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Jerry Hairston Jr. says Dodgers veterans have talked to Yasiel Puig about fundamentals

Aug 24, 2013, 5:49 PM EST

Yasiel Puig Reuters Reuters

Yasiel Puig‘s fundamentals have been the topic du jour in the media recently, leading to some saying that he should be taught a lesson for his mistakes. Hyperbole aside, teammates are lending some advice to the Cuban phenom.

According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Jerry Hairston Jr. said that a number of veterans spoke to Puig this week in an effort to get him to cut down on his mistakes. He described it as essentially their way of saying, “Hey, that’s enough,” and that such mistakes could prove costly during the postseason.

“A lot of things are happening to him,” Hairston said. “He’s a superstar at 22. He’s in a new country, a new culture. We are sensitive to that.

“But if you¹re going to be a great player, you’ve got to do the little things. That’s how you win. That’s the key.”

While Puig’s arrival has been a boon for the surging Dodgers, he has received some criticism for routinely making baserunning mistakes and missing the cutoff man. He was also fined earlier this week after arriving late to the ballpark.

For what it’s worth, Hairston said Puig was receptive to the advice and that he has noticed improvement since. It’s easy to forget that the 22-year-old outfielder has only been in the U.S. for a little over a year and played a grand total of 63 games in the minors before being making his major league debut in June, so the Dodgers should absolutely do what they can to make him a better player and teammate. But that doesn’t change the fact that most of this controversy has lacked perspective.

  1. apkyletexas - Aug 24, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    They might want to talk to him about hitting – he’s at a BA of .174 the past 14 days, and .091 the past 7 days.

    Falling off a cliff I’m telling you. Pitchers have this dude absolutely figured out now.

    • coloradogolfcoupons - Aug 24, 2013 at 6:50 PM

      The Dodgers had Puig spend the night in a Holiday Inn Express last night. He already has 2 hits today.

      Problem solved.

    • sampleskaren - Aug 25, 2013 at 7:24 AM

      what Marcus implied I didn’t know that a stay at home mom able to get paid $4252 in 4 weeks on the computer. have you read ★★★ cuturl.net/fa926

  2. aceshigh11 - Aug 24, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Next step? A Code Red.

  3. sandrafluke2012 - Aug 24, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    Rocky didn’t have great fundamentals either

    • chumthumper - Aug 25, 2013 at 12:16 PM

      …but Bullwinkle worked with him on them.

      • badintent - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:27 AM

        Nastasia went hornblower on Bullwinkle. Rocky got jealous and teamed up with Boris

  4. ramrene - Aug 24, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    Quit making excuses for the guy.

    I don’t give a f* that the guy:
    1. Comes from another country &
    2. Doesn’t speak english

    Baseball is baseball EVERYWHERE in the world. Do they always miss the cutoff in Cuba? Is that how they play? Is that a normal way of playing the game there? If it is, when they do miss the cutoff do the runners stay at first? Is that why they keep doing it in Cuba?

    F* no!

    If you miss a cut in Cuba, or in Japan, or in Canada, or in the USA the trail runner will take the extra base. How the f* long do you have to keep making the same stupid f*n’ mistake before you learn this very simple lesson that children in little league have already learned by the time they are 13? Why is everyone making excuses for Puig having to learn this? Bullsh*t! This guy should already know this and I don’t give a damn if the coaches can’t communicate with him, he should already know this.

    He should also already know that if you try to take an extra base when the fielder is already in his throwing motion he’s going to hose you down like a dog in heat.

    Quit playing with your head up your @ss and start playing the game smart you dumb@ss!

    • stercuilus65 - Aug 24, 2013 at 9:12 PM

      Quit posting with your head up your “@ss”.

    • paperlions - Aug 24, 2013 at 10:57 PM

      Yes, great insights. Derived, no doubt, from the time when you were 22, in exile from your home country, in a land where you didn’t speak the language, away from your family, and had 40,000 people gather to watch you work each day.

      • apkyletexas - Aug 24, 2013 at 11:28 PM

        @paperlions – >” in exile from your home country, in a land where you didn’t speak the language”

        Are you freaking kidding me? He’s in Los Angeles and speaks Spanish – along with millions of other Los Angelenos. He plays for the Dodgers, who have multiple Spanish speakers on the team. I don’t think language is the problem.

      • paperlions - Aug 24, 2013 at 11:32 PM

        Never lived in another country, have you?

        Being able to speak to a few people is nice, sure. But it doesn’t allow him to function on his own….and as you said, he is in LA….you know how many thing in LA are like things in Cuba? Approximately zero.

      • badintent - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:31 AM

        I’m an English speaking person in a strange land. Canada where most people in BC speak only Cantonese, or Farsi. Some speak Punjab or Russian. Few speak English. I’m dealing with it. I speak American Express card, American dollars. Communication problem solved. Stop all the PC BS.

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:10 AM

        Although I rarely (if ever) agree with ramrene I absolutely do with this one.
        Especially his points about the cut off throws and base running. Being in a foreign Country has no bearing on playing fundamental baseball. Granted…maybe he was a little harsh in his delivery…but I would be tired of it as well (if I were a Dodgers fan). Dude has all the talent in the world…he needs to use it correctly. If so…the sky really is the limit for him.

      • paperlions - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:45 AM

        His comments are just over the top though….of course the cutoff throws can be a problem….wasn’t a problem when he hit the cutoff throw to nail Craig a couple weeks ago, that was a great play and the Dodgers won by a run.

        The fact is that he is 22, he hasn’t played that much organized ball, he was off for a year, and only played about 50 games in the minors…those are things that are usually coached out of you in the minors…but he is so fantastic that he is already in the majors…so you get to see him screw up on TV. SOOOOOO WHAT?

        There are plenty of vets that still regularly miss the cut off man…this is just nit picking by a jackwagon.

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 27, 2013 at 5:28 PM

        We just don’t agree on this Paper. And that’s okay. But I stand by my statement with regards to his base running, cut off throws, etc… The dude has been playing the game his entire life. To dismiss this while simultaneously excusing it as a result of him being in a new country, limited organized ball, playing a minimum number of minor league games, etc… sounds like excuses. Dude is a stud. Dude is a professional. Dude is making large bank. Play fundamentally sound baseball. That is all he needs to do.
        Hell…
        If you miss a couple of cut off throws on my competitive softball team your ass gets benched. Of course, we have guys waiting in line to replace someone.
        Wait…so does Puig. He just makes a lot more money.

      • paperlions - Aug 27, 2013 at 5:36 PM

        You realize that what is considered fundamentally sound baseball in Cuba is likely NOT the same thing as in the US, right? Because, those things are not the same, at all….just like “fundamentally sound” baseball in Japan is not the same as it is in the US.

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 27, 2013 at 5:39 PM

        I realize the Cuban version may differ slightly. May differ in very small (hard to even phuqing notice) ways. To compare it to Japan isn’t even in the same stratosphere. But good try nonetheless.

      • paperlions - Aug 27, 2013 at 5:42 PM

        What I mean is that the “fundamentals” that are valued in each place are FAR different, because they are…not that the quality of play is similar, because they are not. No on in the US would teach the Ichiro swing, which is common in Japan….no one would teach or allow pitchers to develop the weird stops and timing things many Japanese pitchers have, Japanese players REALLY value bunting and all of them can do it…the elements that are considered crucial and necessary are not universal throughout the world.

      • paperlions - Aug 27, 2013 at 5:37 PM

        Do we at least agree now that Descalso is a god awful defensive SS? He is 12 kinds of horrible there (only 6 kinds of horrible at 2B).

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 27, 2013 at 5:42 PM

        Yes. That error last night caused me to wake up the kids. No joke. I knocked over the table (with my beer on it) when I came out of my chair. Me cursing D.D. and the spilled beer…woke up the girls.
        Are you happy now? About me agreeing with you of course. You can NEVER be happy about spilled beer or waking kids on school nights.

      • paperlions - Aug 27, 2013 at 5:43 PM

        The spilled beer makes me sad, very sad. I’m sure the kids were fine…they could go back to sleep…can’t put the beer back in the glass…just a very sad story.

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 27, 2013 at 5:45 PM

        I am giving you the Japan comparison. I am just calling you on the Cuba comparison.
        Jeesh Man! I said D.D. is not a good defensive SS. Again…he phuqing sucks. Lol!

      • paperlions - Aug 27, 2013 at 5:47 PM

        I wish he didn’t….spud made a good point earlier that it isn’t really fair of the organization to ask him to do something they know he isn’t good at because they don’t have any better options. The SS market is shit right now.

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 27, 2013 at 5:48 PM

        Yes it is. I don’t know…Stephen Drew could have been had. But I fear the price was too steep for the return. Furcal’s issue really hurts. It appears he should have had the surgery immediately. In fact, I think we discussed that very thing at the time.

      • paperlions - Aug 27, 2013 at 5:50 PM

        Yeah, but you can’t make a guy have a surgery he doesn’t want to have….I don’t know if they pressured him, but I remember him publicly saying he didn’t want to go under the knife and was going to do whatever he could to avoid it. I think the worry about Drew was durability and he was coming off of an ankle injury…he missed a good deal of time with Boston this year.

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 27, 2013 at 6:07 PM

        Yeah…he wanted to avoid it at all costs. And he did. I don’t know that I agree with not being able to make a guy have surgery. I mean…yes…you can’t. But with that those kind of investment dollars…anything short of animal experimentation should be allowed. Lol. And you are on point about Drew. It was what I was also getting at with return on that investment comment. He has been hurt as well. And if memory serves…he didn’t come cheap.

      • paperlions - Aug 27, 2013 at 6:11 PM

        I think Drew was $10M for this year. I agree…within reason, a team should be able to be pretty pushy with respect to options to get a guy healthy…it’s a touchy topic, can’t imagine my reaction if my boss told me I had to have surgery against my wishes…I’d be spilling more than beer…but then…if I was making $7M/year…I might not mind so much.

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 27, 2013 at 6:14 PM

        I am out. Let’s get game #2 tonight!

      • paperlions - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:20 PM

        GRRRRR….I knew that ball between Descalso and Holliday was going to fall long before it did…just pathetic.

  5. ninthwardfriend - Aug 24, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    Another country? C’om man the big league’s is probably 70% international. That’s why USA baseball will never win the world classic.

    • jwbiii - Aug 24, 2013 at 11:38 PM

      No, quite the opposite. About 75% U.S.

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/friv/placeofbirth.cgi?TYPE=dyear&from=2007&to=2013&DIV=countries&submit=Run+Query

  6. acdc84 - Aug 24, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    Dodger fan here saying I’m glad this finally happened. His arrogance combined with continuous basic fundamental mistakes has been wearing thin for awhile. I hope his close buddies on the team get through to him and get this cleaned up for the stretch run.

    apkyle: Oh my gosh, he’s in a two week slump??? Wow, that never happens to baseball players does it? The dodgers should probably try to trade him for a rookie 20th round draft pick and cut their losses right? Is that what ur saying?? Or is it maybe, just MAYBE possible that this 22 year old is still learning the game and has a shot in the dark at adjusting to big-league pitching??

    aploser: you’re either ignorant, stupid or both.

    • jayquintana - Aug 25, 2013 at 1:09 AM

      Agree completely. Kudos to Hairston on being a team leader. Sounds like he got the message across in a very diplomatic fashion.

  7. seanb20124 - Aug 25, 2013 at 7:17 AM

    Living in a foreign country can’t be that bad when you are on a 5 star budget.

    • cur68 - Aug 25, 2013 at 8:10 AM

      You know this from experience from when you were a 22 year old in a foreign country with no access to family, right?

      • badintent - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:33 AM

        That’s the best part. No one to suck off your $$$. Just hoes and blows. Rock star life. Deal with it.IT’S ALL GOOD.

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