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Yasiel Puig shows up late to the ballpark today, gets benched

Apr 4, 2014, 2:01 PM EDT

Dude. I’ve done my damndest to defend you, but at some point you gotta help me help you:

Kemp was supposed to sit this one out, but Mattingly has benched Puig. Which — my past defenses of him notwithstanding — is exactly what he should do in this situation. Do the crime, such as it is, do the time.

My beef has never been with Mattingly or the Dodgers handling Puig the way he should be handled. It’s been about overreaction of the media with respect to his behavior and the implication that he’s not manageable via the same means via which any other ballplayer is subject.

This is a clear violation of Puig’s responsibilities. Mattingly has made him pay for it. Now let’s see if that’s good enough for everyone. I feel like it won’t be.

UPDATE: Nope, it isn’t. Read this for the most ridiculously over-heated response to this.

  1. truthbomb3636 - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Puig certainly is one of kind. Never heard of a player being benched on Opening Day before.

    You just know he will hit a pinch hit homer today. That would be so Puig.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:10 PM

      The Dodgers have been playing baseball for 2 weeks. Opening Day happened in Australia. I don’t remember a Friday day game at Dodgers Stadium, although I am sure it has happened.

      • truthbomb3636 - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:26 PM

        I’m fairly certain this is being called Opening Day in LA. If you care to cite another player benched on his team’s Opening Day, feel free to do so.

        I’m not saying it has never happened, I just can’t think of any. Can you?

      • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:13 PM

        I just don’t see it as him dropping acid on his off day.

        Stuff happens, folks. I’m not saying he shouldn’t be benched, but the APB is a bit off-kilter.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        As for the sanctity of Opening Day, this year it was shot when my team opened 2 weeks ago in a country far, far away, and then followed it up with a handful of exhibition matches, before opening on a Sunday night, and then being off again the next Monday. All in all, it’s the least I can do to help the game go global, but along with the reasons for a staggard start to the season comes the ramifications of dealing with the side effects.

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:09 PM

        Sounds like an excuse Sandy.

        When Dodger fans continually make excuses for Puig should I start referring to it as…
        “The Dodgers way?”

      • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 5, 2014 at 11:52 AM

        Reasons for brain farts, Lou. They are out there.

  2. bfunk1978 - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Odds this happens if Kemp is still on the DL? I think their be low.

    • bfunk1978 - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      They’d. Stupid auto correct.

  3. plmathfoto - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    LOL no lineup controversy today

  4. xmatt0926x - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Seems like a typical kid who has never had to follow too many rules. it’s probably going to have to be pounded into his head for a while, but he’ll likely get it at some point and realize there are actually rules to be followed. He doesn’t seem like a thuggish guy who’s trying to show that he answers to nobody as much as just being a kid who’s sloppy in his self discipline right now.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      He’s just too used to the freedom of Cuba.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:16 PM

        I regret that I have but one thumb to give this.

      • xmatt0926x - Apr 4, 2014 at 6:01 PM

        Obviously I meant loose rules to follow as baseball player who was likely given special treatment when it was understood he was a very special talent. I’m well aware of the lack of freedoms in Cuba.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 4, 2014 at 6:03 PM

        Dude, I wasn’t slamming you. I was just making a funny. It wasn’t really a response to you or meant to imply you didn’t know that. Just riffing off you. :)

      • xmatt0926x - Apr 4, 2014 at 6:47 PM

        I know, Historiophiliac. I was just adding to the context of my point for anyone else who may read these comments that I do understand that he’s from Cuba and what many ordinary Cubans go through.

        I chuckled myself at your comment. I didn’t think you were doing anything but giving a little good humored snark.

  5. happytwinsfan - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    isn’t being late to the park for the home opener a little bit like being late for your first day of work?

    • alangyo - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      no

    • schm1471 - Apr 4, 2014 at 6:21 PM

      If he didn’t already play 100 games last year, sure.

  6. okwhitefalcon - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    The media overreacts to everything, this blog included.

    Star is late – tweet.

    Fan get’s a glove in the chest – tweet.

    Intentional walk – tweet.

    Sacrifice bunt – tweet.

    Billy Hamilton actually makes it to first base – tweet.

    Granted, the first two are actually news and deserve coverage but instances like the other 3 aren’t going away – everyone’s got an opinion and (over) reactionary behavior has become the norm.

    • nymets4ever - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      Uh…diehard baseball fans enjoy knowing, discussing, and debating everything that’s going on, big issues and small. Sorry that’s uncool to you.

      • spudchukar - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:44 PM

        Pretty much anything that is “cool” with you is “uncool” with me.

      • okwhitefalcon - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:42 PM

        Uh, never deemed anything “uncool” (although your over reactionary response to my comment was just that) – just making an observation on the nature of the instantaneous judge, jury and executioner atmosphere and mentality of fans and media alike.

        Know, debate and discuss all ya want and I’ll feel free to not click on any of the redundant, mindless fodder that’s reached ad nauseam proportions.

    • sportsdrenched - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:46 PM

      That’s what’s cool about the internet. YOU can control what you read or don’t read.

      • jimeejohnson - Apr 4, 2014 at 7:34 PM

        For example: ignore Dirty Harry.

  7. snickersdecat - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    Dodger-land is going to be fun this season

  8. dillongeeescapeplan - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    It could have been worse. He could have taken paternity leave!

  9. nsauser - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    In his defense he blamed the trip to Australia. He still hasn’t changed his watch back to Pacific time.

    • stoicpaisano - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      Given his history, Puig probably spent 7 figures on watches and cars before opening a retirement account. Perhaps he can’t read the time buried under all the diamonds on the watch face?

    • willis56 - Apr 4, 2014 at 6:42 PM

      If he was still on Australian time,he would’ve been way early,not late.

  10. cocheese000 - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    How often are other players late to the stadium? It is something you never really hear about.

  11. Old Gator - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    Puig needs to call a team meeting and ask for help setting his watch.

  12. racksie - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    Bobby Valentine doesn’t see what the big deal is….

  13. barrywhererufrom - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    I guess its racism at play here..

    • Old Gator - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:55 PM

      Thanks, it figures it would be you who brings that up.

  14. phillysports1 - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    Oh man, here goes Perfect America to bury Puig.

  15. truthbomb3636 - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    Does Puig not have an iPhone/smartphone and really relies on watch at all times?

    And he hasn’t noticed the watch that he so heavily relies on has been hours off for the 5 or more days he has been back? It’s a miracle he made it to the San Diego games at all since it like 5 a.m. in Australia right now.

  16. mikhelb - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    Blame the Dodgers front office, because they told Mike Brito, their scout, to talk Puig to make him desist from driving fast after what happened in Florida, he ended up convincing Yasiel with a: d”o you want to risk your life driving fast and recklessly? quit baseball and be a racing driver, you want to drive fast? do that, go ahead and quit baseball, we dont want people in the Dodgers risking their lives like that, go ahead and quit and make yourself a racing driver!”.

    At least thats how Mike Brito said it happened and when you chat with him at a baseball park he’ll tell you that (well, he also says he discovered Valenzuela when it actually it wasn’t himand he already was famous a few years before he signed in the mexican summer league snd later with the Dodgers).

  17. lukedunphysscienceproject - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    I blame his teammates.

    I mean, Puig called a team meeting and asked them what he needed to do to be better. What else was he supposed to do? If they didn’t TELL him that he should show up on time for games, how was he supposed to KNOW he should show up on time for games?

    Puig did his part. He reached out for help. His teammates did him a massive disservice and should be ashamed of themselves.

  18. metalhead65 - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    it is news and the media get on him because he is a supposed superstar who does it all the time. let it be a utility guy or a rookie who just made the team and he would in the minors again before the game started or released.

  19. lanflfan - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    Jill Painter is a female Bill Plaschke, more interested in headlines than truth. I pay less attention to her than that waste of resources Plaschke.

  20. J. Robert Hanson - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Yes, Mr Puig, the rules apply event to you.

  21. chiadam - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    A list of history’s greatest monsters:
    1. Alex Rodriguez
    2. Polar Vortex
    3. Yasiel Puig
    4. Men that go on paternity leave.

    • jrbdmb - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:04 PM

      You forgot Jeffy Loria, Ryan Braun, and Yasiel Puig. (Puig is so bad that you have to list him twice.)

    • illuminancer - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      You left out:

      1-100. Barry Bonds

  22. tonyc920 - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    I said it before and I’ll say it again. He’s a punk. He thinks freedom is doing anything you want with no regard for what is right or wrong. If he hasn’t learned his lesson by now, it isn’t going to happen. I hope he gets deported.

    • Old Gator - Apr 4, 2014 at 6:05 PM

      Someone should sit him down and explain to him that freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.

      • jimeejohnson - Apr 4, 2014 at 7:39 PM

        No doubt there’s a bunch of notorious fu+ck-ups in La-La Land…and everywhere else!

      • dexterismyhero - Apr 5, 2014 at 8:22 AM

        Is Bobby McGee in left field?

  23. rohlo - Apr 4, 2014 at 6:36 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!

  24. jimeejohnson - Apr 4, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    You know whose fault it really is: “Lil” gw bush-League’s, as always. Whadya mean “no”?

  25. keltictim - Apr 4, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    Man I really thought I was wrong about this kid. In the grand scheme of things being late for a game, not that big a deal. Being late on your home opener, when you know people are gunning for a reason to rip you, pretty stupid move. I fully get that it must be difficult to go from communist Cuba, to filthy rich in America, but man this kid needs to get it together. He shows a flash of maturity then pulls this stunt. For me it really calls into question the fact that he called that meeting. I understand Craig’s devotion to his source, he was pretty strong about it, and Puig very may have verbally called the meeting, but I’m willing to bet someone told him too.

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