Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Secret Origins: Shredder Punto

Arash Markazi at ESPN.com has a cool profile on Nick Punto, and how he turns into "Shredder" upon walkoff circumstances:

When Punto’s team wins in walk-off fashion, he reverts into his “Shredder” alter ego. He runs from the dugout like a sprinter out of the starter blocks, makes a beeline to whoever had the winning hit and proceeds to tear the player’s jersey off while the rest of his teammates jump into the fray.

“That’s ‘Shredder Punto,’” said Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis, who was the recipient Monday after nailing a walk-off single to score Andre Ethier in the Dodgers’ 4-3 win over the San Diego Padres. “You win and the jersey comes off.”

Punto isn’t quite sure when he became known as Shredder Punto, which he also adopted as his Twitter handle (@ShredderPunto). If he had to guess, he got the nickname from David Freese when they were on the St. Louis Cardinals last season.

“Last year, David Freese’s Game 6 jersey is in the Hall of Fame,” Punto said. “But it’s torn up in pieces.”

The genesis of Punto’s postgame move, however, came earlier than last season and didn’t always include the player with the game-winning, walk-off hit.

“It started back in 2008 with the Minnesota Twins when we went on this nice run and Bobby Korecky was the game-winning pitcher and also got a hit,” Punto said. “He was using my bat, so I got a little too excited and grabbed him and ripped his jersey off.”

As Punto stood in front of his locker Monday night after a game in which he went 0-for-1, Gonzalez -- who now has now experienced Punto rip jerseys off firsthand in Boston and Los Angeles -- laughed as Punto explained the art of “shredding” a jersey. “Ellis was easy because his jersey isn’t sewn,” Punto said as he pointed to the lining of the buttons on the jersey. “Adrian’s is sewn all the way up, so it’s a tough shred.”

My favorite part of the article comes at the end. In yesterday's PGT, SoSG regular NicJ wondered how Dodgers equipment manager Mitch Poole must feel about this, saying "Mitch Poole sulks in the corner of the clubhouse." Well, here's the truth about the high cost of shredding:

Punto admits that being the Shredder comes at a cost to his pocketbook, but he doesn’t mind given the circumstances.

“It costs me $150 each time I do it,” said Punto, who estimates he’s shredded about 30 jerseys after walk-off wins in his career. “But I’ll gladly pay that for the jersey and the win.”

When Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was asked about the newest tradition on the team, he simply smiled.

“We can get jerseys,” he said. “Let’s just keep doing it.”

I echo Mattingly...though it might be better to have the wins sewn up earlier in the game? In any event, shred away, Punto!

Elsewhere: "'The shredder' alive and well in Dodgerland" (USAToday.com)


Orel said...

I thought Shredder was the gigantic rat.

Hideo Nomo said...

That's Splinter.

Orel said...

The Splendid Ass-Splinter?

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

Orel knows as much about the Ninja Turtles as Michael Bay.

Steve Sax said...

Orel, however, is not making a movie about said turtles.

Nor is Orel using any of his prior battleshippy armageddon-like transformery footage.

Orel said...

I'm pitching "Teenage Mutant Ninja Puntos" this afternoon.

Dusty Baker said...


I thought I warned Mrs Dusty about taking that pitch.

Dusty Baker said...

This is an awesome back story. I love the shredding bit. I want to see a shredding/dry humping mashup next.

MR.F said...

Nick Punto turns into Uncle Phil?