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It only took an hour or two for an insanely overheated and unhinged response to Puig being late

Apr 4, 2014, 3:32 PM EDT

As I said in the initial Puig post, I would’ve benched Puig for being late to the park. It’s a no-brainer. You’re late, you ride the pine. This is not at all controversial. For Don Mattingly to do anything else would be wrong.

But of course, it’s never that simple with Puig. When he does something like this it’s the Worst Thing In The World. If you don’t believe me, read this from the Los Angeles Daily News:


Yes, he’s going to totally unravel the team. What’s more:

Yasiel Puig is the very thing that stands to undo the Dodgers’ World Series championship hopes. Not injuries to Clayton Kershaw or Brian Wilson or any other player . . . Don’t listen to anything he says. He’s not responsible. He’s reckless and selfish and his mistakes are inexcusable . . . He cheated everyone out of watching his antics — both dazzling and disturbing — in the home opener. Shame on him.

Clearly that’s not overstated. Not in the least. Puig being on this team is objectively far worse than not having Clayton Kershaw on it. Indeed, if it meant getting rid of Puig for good, I’m sure Don Mattingly would hold Kershaw’s arm out straight while Ned Colletti broke it with a sledgehammer. It’s that important!

Seriously, folks: this is what I get on about when I defend Puig. I don’t defend his actions when they are legitimately out of line. But I will defend anyone who attacked in such an over-the-top manner, as Puig routinely is. By people who are either unable or unwilling to distinguish between the notion of a player screwing up and a player dooming his team because of his screwups.

Puig has done the former plenty of times. He has done nothing close to the latter, and anyone suggesting otherwise is way more interested in sensationalism than accuracy.

  1. djandujar - Apr 4, 2014 at 7:18 PM

    If players are “distracted” by a rookie playing ball then maybe they need to re-focus on hitting, pitching and fielding. How are the Dodgers gonna win a championship when you have a bunch of players who are too easily “distracted”? Maybe if they can focus on the game then they could win.

  2. illuminancer - Apr 4, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    I’m not at all sorry that Puig was benched, because I think the score might have been lopsided the other direction. But…I honestly don’t get it. You’re a Big Thing in LA, and this is your first Opening Day with the team that’s raising the NL West banner. I’d be there like, four hours early! That’s like being late to your wedding or something.

  3. kicksave1980 - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    Like others have said, when you have to defend Puig all the time, there’s obviously something wrong. I’m not here to pile on the guy, but seriously…showing up on time is the absolute least that can be expected from someone. The kid has a ton of talent, no one can dispute that. Who knows what’s been said to him in the locker room by veterans or coaches, but you can’t let this happen. Everyone is late sometimes, but when it’s “always something”, it wears thin on people around you.

    Doesn’t matter how young he is. To whom much is given, much is expected.

  4. renaado - Apr 5, 2014 at 1:45 AM

    Puig… you idiot! I almost change my way on seeing you positively when you seek advise from veterans on how to become a better person and athlete. By the time I saw this statement of yours now? You really really let me down dude.. I was really hoping for you to change on becomin a better person …

  5. mutasian - Apr 5, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    i said before. this guy is uneducated. he came from a third work, came from nothing. and he has an character and personality issue. over night, he is a millionaire, and he mismanages his life. he won’t last in this league. he is trash. another piece of trash from the latin world down south.

    • gloccamorra - Apr 5, 2014 at 4:46 PM

      I was ready to agree with your first two sentences, but then you went too far. You don’t think a person can learn and grow? You don’t think he can grow up and mature? He has great baseball talent, so the Dodgers will be patient with him, showing him the way, rather than toss him on the trash heap as a failed human being.

  6. mpzz - Apr 5, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    I agree that people go overboard on criticizing Puig.
    Having said that, I think his screwups have affected his play. I don’t know why he can’t just concentrate on being a good ballplayer and trying not to screw up off the field. You wouldn’t think that would be so hard for anyone.

  7. lefty551 - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:14 AM

    Somehow, I keep being reminded of Milton Bradley. This will not end well.

  8. tmovingstar - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:17 AM

    I love it. The Dodgers sign a guy that can’t read or write and give him 40million dollars. The guy probably cant’ tell time either. Are we sure he wasn’t on that boat when Castro sent all the illiterate people and prisoners to Miami a while back. Maybe he could be a modern day Tony Montana learn another trade he is better at.

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