Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers signs autographs for fans after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 14th inning of the MLB game at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona. The Dodgers defeated the Diamondbacks 7-5 in 14 innings.
After an impressive write-in effort failed to get Dodger Yasiel Puig onto the roster for the All Star Game, he was given a second chance in the Final Vote. Up against four other players, including teammate Adrian Gonzalez, fans were asked to text and tweet votes as to whom they wanted to be the final representative of the National League for the All-Star Game.
If you have spent any time on Twitter this week, leading up to Thursday's conclusion of the Final Vote, you would have experienced a constant buzz generated from the organization, fans, media, players, and especially from the @Dodgers twitter account.
Whether or not Puig deserved to be in the All-Star Game has been drawing arguments from both sides. The Anti-Puig side says that he has not proven himself over time, because he has spent just a month in the league, with Pro-Puigers arguing that he has been the best player in baseball in that month and deserves to shine on the stage of the All-Star Game.
While Puig put up astronomical numbers in June, he hit .261 with 10 strikeouts between the time when All-Star rosters were announced, and the Final Vote ended, including a 1-7 performance with three strikeouts on the final night of voting.
Puig ultimately lost to Atlanta's Freddie Freeman, placing second despite the constant push he received from @Dodgers and fans spamming twitter and text messages with the #VotePuig message. While many in LA were disappointed, one person who did not appear shaken by missing out on the All-Star Game was Puig.
He was his usual jovial self on Thursday, dancing and yelling in the Dodger Clubhouse.
Don Mattingly said, "I saw him in the locker room, he didn't seem to be too bothered by it.
"The All-Star thing is not going to change this kid. I told him he is playing center field tonight, I thought he was going to kiss me. He was all excited about that."
All the excitement and buzz about having Puig in the All Star Game was created by fans and the media, but especially driven by the @Dodgers twitter. While fans were feverishly voting away, Puig was too busy playing ball games and trying to break out of his recent slump.
If anything, this Final Vote exercise appears to be a display of the voting power the Braves franchise carries. Puig had support all over the nation, but the entire southern U.S. voted for Freddie Freeman.
Yasiel Puig's season does not rely on being in the All Star Game, and if his first month in the bigs means anything he will be in discussion for the All-Star Game for years to come. On Thursday, Don Mattingly said as much.
"If you're going to be an All-Star then you're really going to be able to continue to do it," he said. "How good you are is going to be seen over time."
On Thursday, Puig was pulled from the game in the seventh inning with irritation in his left hip, but it is yet to be seen if he will miss any games because of the pain.