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J.P. Howell clarifies his statement that Yasiel Puig was bullied in the Dodger clubhouse

Nov 15, 2013, 7:55 PM EDT

Yasiel Puig Getty Getty Images

Howell spoke to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times about bullying recently, which caused some controversy when he stated that Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was bullied in the clubhouse. Shaikin specifically wrote in his article, “Howell said he saw Yasiel Puig bullied in the Dodgers’ clubhouse,” but Howell has clarified that comment with Ken Gurnick of

“Not in the clubhouse, never by teammates,” he said. “I was asked if Puig had been bullied and I said yes, but I meant by fans and media and people on the outside that don’t know him. Never in the clubhouse. Are you kidding? People early in the season said our clubhouse wouldn’t have chemistry, and it turned out to be an awesome clubhouse — everybody got along.”

The original comment which got lost in translation inspired many discussions about bullying in sports, particularly with the Richie Incognito incident still fresh in mind. The Dodgers felt compelled to issue a statement:

“Bullying is an issue we take very seriously. We’ve discussed this with Yasiel and he has assured us that he is comfortable with the clubhouse environment as well as his teammates, coaches and support staff. As an organization, we will continue to be proactive in monitoring what goes on in and around our clubhouse.”

  1. db1001 - Nov 15, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Sue Falsone was the bully

  2. aphillieated - Nov 15, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    bullied by saying stuff to him?

    • apkyletexas - Nov 16, 2013 at 9:07 AM

      Bullied by the official scorekeepers – they were mistaking his overthrows of home plate for “errors”, when in reality it was the catcher’s fault for not being 9 feet tall.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Nov 16, 2013 at 9:24 AM

        Or bullied by that weird anonymous troll whom, whenever Puig’s name is mentioned, has something to say anywhere along the spectrum between stupid to completely idiotic to say about the guy, time and again, ad infinitum, especially if it’s a overreaction to a reaction, or the exaggeration of an actual occurrence.

        But I think JP was talking about the media who basically do what this weird anonymous troll does except they actually attribute their names, and are there shoving a microphone in his face everyday.

      • apkyletexas - Nov 16, 2013 at 9:47 AM

        Bullied by being thrust into a situation where no one in his new city of Los Angeles spoke his native Spanish language.

        Oh wait…

  3. thebadguyswon - Nov 15, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    Backtracking 101

  4. shaggylocks - Nov 15, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    “see i told you bullying wasnt a big deal”
    -idiots who completely miss the point

    • gibbyfan - Nov 15, 2013 at 8:30 PM

      Either that or reporters who don’t take the time to get the I posted before –no way do I see YP being bullied in the Dodger clubhouse….It was like –what’s wrong with this picture.

  5. bender4700 - Nov 15, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    The Bully epidemic in America has more to do with people having no clue what the word even means.

    Saying something mean or critical is NOT being a bully.

    Puig may consider it bullying, but that’s because he refuses to accept there could be truth to the critiques he gets. The ego way of denying. Just call it bullying.

    • cur68 - Nov 16, 2013 at 1:35 AM

      Puig didn’t call it anything. This was J.P. Howell talking, his teammate. Try reading the post.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Nov 16, 2013 at 9:15 AM

        But, Cur, reading the post means not getting to say what’s exactly on one’s mind at the point of reading the headline. I mean, DUH… I come here for the emotional outbursts that carry the most moralistic bull possible, not to be enlightened by a situation.

        Hello….. This is the Interwebz. God’s porn library.

  6. gloccamorra - Nov 15, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    There’s criticism and there’s constructive criticism. Maybe there’s bullying and constructive bullying. The latter might be veterans in the clubhouse telling him, “stop showing off your arm and think of the game situation”, or something more general like “grow up, kid”, or “act like a professional”.

  7. tfbuckfutter - Nov 15, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    I only brief read over the story, but from what I gathered his followup makes sense….I was kind of confused initially why he went from saying the dude was bullied to commenting on his brashness being a defense mechanism.

    If he was referring to the media “bullying” him than it makes more sense. At least in the context of how I initially took the story.

  8. tfbuckfutter - Nov 15, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    I will, however, never understand hazing.

    If I’m super awesome at something and guys are like “Hey, we really need your talent to help out this club, but also you have to let us put this in your ass”….I’m going to find another hobby I am good at.

    Rites of passage are completely and totally idiotic. All of them. Religious based, sports based, fraternity based, it doesn’t matter….they are all stupid and perpetuated by stupid people.

    • historiophiliac - Nov 15, 2013 at 9:22 PM

      I’ll be honest. I don’t even really get slapping each other’s butt.

      • tfbuckfutter - Nov 15, 2013 at 9:25 PM

        It’s obviously a show of how manly they are….I guess.

        I don’t know. Personally I hate being touched unexpectedly by pretty much everyone. So even when a guy punches me on the arm playfully my immediate reaction is “knock it off, I don’t want to have sex with you.”

      • historiophiliac - Nov 15, 2013 at 10:06 PM

        Wow, you must be one giant errogenous zone there.

      • tfbuckfutter - Nov 15, 2013 at 10:26 PM

        I wish.

        If I find you attractive you have a little more leeway but I still don’t care for unexpected contact. Even with my wife.

        But seriously, there are some guys who are like shoulder-grabbers or arm-punchers or whatever, and when I see them approaching I cringe.

        There is no reason for a guy to touch another guy. If you’re family maybe. But if some guy patted my ass while playing sports, I would probably shove him. Not because I’m homophobic, because I am far from that, but because don’t touch me.

      • historiophiliac - Nov 15, 2013 at 10:47 PM

        You know, some people are touchers and it’s not sexual at all. They just are that way. The same way some people ask a million questions and some are really loud.

      • tfbuckfutter - Nov 15, 2013 at 11:01 PM

        Oh, I know. I am fully aware of that.

        But my natural reaction to being touched by someone I don’t want to bang is to cringe or avoid them.

        So I know the guy who wants to squeeze my shoulder is as straight as the day is long. But I don’t want that contact from him. I don’t want any contact from him. And I can’t grasp why his instinct is to touch me when my instinct is to punch him for touching me (which I obviously don’t do). So I understand the disconnect is on me….My original point in response to you raising the subject is that it’s funny that sports are so homophobic in general, but that they routinely do something so incredibly gay and it’s accepted as a sign or masculinity….but I personally can’t handle normally acceptable contact with other men (and many females, even though that doesn’t come up that often because women aren’t as physically aggressive as males) beyond a handshake (which is the perfect social contract because it contains an offer and an acceptance of contact).

        Jesus I sound like Sheldon from Big Bang Theory.

      • historiophiliac - Nov 15, 2013 at 11:04 PM

        Sometimes, I’m just really thankful to be female — although it annoyingly often includes an expectation of hugging (yuck), that’s still better than having to encourage others with butt slaps or punches.

      • tfbuckfutter - Nov 16, 2013 at 12:08 AM

        I don’t know….I’d still rather a dude grabbing my shoulder or patting my butt than grabbing or patting (or worse) my boob or vagina.

        If I was a chick I would have probably gone on a shooting spree by now.

      • unclemosesgreen - Nov 16, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        Lighten up Francis

      • clydeserra - Nov 16, 2013 at 5:37 PM

        i don’t get it, but it doesn’t stop me from doing it to people

    • km9000 - Nov 15, 2013 at 10:29 PM

      With sports at least, I think the idea is that a lot of rookies know they’re “super awesome,” so the intent is to keep their ego in check, and see if they don’t take themselves too seriously. But this is the harmless stuff like wearing funny outfits, not the Dolphins insanity.

      • tfbuckfutter - Nov 15, 2013 at 10:44 PM

        But can’t that be said of all professions?

        If someone comes in to be an electrician and he’s all “I can do this. This crap is so easy” and then he gets his ass shocked because he’s careless….well, that just organically put his ego in check.

        And the same is true of sports. If a hot shot slugger comes in and thinks he’s an untouchable bad ass and then strikes out with the bases loaded…..well, he just got his reality check.

        Or he hit a game winning grand slam and continues being a cocky dick until he gets that ego checking.

        The point being, you don’t have to wire the hotshot new electrician’s testicles to a car battery and shock him to teach him respect.

        And beyond that, if you eliminate all this bullcrap from sports at every level, you can maybe limit the outsized egos from invading the landscape to begin with. Egos form from entitlement, and if you say “You went through this, so you get to put everyone else through this in the future because you’ve earned that right” well….that’s giving a person with an already inflated ego a sense of enduring entitlement. And let’s be honest….if you endured one punch to the face to earn your place you are going to dish out two punches or maybe a kick to the next generation.

      • tfbuckfutter - Nov 15, 2013 at 10:52 PM

        It’s also kind of silly to suggest that you can limit hazing to “make them wear funny outfits” because things always ALWAYS escalate.

        First it’s funny outfits, then it’s women’s lingerie, then it’s rape.

        Or it’s cutting up a guys suit, then it’s making him pay for a crazy expensive dinner, then it’s making him pay for a trip he’s not going on.

        Or it’s starts with a paddling and ends up in a story like Cam Cleeland’s (read it if you have the time).

        Hazing is unacceptable in all forms because it never doesn’t escalate. If I have to wear a dress you have to wear a dress and heels. If you have to wear a dress and heels than the next group has to wear a dress, heels and bras…..

      • koufaxmitzvah - Nov 16, 2013 at 9:20 AM

        TF: It does happen with electricians and plumbers. The junior guys carry the cases. They leave the site to go back to the truck to grab what the job needs. They crawl under the house. They stick their hands in the toilet.

        I see it all the time. And the younger guys do it because it’s their job and, one day, when they are the Master Whatever, the younger guy will do it for them.

      • tfbuckfutter - Nov 16, 2013 at 10:48 AM

        Yeah. That would be “paying your dues”. It’s not hazing.

        It’s the equivalent of playing in the minors. Doing lower level work.

  9. fearthehoody - Nov 15, 2013 at 11:49 PM


  10. hockeyflow33 - Nov 16, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    I can’t wait until the next cause du jour so I never have to hear the word bullying again.

  11. jdillydawg - Nov 16, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    “bullied by the fans…” Really? Show me a ball player who hasn’t been heckled and I’ll show you a ball player who has never set foot on a major league baseball field.

    Maybe he got the janitorial staff and groundskeepers mixed up with his teammates. I hear those guys are BRUTAL on rookies. There are great stories about guys finding dirt in their shoes, or their lockers covered Pledge making them all nice and shiny. Hard to believe some players actually ever made it back out on the field. That’s some serious PTSD.

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