Yasiel Puig is amazing. Yasiel Puig is getting familiar. Yasiel Puig will be boring.
That's the progression. Take David Ortiz. He's in a ballpark right now, still rounding the bases for a home run he hit six weeks ago. No one cares. He's been grandfathered in. He's still exciting as a player, but he's not the biggest story in baseball. He's just one character in the Altman film of baseball, sharing his screen time with dozens of different players.
The Wild Blue Yonder
The Wild Blue Yonder
That will be Puig if we're not careful. The bat flips won't be as amusing. One wall collision will run into the next. He'll just be Puig, slightly exciting All-Star. We cannot let this happen.
So while spending my Memorial Day watching a blooper video from the '80s just like you probably did, I had an epiphany. It has to be exhausting to keep doing things that baseball has never seen before. Puig can't keep that up. What I propose, then, is that Puig supplements the original material with covers. He needs to look to the past to lead us into the future.
Here are five things Yasiel Puig needs to do, as told by GIFs from an '80s blooper video.
1. Hit more people in the beans
I did not promise highbrow content. And this isn't a new idea -- this is like a producer telling a musician to cover a Dylan song. Gee, original idea.
But this could be a thing for Puig for a while, to the point where we'd have to wonder if he was doing it on purpose. Elbows while leading off first, throws to an unmanned base with the runner not looking, and baseball bats when the catcher is crouched and waiting for a sign. There are so many opportunities.
Eventually, it would start a fight. It should be noted that we haven't seen Puig in a fight since the Great Starting Lineup Action Figure Brawl from '13. And while I'm supposed to be an erudite, learned fan who eschews such things... Puig should probably charge more mounds, for science. Or, hit people in the beans continuously until someone snaps.
2. Antagonize more umpires
Puig already complains about every called strike, so much so that umpires are just ignoring him now. He's probably already getting Ortized in this respect. That's just ol' Puig again, what're you gonna do? So he'll have to be creative with his umpire disdain. Here you have Dan Gladden refusing to step into the box for whatever reason. That's a start. Puig could do that for a month and make it a thing. Then he could start calling time every five seconds, and keep that up for a month. He's going to have to be creative.
3. Seriously, antagonize more umpires
I don't know what the hitter equivalent for that is, but I can't stop watching it. I think the hitter can ask for a new baseball if he thinks the old one is scuffed. Maybe Puig should ask for more baseballs?
This is the point where you realize that the entire point of this article is to show you old '80s GIFs while reminding you that Yasiel Puig is a freak. So I might as well throw in the kitchen sink while I'm off topic.
That has nothing to do with the subject at hand, but nothing in this really does. Thank you for reading?
4. Throw more bats
Hubie Brooks threw this one, and it's important to realize that not only does the bat hit Bobby Bonilla, but it then hits the ball, which then hits the runner. That should count for five runs, if not an automatic victory.
When Cody Ross slumps, he wings his bat into the stands. Reliably, consistently, hilariously. Even though it isn't always funny ...
... it adds a little spice to his at-bats. But when it comes to bat flips and annoying other teams, Cody Ross is like a Yasiel Puig for people who watch ABC Family. You know Puig can do better. My theory: Puig can throw a bat that reaches an outfielder. Heck, he can probably clang one off the Green Monster or into the Crawford Boxes. I'm not going to go so far as suggest it's his duty to try, but he has a very, very strong obligation to the baseball world to try.
5. Jump on a man's face to leave the ballpark
This is the important one. Yasiel Puig should probably use his cleats to propel himself off the face of an unsuspecting fan because he's frantic and wants to exit the ballpark as quickly as possible.
It doesn't have to be a fan. It can be a coach. Or an usher. Or a photographer. Or ...
Okay, Puig probably should not do this. But the only other way to get this GIF in front of you was to go with my second idea, "Why every ballpark should be absolutely teeming with stray cats," which didn't have much substance beyond the headline.
Yasiel Puig isn't an event any more. He's just one of the very best baseball players on the planet. I'm terrified that he's going to become a known quantity in a game of known quantities. Maybe he can do what today's musicians are so fond of doing and look to the '80s for inspiration.
Or maybe he can just hit a few people in the beans for my amusement.