Forget how long he’s played. MLB All Star game needs star power. MLB has no bigger star right now than Yasiel Puig….
The debate is on. Should Yasiel Puig be an All Star? The argument is compelling from both sides. On one hand, Puig has only played in the majors for a little over a month. Obviously, Puig making the All Star team would boot someone from the team, that’s earned their spot while playing all season. On the other hand, there is no one more talked about, or more watched in Major League Baseball right now. The All Star Game, no matter the league, should showcase the stars of that league. Make no mistake about it, Puig is a star, and the league would be foolish not to showcase him on one of it’s biggest stages. In similar situations, other leagues like the NBA would take advantage.
While it probably isn’t the same magnitude as it would be if Yasiel Puig makes the All Star Game, Kobe Bryant, while in his second NBA season, in 1998 made his NBA All Star Game debut. In that same game, Michael Jordan, made his final All Star Game appearance. At that time, the buzz around the NBA was how did Kobe compare to Michael. While it was only the All Star Game, NBA fans wanted to see this matchup. The King vs the perceived heir to his throne. NBA fans got what they wanted, as Kobe was voted to the starting lineup and faced Michael. So many times in recent years, fans of Major League Baseball have not gotten what they wanted, and it shows in slowly declining attendance, and poor tv ratings. This is an opportunity baseball did not see coming, and it cannot be wasted away.
To say baseball is in a little better shape, since Puig came on the scene is an understatement. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who have struggled to a 40-44 record are tops in the majors in attendance. The Dodgers, are averaging over 43,000 per game, and have surpassed 2 million fans through the gates. Attribute a good portion of that to Puig. It’s also next to impossible to watch sportscenter, without at least one Yasiel Puig sighting on the show. His name is everywhere, and it should be. Since being called up, he’s still hitting .420 (44 hits in first month), and has 7 homeruns. No one playing baseball even looks like this guy. With the build of an NFL strong safety, or linebacker, Puig still possesses the ability to run like a deer, and easily throw out runners at home plate from right field. He’s the Lebron James of baseball. A freak of nature.
As good as he’s been, a lot of people do not know the phenomenon that is Yasiel Puig. Major League Baseball, needs to do whatever it takes, to make sure everyone gets to know him. The All Star game is a start. After that, a successful marketing campaign is a must. Baseball is losing players like Puig everyday, because they see a brighter future in football or basketball. If Puig is showcased the way he should be, maybe baseball can turn that around, and get back to looking more like the national past time it used to be.
- MLB: The Yasiel Puig phenomenon. A long way from Chattanooga to L.A. (sportsandswag.com)
- Jonathan Papelbon Calls Yasiel Puig Potentially Making All-Star Team ‘Stupid’ (bleacherreport.com)
- Mike Scioscia: Phenom Yasiel Puig does not deserve All-Star selection (tracking.si.com)
- The Financial, Marketing Common Sense Of Placing Yasiel Puig In 2013 MLB All-Star Game (forbes.com)