LOS ANGELES, Calif – Yasiel Puig has been under the microscope during his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Today, I sat down with him to talk about playing in the World Series, his teammates and his love for the fans, as well as the fans love for him.
On playing in the World Series and having success. “I am so happy for my team. Getting the opportunity to be here in the World Series right now. Also, for me to play and prepare the best I can in the season and in the off-season in Miami. The dreams coming true for me and my team is in the World Series and to go win the championship,” said Puig.
Clayton Kershaw dominated Game 1 of the Fall Classic. I asked Puig what it’s like playing behind him when he is on top of his game like we saw. “When he is coming like that yesterday striking everyone out, he’s finding his pitches nobody can hit nothing. Everybody feels better because he’s pitching for us. Everybody feels more relaxed when he’s on the mound. The job he did yesterday is awesome and now everybody is prepared for this game to face Verlander and the Astros today.”
Game 2 features Rich Hill on the mound for the Dodgers. Puig talked about that. “He’s going to do his job, and everybody on the offense and the defense will be there for him.”
I asked Puig about facing an elite pitcher in Justin Verlander and if he took any different approach not being familiar with him. ”No. he’s a good pitcher and he has a good team. He has not lost a game with Houston because he has a really good team. When he’s pitching the best pitches he has and the offense responds to him, that is the reason he has not lost a game with Houston and now they are in the World Series. Everybody is going to be ready for him. Everybody is going out to have fun and play for love of the game, and doing the best everybody can against this great pitcher.”
It’s no secret that the fans in Los Angeles love Puig. You hear them when he is announced and they erupt with Puig chants throughout the stadium. He talked about the love they have for him, and the love he has for them. “These fans and the city are awesome. The fans have waited 29 years for the trophy, and this is the year. Everybody comes here every day and that makes me excited and very happy and is the reason when I see a couple fans, or a couple kids in the stands, I give them high fives. It makes everyone feel good and excited for the game. Then, when I do something in the game, fans are happy it makes me feel good and happy and makes me want to the same way to the fans.”
It’s been well known that Puig has licked his bat during games. I asked him about licking the trophy should the Dodgers win. “Everybody is prepared for this moment and to win these four games, to be a champion. I’ll be with the trophy and lick it for a couple minutes and I’ll like it and I will be happy.”
During my time with Puig prior to Game 2 of the World Series, I came away with a different opinion of him. He is just looking to have fun, be appreciated by all and doesn’t want to disappoint anyone. His abilities to play this game are above average and being around the right people like the Dodgers have done with him, will help make him a likable superstar in this great game.