The English-speaking skills of Cuba native Yasiel Puig are coming along in his second season in the majors. They're good enough for Puig to do a TV interview on Jimmy Kimmel's show with Guillermo Rodriguez, one of Kimmel's bilingual correspondents. Guillermo says he is leaning toward voting for Puig to represent the Los Angeles Dodgers for the upcoming major league All-Star game, but he'd like him to answer a few questions first. The results are predictably awkward, but also funny — and even side-splittingly hilarious during a couple of moments.
The best exchanges include Guillermo asking Puig, "Who's on first?" as if he's starting the classic Abbott and Costello gag. Puig's deadpan answer: "Adrian Gonzalez."
• When asked if he were wearing a cup, Puig explained (in Spanish) that he wasn't, but that he'd also "Be ready for anything."
• Getting Puig to sing a few lines of "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" was a major comic victory for Guillermo, even if linguistic difficulties arose when trying to pronounce "peanuts and Cracker Jack."
• Handing Puig a stack of All-Star ballots and a pen so he could vote was a stroke of genius. And baseball fans have to appreciate the joke about not finding a "Rodriguez" on the ballot.
This kind of humor is always a little tricky — poking fun at (or with) people who speak with thick accents. But if Puig shows a willingness to poke fun at himself, the least we can do is try to appreciate his bilingual comic timing. Let's laugh with him more than we laugh at him, eh? And give peace a chance.
Big BLS H/N: The Hall of Very Good
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