The moment Yasiel Puig jumped from successful rookie to full-blown baseball phenomenon was the very next pitch after Hanley Ramirez walked to load the bases in the eighth inning of Thursday's Dodgers-Braves game.
[Tim Brown: Slow your roll on Yasiel Puig excitement]
Puig already had one hit in the game. Another would give the Dodgers, up 1-0, a couple insurance runs. But that's not what anybody was thinking. Not with Puig's two-home-run night fresh in their minds. They were wondering: Could he do it? Could he hit a grand slam? Could he hit his third home run in four games? Could the legend of the Cuban defector who might just be the Dodgers savior continue to grow?
You're darn right he hit a grand slam. And as you'll see above, he made it look easy. He knocked the first pitch he saw, a hanging slider, over the right field wall. There are a handful of great moments in what ensued: Puig's about-business sprint around the bases almost catching up to Hanley's slow trot. Clayton Kershaw dumbstruck in the dugout. Puig getting yet another curtain call.
But perhaps the second best moment (after the home run) was Puig's celebration dance in the dugout. Check the GIF:
Here's another version of the dance, from earlier in the week in the Dodgers locker room by Puig and fellow rookie import Hyun-Jin Ryu:
This swim dance will become a full-fledged thing pretty quickly if Puig keeps this pace up. Can't you see news anchors and teenage fans and Little Leaguers doing the swim dance like it's the new "Harlem Shake?"
Eric Byrnes proclaimed on MLB Network not long after the grand slam: "Yasiel Puig is the most exciting player in baseball." At this very moment, it's hard to argue with that.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Yasiel Puig
- Hanley Ramirez