Alex Verdugo lights up Chavez Ravine
With the injury to AJ Pollock, Alex Verdugo has planted himself in centerfield and in the hearts of Dodger fans. I don’t want to talk for all Dodger fans but for this fan, his spirit and play has supplanted the fun that Yasiel Puig used to deliver. This comes as a shock to me for several reasons.
I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t a big fan of Alex Verdugo when I first saw him play for the Dodgers. He had the excellent minor league pedigree but there was something that just didn’t sit right with me. Most of it probably had to do with the massive gold chain that seemed out of place but that was just a reactionary response from someone who has never understood the place that jewelry has in our society. Once I got over that I still had the feeling that he simply wasn’t going to be good enough to be an everyday outfielder for a team hunting for a World Championship.
Instead, Verdugo just might be the player you need to win a World Championship. He can hit for average, for power, has decent speed, good arm, makes contact, and plays the game hard. Verdugo may not be great at anything but he’s good at everything you want a player to be good at. The scouting reports said he wasn’t a center-fielder – that seems to be wrong. He’s played a solid centerfield. Not great, but certainly adequate. The scouting reports said he wouldn’t have the power needed in today’s game – the dude hit the longest home run of any Dodger and this team has Cody Bellinger on it
I’m not a big antic fan, and Verdugo has plenty of antics, and the fans are eating it up. I always thought if the fans are having fun who am I to get in the way. If they want to hit beach balls, let em hit beach balls. If they want to do the wave, let them do the wave. If they like their players doing bat flips, dancing in the dugout, doing shimmy things, crazy wild home run greetings. Whatever, we are all at the game to have fun. Your fun is not my fun but why should I get in the way of your fun?
Verdugo is fun. and he’s good. and he might have been exactly what the Dodgers needed.