In the wake of a devastating loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cardinals fans can find some solace in one fact: we don’t have to deal with Yasiel Puig every day.
Imagine Puig in a Cardinals jersey. One might be embarrassed by the way he moseys around the field. Others may question his depth perception when flipping his bat. One thing is certain: he fills stands, bringing with him the media and the circus, which always entertains Dodger fans. Unlike the Dodgers, the Cardinals do not need a gimmick to draw fans.
Cardinal fans are faithful to the Redbirds. They fill plenty of seats. According to the Baseball Almanac, the Cardinals have beaten the national average of baseball ticket sales in 19 of the last 20 years. Puig would probably draw more national attention to the clubhouse, which is ultimately unnecessary given previous Cardinal success.
Puig is also disrespectful to the game. His bat flip is both arrogant and superfluous. Last month, Puig did a bat flip for an at bat that he believed would end in a home run. His ball was caught before reaching the warning track (see youtube link below). Even home runs do not justify that level of egotism. The Cardinals pride themselves on modest successes. When Yadi throws out a runner trying to steal second, he gives himself a moment of congratulations and goes back to his job.
Sure, many are quick to argue that Puig’s numbers and success in the field warrant such high accolades from Dodger fans. I conceed that Puig is a talented baseball player. His starts for a rookie are impressive. However, baseball is not simply a game of numbers. If it were, teams like the Yankees, the Angels, and the Dodgers would win every World Series. They buy up players that give the best numbers and have the most well known names, which Yasiel Puig will undoubtedly have. The best clubhouses have players that work as a cohesive unit. Successful teams are greater than the sum of their components.
Although the Cards need bats, Puig’s not worth flipping over.
Yasiel Puig Bat Flip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdyhhpy0-zc
St. Louis Cardinals Ticket Sales/Average http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teams/cardatte.shtml