2012 Dodgers in Review #8: 2B Nick Punto

(w/ LA) .286/.390/.314 43pa 0hr 0.4 fWAR (inc.)

2012 in brief: Fourth wheel in huge Adrian Gonzalez / Josh Beckett / Carl Crawford trade filled the injured Adam Kennedy‘s role and performed capably in an extremely limited sample size.

2013 status: Signed for $1.5m in final year of two-year deal; likely to return as utility infielder.

******

There’s perhaps nothing about the big Boston trade that entertained me more than the fact that Nick Punto was not only part of it, but that he acted like he mattered. When Gonzalez & Beckett were introduced to the media… Punto was there. When pictures surfaced of the three of them flying to Los Angeles, Punto was the one who put them out. The dichotomy was big enough that it actually spurred Mike Axisa to write about it on FanGraphs, because… Nick Punto.

Oh, sure, Punto played well enough in a few late-season starts at second base after coming over, though I’m hardly going to put any importance on 43 plate appearances after 187 plate appearances of .200/.301/.272 play for Boston. If Punto is remembered for anything this season – because I guarantee you, we’ll forget he was ever a part of that trade soon enough – it’ll be for popularizing the “beat a teammate to death and rip his jersey off after a walkoff hit” move that earned him his Twitter handle, @ShredderPunto. Well, that, and his absolute insistence on ignoring all accepted reason and continuing to slide into first:

Now 34, Punto has ingrained the head-first dive into his brain, to the point of it becoming a reflex whenever there’s a close play at first. Conventional wisdom holds that diving head-first only slows down a runner. Sprinters don’t dive at the finish line of a race, right?

Yeah, Punto’s heard that one.

“And I say that’s because there’s a hard court, a track, at the end of that finish line,” he said.

OK, but why expose yourself to injury, flinging your body fingers-first into a hard canvas base while a first baseman attempts to catch a baseball at the same time, in the same place?

“I’ve been injured running through the base,” Punto counters. “I pulled a hamstring. You can roll an ankle. There’s lots of things you can hurt running through the base as well.”

I assume his comment about the “hard court” at the end of the finish line is in comparison to the soft “fluffy kitten wrapped in bubble tape and packing peanuts” feel of the dirt beyond first base. So at least we have that to look forward to next year. Or at least I’m resigned to the fact that we do, because Ned Colletti loves having his gritty Kennedy / Aaron Miles type around, and Punto is under contract for 2013. Then again, with approximately 140 infielders under contract and the open question of whether next year’s shortstop is even on the roster right now, someone’s going to have to go, and Colletti so far has shown no inclination to cut loose Juan Uribe. Will Punto even be here?

Yes. Of course he will. Nick Punto moves for no man.

******

Next up! Oh, nothing about that went well for Dee Gordon, did it.

69 comments
DBrim
DBrim moderator

Morosi continues to be the worst.

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

I'm bored. Work is slow. Punto sucks.  Maybe I should just go ahead and publish Dee now too, ha.

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

I am disappointed that Nick's baseball card is him bunting and not sliding into first    : /

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

my favorite french word is the one for potato. it is simply "dirt apple"

 

pomme de terre 

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

I'm sorry but...THE HAM FIGHTERS! SRSLY. Do they fight Hams or fight using hams. 

 

I FUCKING LOVE CULTURALLY SPECIFIC PHRASES AND NAMES!!!1! 

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

On Sportscenter this morning Mayor Bing of Detroit told Mayor Lee of SF that he will need to leave his heart in San Francisco because if he brings it to Detroit with him it will get stepped on. Detroit in 5!

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

Ahhhh bask everyone. BASK in the glory that is Nick Punto.  

 

And cmon Mike. an "inc." grade?   Don't you mean   "A∞"

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

So man, not gonna be very many A's on this team are there? AJ, Kersh, Cruz, maybe Cappy (for exceeding expectations)? 

 

 

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

absolutely nothing to say about this, Mike. He was a and shall be a guy. 

DBrim
DBrim moderator

@el serracho You're a dirt apple.

DBrim
DBrim moderator

@el serracho the team is sponsored by Nippon Ham.

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

 @capnsparrow goat is done predicting or believing in good things for this shitty postseason. Kraken in 6. 

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

@EephusBlue MOAR LIKE NICK BUNTO

DBrim
DBrim moderator

@el serracho No way Cappy gets an A.

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

 @el serracho Probably Paco because the man didn't have expectations in April so much as he was someone no one knew existed. Maybe a joke A for Belisario for staying out of federal prison.

I Digesti
I Digesti

 @DBrim  @el Based on the typical criteria, Harangutan has to get a B at least.

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

 @DBrim  wasn't he much better than you expected? i'm not advocating an A, but i think he deserves a good grade. 

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

 @Mike Petriello  @el serracho Belisario earned super 2 status so hes either gonna disappear forever in a cloud of crack smoke or he'll be with us for a long while. Hopefully he's over the dope. 

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

 @Catfish-fryin' Nope, in both english and french the terms dirt and earth are interchangeable. furthermore, when translating "apple of the earth" it would be appropriation to translate it to the way an english person would say it: specifically to put the modifier in front of the subject. So - earth apple or, since they are interchangeable, dirt apple. 

 

Apple and potatoes both are of the earth, only one comes directly from the dirt. 

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

 @capnsparrow and what the fuck is a germany for chrissakes? 

 

meanwhile, directly south of here, nobody in america knows the name of that country is the United States of Mexico. would blow their minds. 

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

 @el serracho Americans give other countries cities and countries names that make sense to whoever was in power at the time they gave out these names. For instance Nippon is how the Japanese say Japan. Florence is how Americans say Firenzia. and Napoli is how Italians say Naples. Makes sense to somebody who has no respect for a peoples integrity. I guess.

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

 @capnsparrow somewhere in japan, somebody is explaining what it means to dodge.

 

SO THEY JUST HIDE? HAHAHAHAHAHA, STUPID DODGERS!!! 

DBrim
DBrim moderator

@el serracho B- or C+

DBrim
DBrim moderator

@el serracho He was pretty bad for the second half of the season.

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

 @el serracho  @DBrim I'm trying to get through it quicker. This can't push into 2013, ha. If I do 4 a week it should be done by xmas.