With the exception of Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre, no finer comedy team exists in Major League Baseball than Yasiel Puig and Juan Uribe of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Non-speakers of Spanish don’t know what they’re saying most of the time, but it’s easy to tell that something funny is going on because Puig and Uribe enjoy being teammates like few men show in the majors.
That’s why what could have been an uncomfortable situation at Citi Field on Tuesday night turned into a funny moment after Puig appeared to forget how many outs there were in the third inning and unleashed an unnecessary laser of a throw from right field to Uribe at third base. Puig was showing off his arm, not only out of pride but also as a reminder for any runner to hold his ground.
Except the runner wasn’t going anywhere other than his position on defense. The inning was over, and the Dodgers went on to beat the New York Mets 9-4. No harm was done in the moment, it’s just that Puig might not be so lucky next time, so it’s a mistake that needed to be corrected. Rather than getting in his face with a lecture, the Dodgers tried laughter to goad Puig into paying more attention the next time. Puig still might be new, he might be learning, but Cuba only goes to three outs, too.
Led by Uribe, a number of Dodgers teammates (even coach Mark McGwire) razzed Puig about his brain lock. Uribe stared with perplexed body language and engaged him in a “What the heck?” conversation. Others slapped him on the back of the head. Some, including McGwire, appeared to count to three slowly in at least two languages. They let him know that, even though it was funny, ignorance isn’t always bliss.
Here's an extended look at the Puiging.
Though he doesn’t put up game-changing numbers, Uribe’s presence is important in other ways, like on defense, and being an intermediary for Puig. That’s why the team is holding its breath after Uribe was sidelined with a strained right hamstring he sustained running out a double in the ninth inning.
Regardless of Uribe’s status, it won’t be the last time Puig makes a mistake. It’s just nice for the Dodgers knowing that Uribe is around to help pick him up when Puig fails.
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