Punto — who was dealt to the Dodgers as part of the monster deal that also sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett to Los Angeles — has already had an opportunity in his new home to live up to his alter ego as “The Shredder.” The Dodgers received walk-off hits from Gonzalez and A.J. Ellis on Sunday and Monday, respectively, and “The Shredder” got right into the celebratory mix.
On Moday, Punto led the charge as the Dodgers swarmed Ellis, ripping open the hero’s jersey as the team celebrated its third straight victory. Tearing open the shirt is right on par with the reputation Punto has gained the past few years.
“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 after Monday’s game, explaining the nickname’s origin, according to ESPN.com. “He was using my bat, so I got a little too excited and grabbed him and ripped his jersey off.”
Punto’s most famous shredding incident came in Game 6 of last year’s World Series, when he ripped off David Freese‘s jersey as a member of the Cardinals. He continued that crazy tradition in Boston this season, and has brought his chemistry enhancing antic to L.A. His wackiness has already been well received.
“They call him the Shredder for a reason, and I was warned about him,” Ellis said after becoming Punto’s latest victim. “Matt Guerrier played with him in Minnesota and he warned us all that The Shredder is coming, so when you get the walk-off win, tell Mitch Poole, our clubhouse guy, to order more jerseys.”
Punto estimates that he’s shredded about 30 jerseys in his day, and says that it costs him $150 every time he does it. Don’t expect the utilityman to stop any time soon, though, as it’s all part of who he is as a player. In fact, he already has his new manager’s endorsement.
“We can get jerseys,” Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly said. “Let’s just keep doing it.”
Looks like Punto should keep his tab open.
Check out Ellis’ walk-off hit against the Diamondbacks and the subsequent shred in the below.