Here's one possible explanation for what happened in the second inning of Thursday's Los Angeles Dodgers-San Francisco Giants game: Yasiel Puig is an incredibly self-aware performance artist, and he was making a point about his own duality on two fly balls the Giants hit to him in consecutive at-bats.
The easy out? He goes for a basket catch and drops it. You could hear baseball coaches everywhere starting their "use two hands" lecture. The ball hit over his head that looks destined for a double? He does his Puig thing and makes a wowing over-the-shoulder catch that ended the inning.
But Puig isn't a performance artist, he's a baseball player, a player who has proven time and time again that he's capable of incredible moments and incredibly confounding mistakes. Such is the frustration of No. 66. It's something the Dodgers know well at this point.
Before anybody bursts into a Bill Plaschke-esque tsk-tsking of Puig, we feel compelled to point out that the dropped fly ball didn't actually affect the game too much. There was a runner on first base, so when Puig dropped the ball, he picked it up and fired to second for a force out. It helps to have a cannon for an arm. The upshot: Same number of outs, still a runner on first. That doesn't excuse Puig flubbing an easy fly ball. He obviously should have caught that, but at this specific moment, it wasn't the end of the world.
More interesting is the fact that Puig made the extraordinary catch on the very next play. How you feel about Yasiel Puig probably depends on which is more important to you: missing the catch that every player should make or making the catch that only a few players will make.
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