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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. rhannah78 - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    And it only took slightly longer than that for an overreaction to the overreaction!

    • echech88 - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      This. The outrage to the outrage is getting just as old.

      Just so we’re clear, media, everyone hates every aspect of these fake stories. You making fun of people manufacturing a controversy for content is just a backdoor way of leeching content out of it yourselves.

      • clydeserra - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:56 PM

        Right, because we all win when we ignore stupid people saying stupid things. They never get louder and they never gain traction.

        Look, you don’t have to like it, but calling people out on stupidity is important.

        Say it loud say it proud Craig.

      • clemente2 - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:18 PM

        clyde is right.

      • Francisco (FC) - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:19 PM

        Say it loud say it proud Craig.

        That’s right, just come out of the closet already. Wait, what were we talking about again?

      • drewsylvania - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:45 PM

        We should backlash against crap stories. Otherwise, garbage like what the LADN posted proliferates. More people start buying into the garbage. Suddenly public sentiment is changed.

        Our government does this all the time.

    • jc4455 - Apr 4, 2014 at 7:39 PM

      Yup. He had to go all the way to the “Los Angeles Daily News” to find the overheated headline to get outraged about. Presumably didn’t rise to the bait this time.

  2. braddavery - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Don’t you think that maybe… just MAYBE, the fact that you even need to write 20 of these types of rebukes to people who are on Puig’s case means that maybe he really is a team cancer? I mean, stuff just keeps happening. How many times do you need to defend someone before you start to realize, ‘Hey, wait a minute, this kid really is just a massive screw up.’ I’m not saying he is, just noticed the fact that you have written a LOT of rebukes, which means there is a LOT of smoke.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:47 PM

      So: is what this person wrote accurate or not?

      • careyb44 - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:52 PM

        Its over the top, Craig. But, if Puig does what the other 25 dodgers did, which is show
        up on time, it never gets written. And my gosh, its the home opener. That’s almost
        like getting a new job and being late the 1st day. How dumb is that?

      • drewsylvania - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:58 PM

        It’s over the top because it has to be. We as human beings like to both a) jump to incorrect conclusions, and b) engage in groupthink. This requires a forceful response.

      • jc4455 - Apr 4, 2014 at 7:42 PM

        Time to wash your hands of this and move on Calc. You believed in her, but she’s just going to keep banging the mailman. She’s that kind of girl.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      I’m probably not adding anything constructive here to what Braddavery wrotem but here goes:

      I keep coming back to that writer who said Puig was a 5-tool asshole. Such people exist. Puig might be one of them, and given the overheated reaction to every single thing he does wrong, I’m beginning to believe that he is.

      On the other hand, it does seem to be mostly the sportswriters who are constantly pissed at him. I’m not sure we’ve seen a single quote (on or off the record) from a teammate saying what a horrible teammate Puig is.

      • djandujar - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:13 PM

        Most baseball writers are good-ole-boy honkey racists. Business as usual for Amerikkka’s favorite past-time.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:29 PM


        Well, I’m done here. Have a nice afternoon, everyone.

      • clemente2 - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:21 PM

        Yes, the sportwriters who took Clark and Kent’s side against Bonds, who vilified Ted Williams, who worshipped Steve Garvey, who…on and on.

        Unless and until the players are upset, not an issue except for what it says about the media.

      • braddavery - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:41 PM

        So you don’t understand that it works on a case by case basis? lol Saying that sportswriters are racist is implying they all are. Which is false and a moronic sentiment.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:00 PM

        No one hated Williams for being a Mexican! I don’t even think the writers KNEW he was a Mexican!

    • drewsylvania - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:47 PM

      If everyone says it, it MUST be TRUE! Right, braddavery?

      The Jews were also horrible, horrible people who were everything wrong with Germany. Right?

    • scotttheskeptic - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:25 PM

      So, if I have to tell 20 (or more) people that my wart isn’t melanoma, I should rethink the diagnosis?

  3. pmcenroe - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    I feel like this is what the media want us to think the Dodgers’ clubhouse is like

    • thomas844 - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:01 PM

      Skyler = Matt Kemp
      Walt Jr. = Don Mattingly
      Heisenberg = Puig

      • yahmule - Apr 4, 2014 at 6:00 PM

        “Decir mi nombre.”

  4. jrob23 - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:43 PM

    When you show up late and are benched deservingly as a result. You could cost your team that game. In a tight pennant race that game could be the difference. If you are surly and refuse to hit your cut off man, adhere to signs given by 3rd and 1b coaches…that is insubordination. With talent like his you take the good with the bad, but let’s not pretend he isn’t shaping up to be a cancer on that team.

    • clydeserra - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:01 PM

      because you are late?

      you cost the team a pennant because you are at the game say 2 and a half hours early instead of 3?

    • kardshark1 - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:40 PM

      Wow. Dumb is dumb.

      Think about Dodger fans who paid for opening day tickets. They get to see a very bad Andre Ethier play instead of one of the most talented entertaining players in the game. Way to put the team and cities’ best interest in mind.

      jrob23, you have a team built on punctuality and have fun with that… I’ll take a team based on talent.

      • jrob23 - Apr 4, 2014 at 7:18 PM

        you can have both…a point you are missing

      • ilovegspot - Apr 5, 2014 at 12:18 PM

        Ethier hit a home run douchebag

    • Kevin Gillman - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:00 PM

      Maybe the traffic was unbearable? It is Los Angeles.

      • blabidibla - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:19 PM

        Everyone knows it takes 30 minutes to get from the freeway exit into the parking lot.

  5. juuuuustabitoutside - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Puig on the bench (or Kemp for that matter) will allow Ethier to have better at-bats.

    Imagine it is late in a close game and Ethier is due up. The opposing manager is considering bringing in his lefty specialist to shut Ethier down. But wait, if he brings in the lefty specialist, Puig (or Kemp) will pinch hit. So the opposing team leaves in a righty to face Ethier. Oh, and then Puig (or Kemp) can hit for the pitcher a few batters later.

    Having 4 good outfielders will turn out to be a plus and not a minus.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:59 PM

      Agree. Depth is a valuable thing.

    • clydeserra - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:12 PM

      but no, send up Figgins in the 9th. that totally makes for a better option

  6. sfm073 - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Craig your helping these writers get exactly what they want and that’s page views. These guys are trolling you.

  7. jwbiii - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    It’s pretty clear the Dodgers agree with Craig. If they put Puig on waivers, he wouldn’t last 2 minutes before some team would claim him and the 5/$26m left on his contract.

  8. jre80 - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    Who gives a f$$k

    • ilovegspot - Apr 5, 2014 at 12:20 PM

      right on

  9. clydeserra - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    I don’t think benching is the right punishment, that does hurt the team (presumably) more than the individual. Seems counter productive.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:50 PM

      It is the only punishment. It has alwasy been the punishment. To do otherwise is to who favortism and undermine the entire process. But you are entitled to your own opinion.
      So with that I ask…what is the “right punishment?”

      • clydeserra - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:55 PM

        could fine the guy? that makes him suffer and not his teammates.

        Maybe make him do 50 pushups? Make him take a class? make him do extra charity work?

        There are lots of options.

    • baberuthslegs - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:52 PM

      Yeah, the Dodgers are behind 6-0 after one inning today.

      • baberuthslegs - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:10 PM

        By the way, has anybody else noticed Larry King sitting behind home plate?

  10. jolink653 - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    I think the issue most writers and most fans have with him is that he has the tools to be insanely successful in this league, yet constantly seems to do or say something stupid or doesn’t hustle or whatever the case may be at times. It seems sometimes that he is extremely immature (which could be given how young he is) and older, more traditional baseball writers and minds hate the lackadaisical attitude he seems to take towards the game and how it’s played. Sometimes they rightly blast him for it and sometimes it’s over the top, but he has the rare tools that few players in baseball history have possessed (hitting for power & average, speed on the bases, Gold Glove caliber defensive potential and a cannon for an arm). If this kid gets his head right and becomes more of a team player, other teams are gonna be in a lot of trouble playing against him

  11. bg4866 - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    Should trade him to Miami for Stanton both teams win – Dodgers upgrade RF Miami gets gate attraction which is all they care about and he comes cheaper than Stanton which they care more than they do then the gate attraction

  12. Old Gator - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    As the new, overwritten, oversized, overwrought, overacted, American version of Godzilla prepares to hit the screen next month, with its promised destruction of multiple cities and the return of – yes – the world’s greatest monster, it seems only appropriate that the Los Angeles Times, onceuponatime like any fairytale dragon a great newspaper, believes that it is ackecherley none other than Yasiel Puig who is the great nemesis, bringer of the most widespread desolation since the K/T meteorite. Well, let’s see how much damage Puig has done by mid-may when the movie opens.

    One the brighter side, having seen the trailers, I can report that the new American Godzilla no longer resembles Don Shula.

    • blabidibla - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      Above commentary is from Los Angeles Daily News, not the LA Times.

      • Old Gator - Apr 4, 2014 at 6:01 PM

        There is no such thing as the Los Angeles Daily News.

    • yahmule - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:31 PM

      Roland Emmerich can suck my ass.

  13. number42is1 - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Somwehere Arod is smiling…

    • Francisco (FC) - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:29 PM

      A-Rod: Let your anger flow. Join me and I will complete your training, and we will rule MLB together as Father and Son.

      Puig: You’re not my dad.

      A-Rod: Just go with it.

  14. kardshark1 - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    Please trade Puig to the Giants.

  15. blabidibla - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    No doubt Puig will be blamed for that 1st inning too.

    • clydeserra - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:23 PM


      • 18thstreet - Apr 4, 2014 at 7:03 PM

        I’m a little curious — not sarcastically — what a “distraction” in the clubhouse looks like, and what difference it makes.

  16. drewsylvania - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    Spot on, Craig.

  17. labfan30 - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    Lets write this another way:

    It took Puig only 4 games to act unprofessional again after his teammates had a closed door meeting with him and told him he needed to start acting in the best interest of the team instead of himself.

    The headline was over the top, but it’s freaking LA, what do you expect? The Dodgers aren’t releasing Puig and none of you are getting him on your team. (nor my team either) But this isn’t what you want your young star acting like either. It’s stupid, childish and selfish. It might be a very good idea for the Dodgers to send him back down for a couple of weeks just to prove a point. You aren’t more valuable to the team and we will not allow this to continue. Get it figured out kid, get it figured out.

    • blabidibla - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      You missed the part where Puig was the one to call the meeting to ask how he can improve, not his teammates attempting to set him straight.

      • labfan30 - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:27 PM

        OK, so he called the meeting. After he was shredded in the media by Mattingly and lord knows what else was said by teammates after he did it.

        If anything, it just makes what he did today worse. You call a meeting asking how you can improve, the teammates tell him to start acting like a professional and week later he gets in trouble because he’s unprofessional. If I call a meeting with my coworkers asking them what I can do better, I would also have the maturity to take whatever criticism they had of me and attempt to change. He obviously doesn’t feel the need.

        I want to see the kid become a superstar. He’s got every tool in the book and is exciting to watch. But he needs to learn that his talent is only going to take him so far. He needs to get it figured out.

  18. drewsylvania - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    I’d say every human being on the planet is racist. Most often, the racism is unintentional. We’re not that good at recognizing racism when we see it or do it.

  19. paperlions - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    As I don’t have access to the Dodger clubhouse, I have no choice but to blame the 8-0 score in the top of the 2nd on Puig’s tardiness. Clearly, the Dodger’s are unraveling and it is all Puig’s doing.

    • yahmule - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:33 PM

      Hyun-Jin Ryu was one of the best young SP in the National League, until Puig ruined him.

      • paperlions - Apr 4, 2014 at 6:48 PM

        It is well known that Ryu is a stickler for punctuality. Everyone on the Dodgers knew that being late would throw him off his game, including Puig. Everyone but Puig cared.

  20. stairwayto7 - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:09 PM


  21. kinggator - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    I liked it better when Puig drove fast…..

  22. rcali - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    Well, they team is clearly playing today like the Bad News Bears so their minds are obviously somewhere else. Can’t say enough about team chemistry. The stat nerds can’t seem to find a way to quantify it.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 4, 2014 at 7:06 PM

      The stat nerds spend time on things that can be measured. It works pretty well, but it’s not flawless — not do the stat nerds claim it is.

  23. yahmule - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    The Dodgers are so rattled the last three hitters have smashed two homers (Gonzalez, Ether) and a double (Uribe).

    • illuminancer - Apr 4, 2014 at 8:47 PM

      Yeah, but it was against Vogey, so it doesn’t really count.

  24. rohlo - Apr 4, 2014 at 6:34 PM

    this guy is so talented! the only person who could stop puig is puig himself! he is very immature and imo he has been given too much way to soon! he doesnt neccesarily know how to handle success and all that money and is cocky to boot! hopefully he gets things straightened out! i am not a dodger fan,but he could have hte baseball world wrapped around his finger if he handles himself right. so far he hasnt! its always fun to watch 5 tool players! i get a bad feelign though for some reason when it comes to him! like i said i hope he gets it turned around. him and trout could be the torch barers of mlb for the next decade!

  25. paulier55 - Apr 4, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    “way more interested in sensationalism than accuracy”

    Hardly a few bad apples in LA. This statement more or less describes the mainstream news media in general.

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