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Puig’s reckless driving is a concern, but . . .

Dec 30, 2013, 11:26 AM EDT

Yasiel Puig Getty Getty Images

. . . I feel like Plaschke’s response to it all is a bit overwrought:

A white Mercedes allegedly traveling 110 mph has flattened the Dodgers with the organization’s most frightening, frustrating truth.

The richest team in baseball cannot buy the safety, security or even the simple undivided attention of its most popular player.

Yasiel Puig continues to careen toward calamity and there doesn’t seem to be anything anybody can, or will, do about it.

I don’t disagree with the notion that Puig needs to slow it the heck down and if I’m running the Dodgers I have a heart-to-heart with him about making smart decisions. But the Dodgers don’t sound “flattened” based on their response. Their response seems to be pretty level-headed: In essence “a young kid is driving too fast and he needs to cut it out. We can’t babysit him 24/7. He needs to make some grownup decisions.”  Sounds about right to me.

Plashcke paints this as far more dire than it is, however, and it’s hard not to see this as his continuing hyper-criticism of and alarmism regarding Puig. If it’s not, tell me what this paragraph is doing in there:

Puig batted just .214 in the season’s final month. Then, after playing well in the National League division series win against the Atlanta Braves, he collapsed in the NL Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, batting just .227 with one extra base hit while committing three fielding blunders in the Cardinals’ clinching Game 6 victory.

It has no logical flow to the argument that he’s making at the time. Indeed, the argument — all about Puig’s maturity — flows far better without that in there. But he has to get a shot in. He has to imply, however subtly, that Puig’s off-the-field demeanor is dictating his on-the-field performance. He has to try to find a way to add heft to his criticisms of Puig, lest they appear to be mere hand-wringing.

Again: Puig is being an idiot at the wheel and he needs to not do crap that risks his health and life. But a lead foot is not worthy of a full-blown character indictment and is certainly not something that feeds into his baseball ability the way Plaschke would have you think it is.

  1. dinofrank60 - Dec 31, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    Just because you can doesn’t mean you have to. Despite what some may think, there is no edict that a 20-somethings gotta speed. It’s not something you have to do.

  2. Professor Fate - Jan 1, 2014 at 12:09 AM

    A depressingly large number of finger-waving, get-off-my-lawn old farts on here, at least when it comes to a young athlete with the world as his oyster. The human brain is still developing at his age and sound judgment isn’t the hallmark of many younger than 30.

    Yes, what he did (twice) was stupid and dangerous. But to listen to most of you, Puig is already a despot for the ages. I don’t believe I’ve seen so many holier-than-thou stone-tossers since Rome was the center of the universe.

    Puig will grow up, much to the chagrin of many who enjoy bashing him for every perceived slight. Some of the self-proclaimed error-free folks on here, though, I’m not too sure about.

    • bfunk1978 - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:53 AM

      Thing is, I like to see him play baseball. I’d like to continue seeing him play baseball. But if he kills someone – or himself – in a fireball like Paul Walker, then nobody wins.

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