I Dared Yasiel Puig to Hit a Grand Slam; Now I Owe Him my Car
A baseball blogger's Twitter feed is no place for objectivity. If not by definition than by tradition, a baseball blogger -- and Dodger bloggers have been at this the longest -- roots for his team. He may rip them a new one when the situation calls for it, but his love is blue always.
And so last night, with the Dodgers clinging to a precarious-because-of-their-scary-bullpen 1-0 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning, bases jammed and Cuban phenom Yasiel Puig (pronounced Ya-see-el Pweeg) at the plate, at 9:31 p.m. I tweeted, "If Puig hits a grand slam I will give him my car."
An instant later Puig hammered the very next pitch from Atlanta Braves reliever Cory Gearrin over the right field wall for the grande salami, giving his team a 5-0 lead and sending Los Angeles into momentary delirium. And I was out a well-maintained, with 76,000 mostly-freeway-between-home-and-Chavez-Ravine miles 2006 Honda Civic. License plate: GO DGRS.
I was at once ecstatic in presumed victory -- and horrified at the prospect of the many busses I'd need to take in making my next game. Or, as David Mamet once said, "They say the definition of ambivalence is watching your mother-in-law drive over a cliff in your new Cadillac." For the record, I love my mother-in-law dearly and have no interest in ever owning a Caddy.
The tweet replies came in quickly. "Does it go over 100 MPH?" wrote @zackscollarbone, a reference to Puig's April 28 arrest for driving 97 in a 50 mph zone. @DodgerBaseball2 tweeted "Daewoo" and "keys," while J.P. Hoornstra, of the Los Angeles Daily News added, "better throw in proof of insurance, too."
A man of my word, my mind went straight to "OK pal, better pay up," and with my wife asleep (thank you, God) at 9:38 p.m., and in an effort to be thorough, I contacted two Dodgers executives for instructions.
With just the subject "holy shit!" and the Twitter link in the body of the email, official No. 1 responded "uh, oh," later adding, "Thanks, but I would think his transportation needs are being met through the team."
Official No. 2, more on-point, wrote, "As you know, we aren't allowed to bet on baseball, so we'll give you a pass on this one."
A writer exhales. Who knew a gift of a used car, with the Kelly Blue Book private party "very good" value of $9,725 would be turned down by a man with a $42 million contract?
Oh, by the way, Los Angeles over Atlanta, 5-0, in the first of a four-game series Thursday. Zack Greinke with his third win, in a gutty seven-inning, no earned runs performance, his strongest outing since coming back from collarbone surgery. And the Dodgers have won three of the four games since Puig's call-up Monday.
Hyun-Jin Ryu toes the rubber for L.A. opposite Braves' left-hander Paul Maholm tonight at 7:10 p.m., it's Stephen Fife and Kris Medlen tomorrow at 7:10 p.m. and Ted Lilly, or perhaps Matt Magill, versus Mike Minor Sunday at 1:10 p.m. My car will be in dry dock for the weekend.
Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers Yasiel Puig, hitting grand slam Thursday