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The Padres get back 'Relevant' Jurickson Profar after clutch hit vs. Dodgers

The Padres get back 'Relevant' Jurickson Profar after clutch hit vs. Dodgers

LOS ANGELES — San Diego Padres outfielder Juricson Profar hit the game-winning hit that led to a series-winning home run Sunday at Dodger Stadium, a two-run double in the seventh inning. This came a day after Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Will Smith called him “irrelevant,” something that went unnoticed by one of his most prominent teammates.

“Irrelevant? I don't know. You'll have to check the dictionary about that,” Padres third baseman Manny Machado said after the 6-3 win. “He's been leading this team for a long time. The numbers speak for themselves. Every time he steps out on that field, he makes a huge impact on the game. At the end of the day, the kid's got 10 years in the league.” There are only a few baseball players, in all of baseball, who accomplish that goal, so, I have to put a little respect into his name.”

Profar objected to being grounded by a rookie cutter off Dodgers outfielder Gavin Stone in the fifth inning on Saturday, leading to a bench-clearing incident. It was a surprising response for the Dodgers, who noted that they only led by one run and that Stone was pitching a perfect game.

“I don't know why we threw at him. He's kind of irrelevant,” Smith, speaking to AM 570 after the game, said of Profar.

A day later, with the score tied at 3 in the seventh inning, Profar responded in the best way possible, coming out with the bases loaded and one out and lining a JP Feyereisen offering off the top of the center field wall.

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Profar, a beloved presence in the clubhouse who was brought back with a $1 million contract during spring training, has a .960 OPS so far.

“I can tell you this — Profar is very important to us,” Padres manager Mike Shildt said. “He's the glue guy for us. The guy's got 10 years in the big leagues. There's a connection there. He did a good job tonight with a triple-double. But beyond that, Bru's a pro. He's a very big part of the San Diego Padres and very close to me.” “I absolutely believe that he is very close to his teammates, so we respect and appreciate him very much.”

During the mic for ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, Profar admitted that Stone wasn't trying to throw and laughed a lot about the incident. After the game, he declined to respond to Smith's comment.

“I'm not going to comment on that,” Profar said with a laugh when asked if he felt “relevant to the topic.” “I'll just play, like you did.”

When Profar was asked if he had heard about that, he said, “Yes, I heard that. But I'm not a media man. I just show up there.”

While Profar tried to defuse the matter, the violation was yet another incident — minor as it may be — in a nascent rivalry that has seen few tense moments over these past few years. Machado, a one-time Dodger who booed loudly every time he returned to play in Los Angeles, said he didn't pay much attention to it. But he made it clear that he took exception.

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He also came up with a new title for Profar: Mr. Related.

“You have a guy with 10 years in the league — I think he's a little more relevant than irrelevant, like (Smith) said,” Machado said. “You have to show some respect to some people's names. And I think that's what this game is losing — they're losing respect for some of these guys who have been here a very long time.”