As a completely rational and acutely astute baseball fan, you are no doubt aware (and a bit frightened) of the psychiatric disorder known as Puig Derangement Syndrome, or PDS. Afflicting bitter white men between the ages of 65 and Jurassic, PDS is characterized by an extreme psychological response to Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig and often manifests in these symptoms: throwing a Budweiser against the wall and immediately referencing DiMaggio whenever Puig misses a cutoff man; writing a barely decipherable screed on Grrrrrr.com whenever Puig is thrown out while trying to stretch a single into what is otherwise a hustle double; phoning a peer and sneering, “You watchin’ this?” whenever Puig celebrates a home run by “doin’ all that celebratin’;” and snarling something about the “right way” and “that ain’t how we do things here” whenever Puig rides in a nice car to a local restaurant.
So common is PDS, in fact, that experts now divide it into several subtypes. And those subtypes don’t afflict only Good Ol’ Days disciples and Racial Identity acolytes. No, those subtypes affect a diversity of people in a diversity of ways.
Puig Arrangement Syndrome
In response to Puig’s play, sufferers of PAS typically split into two groups: those who, in the style of Ikebana master Bokuyo Takeda, battle extreme boredom via the art of flower arrangement, and those who, in the manner of Johann Sebastian Bach, arrange Baroque symphonies but then fall out of favor in Weimar and eventually succumb to vision loss. More pitiful is a third group, composed of socially awkward teens who wish to inveigle Victoria’s Secret Angels into arranged marriages.
Puig Rearrangement Syndrome
Upset by Puig’s “antics,” PRS sufferers typically channel their emotions in the direction of the bedroom, where, after some consideration, they move the chair to the other side of the room, and then move it back, and then move it back again.
Puig Engagement Syndrome
Having met in the I Hate Puig section of Match.com, PESsers often celebrate their shared antipathy by journeying to a nice little Italian place up the coast, where the prospective bridegroom proposes and the prospective bride replies, “Yas I ’ll!”*
* The honeymoon is often over at around the time the honeymoon is over.
Puig Estrangement Syndrome
Sufferers often find that their mutual hatred of Puig is not enough to see them through the “compuiglations” and “puidicaments.” First they render divergent opinions regarding the squeezing of the “Puipsodent,” then they conduct a trial separation during which, perhaps unsurprisingly, they agree to “see other puiple.”
Puig Curtis Strange-ment Syndrome
Among the most bizarre, or “strange,” of the Puig-related syndromes, PCSmS causes each sufferer to open a Michelob Ultra, plop down on the couch and sort of half-listen to a golf analyst say that “to win, he’s gonna need to make some putts.”
Puig Rifle Range-ment Syndrome
Among the most dangerous of the syndromes, PRRmS causes each sufferer to commandeer a ball-retrieval vehicle from a driving range, guide it to a rifle range and drive across the line of fire while gun enthusiasts launch a variety of potshots.
Puig Kitchen Range-ment Syndrome
Among the least dangerous of the syndromes, PKRmS causes the sufferer to prepare a meal of pasta carbonara while discussing with his or her companion the ways by which Puig might become more like Cal Ripken and Dustin Pedroia.
Puig Phalange-ment Syndrome
The most ridiculous of the syndromes, PPmS causes the sufferer to ball up his fist and punch the refrigerator door, at which point his hand bones crack like twigs.*
* Ambidextrous people are twice as likely to suffer, or to suffer twice as much.
Puig Mange-ment Syndrome
The most vexing of the syndromes, and also the itchiest, PMmS ultimately causes the sufferer to appear on a heartbreaking commercial featuring Sarah McLachlan.
Puig Stock Exchange-ment Syndrome
With PSEmS, sufferers typically travel to New York City and then to Wall Street, where, after some negotiation, they trade a Guernsey heifer for a Brangus bull.
Puig Policy Change-ment Syndrome
When suffering PPCmS, the victim often writes hundreds of letters – to the editor, to management, to Congress, to the EyeOnU News Team – regarding his proposal that employees should not have to wash their hands before returning to work. In addition, the victim often stops writing those letters due to painful stomach cramps.
Puig Red Grange-ment Syndrome
Typically, the PRGmS sufferer puts on a leather helmet and then strikes a variety of hyper-exaggerated football poses for a series of black-and-white photographs.
Puig Danny Ainge-ment Syndrome
With PDAmS, the sufferer tires of baseball and so turns to basketball, whereupon he taunts, fights, assaults and cheats his adversaries. And yet despite all this, he also wins a world championship and opens a chain of successful hat stores.
John Paschal is a regular contributor to The Hardball Times and The Hardball Times Baseball Annual.