PHOENIX – Watching Yasiel Puig uncork a bottle of cheap sparkling wine and spray his teammates during the Dodgers’ postgame celebration Thursday, Manager Don Mattingly shook his head and laughed.
“He’s the fastest champagne opener in the business,” Mattingly said.
Evidently, the 22-year-old Puig is as quick a learner with a bottle in his hands as he is with a bat.
Puig said that back in his native Cuba, champagne was never part of locker room celebrations.
“In Cuba, we used water,” Puig said.
Puig thanked his teammates for the experience, pointing specifically to Hanley Ramirez and A.J. Ellis. Ramirez hit two home runs in the Dodgers’ 7-6 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks that secured the National League West title. Ellis hit the winning home run in the eighth inning.
“We continued to fight and were able to celebrate,” Puig said.
As reporters started to clear out of the locker room, Puig started break dancing. His teammates formed a circle around him, laughing and hollering.
Puig said this was the high point of his infant career.
“Until we reach the World Series,” he said.
When Puig was called up to the major leagues from double-A Chattanooga on June 3, the Dodgers were in last place.
“When I first came up, they were down,” Puig said. “But everyone always fought to get here. Now, we’re here, thanks to God.”