The Giants-Dodgers rivalry took a hit on Monday, when former public enemy No. 1 Yasiel Puig was traded to the Reds in a multi-player deal.
Puig, 28, was a frequent antagonist of the Giants during his six seasons in Dodger blue. Puig and Madison Bumgarner had a particular disdain for each other over the years, and confronted each other on multiple occasions.
The Giants’ frustration with Puig hit a boiling point on Aug. 14 of this year, when an argument between Puig and Nick Hundley turned into a benches clearing scuffle between the two rivals.
Though critical of Puig in the past, Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper explained why he is a little disappointed the outfielder won’t be playin for Los Angeles in 2019.
“In some ways I’m disappointed that Puig is out of the division, because we did like the drama,” Kuiper said. “We like the Bumgarner-Puig stuff. It’s only natural to dislike in a sports sense, players and teams, and it builds and it kind of grinds the rivalry into what we like and that’s gone. But it’ll be interesting when he comes in for three days with the Reds.”
Kuiper then talked about the importance of rivalries, especially in a sport like baseball.
“You have to keep those rivalries. The baseball season’s extremely long, I’d much rather see the Giants play the Dodgers 18 or 19 times than the Mets 12 times. So I think that all makes sense, and I think that’s why interleague play is something that I like as well because you get a chance to take on the A’s. Sometimes it’s only four games a year, other times it’s six, but those become big games and those become really great games for the fans.
“I enjoy what they’ve done with the schedule in allowing you to play your rivals a lot. It works, it has to work.”
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Kuiper on Puig, start from 7:30.