It was two hours before the first pitch Thursday, and the Dodger Stadium tour guide was ushering a dozen fans from the seats behind home plate when one of them stopped.
"Wait a minute," he said. "Puig is hitting."
"But…," said the tour guide.
"No, no, no," said another fan. "Puig is hitting."
The entire group halted to witness the hottest debuting hitter in Dodgers history take batting practice. Turns out they could have done it with their eyes closed.
Thwack! Home run. Boom! Home run. Bang! Ball off the wall.
After Puig had turned the first three pitches into something that sounded like a cartoon brawl, the tour guide sighed.
"OK," he said. "We'll stick around and watch Puig."
We will, indeed. As the Southern California summer moves from soft to sticky, we'll crowd into Chavez Ravine to stand under the 22-year-old Dodgers sensation as if he were a wildly refreshing sprinkler.
He sprayed amazement again Thursday night in a 6-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies that left one Matt Kemp as breathless as the rest of us.
"Puig, man, he's an amazing kid," Kemp said afterward.
Soak him in, L.A.
In a span of 20 minutes, Puig crumpled against an outfield wall, then climbed up to crush the Phillies.
In the seventh inning, he ran hard into the right field wall, futilely chasing a home run by Chase Utley. It was the same wall that injured the Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper, and when Puig collapsed on the ground, Dodger Stadium became one giant gasp.
But soon thereafter, his uniform dirty and his gait stiff, Puig staggered to home plate with bases loaded like some sort of action hero. Movie magic ensued. Facing Justin De Fratus, he swung wildly at an outside slider, swung wildly at another outside slider, then lunged and hit a third outside slider into left field to bring in two runs and give the Dodgers the lead and eventual win.
The stadium shook. Puig raised his hands in excited triumph even as he was leaving the batters' box. After the fans calmed, they eventually settled into the beginnings of a chant that may eventually define a season.
''M-V-Puig … M-V-Puig …"
At Dodger Stadium, where this 22-year-old with less than one year of minor league experience has required all of 23 games to own the place, those people should know.
You don't just watch Puig, you experience him.