Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow has never been afraid to say something controversial. Last May, he speculated that the best explanation for Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki hitting .571 at Coors Field was stealing signs. Months later, Krukow accused the Cubs of deliberately preventing its grounds crew from rolling out the tarp during a downpour to nab a rain-shortened 2-0 win.

So when Krukow appeared on San Francisco’s KNBR Monday morning and said something less than nice about Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, it probably shouldn’t have been a surprise. Responding to Puig telling the Los Angeles Times‘ Dylan Hernandez that the Cardinals were the Dodgers’ principal rivals, not the Giants, Krukow said the following:

“He’s just young. He’s just young and dumb and he’s gonna say some stuff,” said Krukow, as transcribed by CSN Bay Area. “As a group, I doubt if they are gonna be talking about it openly but they are gonna be thinking about it. They don’t miss stuff like that… if there was any way to refocus a whole group with a World Series hangover, this is it. Thank you, Yasiel Puig.”

Well, OK. If the Giants were indeed nursing a World Series hangover and are now snapped into action by Puig’s remarks, then he probably has a bright future as a motivational speaker after his playing days are over. Manager Bruce Bochy might want to have Puig talk to his team during spring training.

And are the defending World Series champions really going to rally behind some bulletin board material, attempting to argue that a Dodgers player isn’t showing their main rival proper respect? But the mind of the competitive athlete can be a complex puzzle, one into which a former major leaguer like Krukow presumably has some insight.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 31:  San Francisco Giants broadcast team of Duane Kuiper (L) and Mike Krukow (R) speaks to the fans during the Giants' victory parade and celebration on October 31, 2012 in San Francisco, California. The Giants celebrated their 2012 World Series victory over the Detroit Tigers.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – OCTOBER 31: San Francisco Giants broadcast team of Duane Kuiper (L) and Mike Krukow (R) speaks to the fans during the Giants’ victory parade and celebration on October 31, 2012 in San Francisco, California. The Giants celebrated their 2012 World Series victory over the Detroit Tigers. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

However, as CSN Bay Area points out, there are some possible explanations for what Puig said besides a desire to diss the Giants, or being “young and dumb.”

For one thing, the Dodgers finished six games ahead of San Francisco for a division title last season. Yes, we know a World Series championship matters more. But Puig has been on teams that beat out the Giants during the past two years, so maybe he thinks, “Eh, ain’t so bad.” Even more likely is that Puig views the Cardinals as his team’s main rival because that’s the team which eliminated the Dodgers from the last two postseasons. Who might seem like the more formidable obstacle?

Will Puig’s teammates or manager Don Mattingly have a word with him about saying anything that might motivate or upset an arch-rival? Probably. And maybe Giants pitchers will buzz one close to Puig the first time they play the Dodgers this season, as Krukow suggests. Sure, this might provide an already fierce rivalry with an early-season pinch of spice. Yet how far does it go after that? If Puig can be simply dismissed as “young and dumb,” then how much could his comments really matter?

But Krukow’s thank you to Puig was probably sincere. After all, his remarks gave Krukow another opportunity to say something bombastic on the air and get some more attention for it.

About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.

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