Cover your eyes, Yasiel Puig is on the move! Protect yourself and those you hold most dear, the outfielder is flying toward another baseball.
The understandable fear was always that the Paul Bunyan-esque Puig would run over and demolish some poor infielder during another frantic charge to a ball. Ah, yes, we knew him well. Always a scrappy little fella.
Only Thursday night in Anaheim, Puig charged, collided with infielder Howie Kendrick and it was Puig who went down. It was all backward.
It was the perfect storm of awful, Puig playing back on the powerful Mike Trout and the American League MVP popping a ball high in the air right between Puig in right and Kendrick at second.
Puig rushed in and Kendrick retreated, neither immediately sure they could get to the ball and calling for it.
“It’s just one of those plays,” Manager Don Mattingly said. “You can’t call it until you think you can catch it.”
By the time Puig called for it, Kendrick was back and there was a collision. Puig was going down for the ball, and as Kendrick tried to spin away at the last instant, his left elbow appeared to hit Puig sharply in the chin and firmly in the throat.
Puig went down face first and stayed there, unmoving for what seemed a long time. He was in pain, and possibly a little frightened.
“I wasn’t scared,” Puig said. “It’s something that happens to me all the time.”
Except normally he’s not on the receiving end. When he finally rolled over on the grass for Stan Conte, the trainer started closely examining his neck. Puig rose and walked off, and later passed a concussion test.
Puig said he was fine after the game and expected to be able to play Friday.
“I’m just glad everyone is OK,” Mattingly said. “That’s the main thing.”
Kendrick is only 5 feet 11, but a solidly built 220 pounds. And a solid forearm to the neck, is still a solid forearm to the neck, no matter whom the neck belongs to.