Yasiel Puig, Mike Trout Take Center Stage in Freeway Series - NBC Southern California
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Yasiel Puig, Mike Trout Take Center Stage in Freeway Series

The two stars are the future of Major League Baseball



    We’ve got the best baseball player in the world, Mike Trout, and the most exciting player on the planet, Yasiel Puig, within 30 miles of one another and it could be that way for the next decade.

    Let that sink in for a minute.

    By themselves Trout and Puig have made the Freeway Series, the next installment of  which starts today at Chavez Ravine, worth watching. Sure, their respective teams the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (I still can’t believe that name is allowed to exist) and the Los Angeles Dodgers are doing well but, let’s be real, without them, a Josh Hamilton-Hanley Ramirez showdown is not selling out any stadiums.

    Trout and Puig are pay-per-view worthy.

    NewsConference EXTRA, What's up with Time Warner and the LA Dodgers

    [LA] NewsConference EXTRA, What's up with Time Warner and the LA Dodgers
    A baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants this weekend..which hardly anyone will see..in the middle of a pennant race...all because of a broadcasting dispute between Time Warner Cable and the resst of the television universe.Los Angeles Times Reporter Joe Flint sorts out the business mess that has caused heartache to thousand of baseball lovers.
    (Published Friday, July 25, 2014)

    Puig has killed it all season. He’s second in the National League in batting average (.323), second in triples (nine), second in slugging percentage (.551), second in OPS (.959) third in on-base percentage (.407) and just to show he’s actually human, Puig’s been caught stealing seven times, sixth most in the league.

    With Troy Tulowitzki hurt, Puig has quietly taken over front-runner status in the NL MVP race, but when does the Wild Horse do anything quietly. I mean, he had Dodger Stadium buzzing Friday when he scored from second base on a fielder’s choice, and with a slide that left Chicago Cubs catcher Wellington Castillo grabbing for air.

    I'm still trying to figure out how in the world Puig pulled it off.

    NewsConference: The Return of Vin Scully

    [LA] NewsConference: The Return of Vin Scully
    Vin Scully has been in the Dodger announcing booth since 1950, the longest tenure of any broadcaster with a single team in professional sports. This week, he announced he would be back for another season in 2015.
    (Published Friday, Aug. 1, 2014)

    Puig's counterpart, and equal, in the ridiculously-fast-and-absurdly-strong category, Mike Trout, is making a run at an MVP Award, which we've become accustomed to in his short big league career.

    Three years in the majors, Trout's been MVP runner-up twice. He could, in all likelihood, win it this season. Stop and think about that for a minute. Who does that? Really?

    But, he's had to work to get on track this year.

    On May 18, Trout went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. His batting average dropped to .263, he was striking out a ton and it seemed as though pitchers had found his kryptonite -- high fastballs. It didn't help that he dealt with Tiger Woods-like back issues.

    I don't know what happened, but something clicked. Trout got hits in 24 of his next 25 games and, voila, Superman was back tearing up the American League. Now, he's second in runs scored (76), second in on-base percentage (.394), second in OPS (.979) third in slugging percentage (.585), fourth in RBIs (80) and fifth in homers (25).

    Not bad.

    Puig is only 23 years old and Trout turns 23 on Thursday.

    I chuckle with sympathy for pitchers in both leagues because they won't have a chance when these guys turn 25.