The NFL and Beisbol

This is Adrian Peterson. He is arguably the NFL’s best running back right now.

San Diego Chargers v Minnesota Vikings

Peterson is 6″ 1′ and weighs around 220 pounds. I wonder if he is all  muscle? Uh… yeah.

adrian-peterson-shirtless_300X400

This is Ray Lewis. He played in the NFL for almost 2 decades as the starting middle line backer for the Baltimore Ravens. He was feared, and rightfully so.

ray lewis

Ray Ray, don’t worry, I know him like that, is listed at 6″1′ and 240 pounds. I wonder if he’s all muscle? Uh… yeah.

ray no shirt

Below, that is Bo Jackson in the late 1980’s. He was so athletically gifted that he played football and baseball, professionally! Are you effing kidding me Bo! Most men can’t even hit an 80 mph baseball at the batting cages. Bo was a running back for the Oakland Raiders and played baseball for several teams. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1985 while playing football for Auburn. On a Monday Night Football game, in 1987, he rushed for 217 yards against the Seattle Seahawks. He was an All Star, in football and baseball! Bo was listed at 6′” 1′ 230 pounds. And yes, he was all muscle too. His athletic career was cut short in 1991 because of a hip injury he received playing football. Damn Bo! I told you to run out of bounds. (Did you hear that RGIII?)

bo-jackson-the-ball

But what if you are built like one of the players above, and you are born in a country that doesn’t have American football as one of its major sports? Will your talent go to waste? What if you’re born in Cuba, where the national pastime is baseball, and you’re built like an NFL running back or line backer? Well, you play beisbol. And guess what? That player exists today. Ladies, gentlemen, children, pets that like to watch TV, and martians here on earth, I present to you Cuban born and raised, Yasiel Puig.

Yasiel Puig, Omir Santos, Jonathan Saphire

Yasiel is listed at 6″3 and 245 pounds. Damn! And yes, it is all muscle.

yasiel body

In beisbol, there are 5 tools a player can have. One is hitting for power. That means, can you hit home-runs? The second is, can you hit for average? That basically means that you don’t strike out a lot, you make contact, and get on base. The third one in speed, or base running ability. This basically means “CAN YOU RUN YOUR ASS OFF, and fast?”. (By the way, you are born with speed. I don’t care how much a kid runs track or trains. You are born fast. Yes, you can train to improve speed a bit, but fast humans are born fast. Sorry if I shattered any dreams. Fast athletes who run track and excel do so because they are fast. Track did not make them fast. Got it?) The next tool is fielding. Can you track a baseball and make it land in your glove and then make a play? And the last tool is throwing ability. This means, can you throw a baseball far and fast? Guess which tools Yasiel possesses? Like Bo Jackson, all of them. He is the coveted 5 tool player. And that is why after watching Yasiel hit a few baseballs and run around the bases as a try out, the Los Angeles Dodgers gave the freshly defected from Cuba, Yasiel Puig Valdes, a 7 year 42 million dollar contract. The Dodgers saw Puig’s talent and body to match, and couldn’t pass him up.

If Puig looks lean to you in the picture below, it is because he is 245 pounds of muscular baseball player and not 245 pounds of coach potato spectator. Not all pounds are the same.

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Puig made his debut for the Dodgers on June 2nd of this year, and the rest is awesome history for the Dodger “GO BLUE” nation. At the time of his debut, the Dodgers were in last place in the NL West. Puig, and his reckless and electric style play, lit a fire under the asses of other Dodger players. In June, Puig batted .436. That means he got a hit about half the time he was up to bat. Crazy! In his first 5 games, he hit 4 home runs, and one was a grand-slam. For the month of June he won NL Rookie of the Month and NL Player of the month. The first time a player had won both awards at the same time, in their first month of professional play.

As of right now, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in first place of their division, and 20 games over .500. Yes, they have awesome pitching. And yes, other talented players like Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Hanley Ramirez, are on the Dodger roster. But collectively, the team wasn’t doing poo-poo until a young 22 year old, Cuban defector, with a body of an NFL running back, defected to Mexico, came to the U.S., signed with the Dodgers, and made his debut on June 2nd, 2013. With his exciting and hungry play, Puig reminded the Dodger players of what they were capable of. Witnessing Puig appreciate his physical gifts and playing baseball hard, everyday, made other players follow suit. He is the Cuban, Dodger clubhouse, spark plug.

puig

The impressive thing is that Yasiel is only 22 years old. Professional baseball players aren’t really supposed to understand the game and excel, until their mid to late 20’s. With Yasiel, you can’t stop insane athleticism and an even higher desire to win. The best part for me, is that I am a die hard, born in L.A., Dodger fan. World series anyone?

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