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Bench Yasiel Puig? Really?

Aug 19, 2013, 5:34 PM EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers Getty Images

When things are going as well for you as they are for the Dodgers, I suppose it’s understandable when people start looking for nits to pick. Today Jon Paul Morosi of Fox has decided that it’s time for the Dodgers to bench Yasiel Puig because of his mental lapses. After acknowledging how good Puig is overall and how fun he is to watch play, Morosi says …

… if I were a Dodgers fan, I’d be nervous about Puig in October. He’s as likely to cost the Dodgers a playoff game with a needless mistake as he is to win one on a walk-off home run. For a while, Puig’s frequent fundamental lapses were forgivable. Airmailed cutoff men and unnecessary outs on the basepaths were accepted as part of The Puig Show. Besides, he was saving the season. Let him be.

No more.

He notes that Don Mattingly and his coaching staff have tried to work on fundamentals with Puig but it hasn’t taken yet and that perhaps he needs a message sent to him.

I guess I see his point about the fundamentals — Puig has not played baseball in the U.S. very long and it’s likely the case that his obscene amount of natural talent has gotten him pretty darn far so far.  But I feel like that’s the case with a lot of players. Manny Ramirez messed that stuff up for his entire career but was always valuable.

More to the point: every player has some flaw that could cost their teams. Puig’s may seem more correctable because it’s something which could be worked on with practice, but it’s no more dangerous to his team’s chances than playing fundamentally-sound but nowhere nearly as talented players in his stead. Or to risk messing with Puig’s abundant confidence and aggressiveness which, so far anyway, have been a greater strength to the young, inexperienced man than his flaws have been a weakness.

The Dodgers have a big lead and there’s time and room to work with Puig between now and the postseason. And of course they should continue to work with him. But I wouldn’t mess with a good thing. I wouldn’t make a show of benching him. Turning a small problem into a big one that dominates the airwaves and newspapers while L.A. plays out the next month or so and prepares for the playoffs.

Let the kid be. He’ll figure it out. And if he doesn’t: he’s still the best thing you’ve got and one of the biggest reasons the Dodgers are in first place to begin with.  For now this is a solution in search of a real problem.

  1. pixteca - Aug 19, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    Yeah, he also says…

    “But that’s probably unrealistic because Puig helped the Dodgers go on an historic 42-8 run, and the paying customers in L.A. would be displeased if they bought a ticket to Dodger Stadium only to learn their hero wasn’t in the lineup.”

    …so he understands this may not or should not be happening.

  2. fanofevilempire - Aug 19, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    Morosi should shut his mouth, in the off season you work on his fundamentals, not now.

    • bfunk1978 - Aug 19, 2013 at 9:29 PM

      You always work on fundamentals. But Morosi should probably shut up too.

  3. stlouis1baseball - Aug 19, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Yep…wonderful idea. Bench Puig. I really, really, really hope they consider this.
    It might just get them over their season long hump. They aren’t playing well.
    Haven’t played well for the last two months.
    Benching Yasiel Puig will most likely get them of the schnide. It’s certainly their best chance.

    Do it now!

  4. beavertonsteve - Aug 19, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    They should bench Puig for his mental lapses, Ramierez for his poor fielding, Ethier for his rediculous contract, Kemp for getting hurt all the time, Kershaw for not signing his contract extension and Brian Wilson for that horrible beard. Then they can go back to being the May and June Dodgers we all came to know and love.

  5. natslady - Aug 19, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    I thought it was Hanley Ramirez who made two ninth inning errors and broke the streak

  6. yahmule - Aug 19, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    Yeah, he’s clearly unteachable.

    June: 20 K and 4 BB
    July: 31 K and 8 BB
    August: 15 K and 11 BB

    But this hack got some attention for being stupid, so good for him, I guess.

  7. dondada10 - Aug 19, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    I know it’s hard to believe, but sometimes guys like Morosi bait the shit out of us.

    • yahmule - Aug 19, 2013 at 7:55 PM

      Nobody has to explain the joys of trolling earnest people to a guy with my grudge against society, but he risks damaging his credibility.

  8. aceshigh11 - Aug 19, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    “He’s as likely to cost the Dodgers a playoff game with a needless mistake as he is to win one on a walk-off home run…”



    So this guy’s saying there’s literally a 50/50 chance he’ll either single-handedly cost the Dodger’s a playoff game as he is to contribute positively to one?


  9. riverace19 - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    The Dodgers started winning when Puig came up… His effort is contagious and inspired the rest of the team. I didn’t want to waste my time learning the article’s author but he doesn’t know anything about baseball, obviously.

  10. decimusprime - Aug 20, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    Agreed, that author needs a benching. Puig is the lightning rod of this team. Once he arrived and became close friends with HanRam and Old Man Juan, everyone started having fun and playing like the Juggernaut they are! They have chemistry and swagger because of M.V.Puig.

    Go Blue!

  11. jimsjam33 - Aug 21, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Please let me know before hand when he’s going to be benched . I can avoid buying tickets on that day and save my money for when he returns .

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