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Dodgers win division; NL next?

In June, they were in last place. On Thursday, the Los Angeles Dodgers became the first team to clinch first, sealing the NL West with a 7-6 win over the onetime division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks. That's quite a turnaround for a team once thought of as a high-dollar failure. But the Dodgers still have things left to do.

  • How will the Dodgers fare in the playoffs?

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  • Which team will win the National League pennant?

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  • Who is the Dodgers' MVP?

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  • Which team's rise has been more surprising?

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  • Which is currently L.A.'s best franchise?

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  • Which of these big-market franchises will fare best over the next five years?

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Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Yasiel Puig's future

Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has authored one of the most remarkable rookie seasons in recent memory since exploding onto the scene in June. He hit some rough spots along the way, thanks to his all-or-nothing style of play and some run-ins over breaking team rules. But he also helped the Dodgers shake off a disappointing start and surge to the NL West lead. What does the future hold for one of baseball's most compelling stories of 2013?

  • Which of these do you expect will best summarize Yasiel Puig's MLB career?

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  • Should Yasiel Puig tone down the passion he brings to the game?

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  • Does Yasiel Puig need to play a key role for the Dodgers to succeed in the playoffs?

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  • Will Yasiel Puig have a sophomore slump in 2014?

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Yasiel Puig pulled by Dodgers

The issues surrounding Yasiel Puig continued Wednesday night, as Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly pulled the rookie sensation in the fifth inning of their team's 4-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. Mattingly declined to say why, simply stating that Puig's replacement, Skip Schumaker, gave L.A. "the best chance to win." Meanwhile, Puig said through an interpreter that "I wasn't preparing well for each pitch," and "it was a good decision." Now, this normally wouldn't be the biggest deal, but Puig was benched by Mattingly just one week ago ...

Yasiel Puig was benched for the second time in a little more than a week on Wednesday. What do you make of manager Don Mattingly's treatment of Puig?

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  • How worried should Dodgers fans be about Yasiel Puig's behavior?

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  • Will Yasiel Puig's attitude/approach prevent him from reaching his potential?

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  • What will Yasiel Puig be next year?

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  • Which of these outfielders would you rather have for the next five years?

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Baseball is the slowest of the major American sports, but only because its excitement comes in very short bursts. There's plenty of action to be had from the moment the pitcher winds up. SweetSpot blogger David Schoenfield has put together a list of the five most exciting players in baseball. How would you rate them? Submit your rankings now!

MLB's most exciting players

Miguel Cabrera

Yu Darvish

Andrew McCutchen

Yasiel Puig

Mike Trout

Your Rankings

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2.

3.

4.

5.

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A backlash against Yasiel Puig?

Yasiel Puig is exceptionally good at baseball. This much is not in dispute -- the man is hitting .394 and keeps doing the kind of things that would have inspired whispered legends before the days of Internet video. Anyone who's this good this fast is bound to experience a pushback, however, and it appears to have already started for Puig. Miguel Montero (appropos of nothing, currently hitting .219) criticized him for being aloof and said he was creating a bad reputation around the league. Is it all just sour grapes?

  • Miguel Montero said that Yasiel Puig is ''creating a bad reputation'' around the league. Do you agree?

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  • What is your opinion of Yasiel Puig?

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  • Freddie Freeman was elected to the final spot on the NL All-Star team. Who should have been elected?

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  • The Dodgers are at 45-45 and are 1.5 games behind the Diamondbacks for the NL West lead. Will they make the playoffs?

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