together, much like Kirk Gibson did for them in 1988."

Sometimes I hate being right because that's exactly what happened. Yasiel Puig's arrival transformed the Dodgers from a mediocre team (albeit with a lot of talent) to one of the best (and certainly the hottest) team in baseball. He should be a shoo-in for Rookie of the Year, and (as much as I hate to admit it) he'd get my vote for MVP (assuming the Dodgers don't choke between now and the end of September). To be sure, a strong case could be made for Andrew McCutchen (as long as the Pirates make the playoffs), and Puig's teammate, Hanley Ramírez, but neither McCutchen nor Ramírez have had the effect that Puig has had.

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