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Another day, another in-depth Yasiel Puig article

Apr 17, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

yasiel puig pose getty Getty Images

You have to figure Scott Eden of ESPN was a bit cheesed off that L.A. Magazine beat him to the punch on a competing in-depth article about Yasiel Puig‘s journey to the United States. But even if he wasn’t first, Eden’s is still excellently-reported and well-researched.

Many of the same beats: getting out of Cuba is really hard, and it creates some perverse incentives and awful choices for people. Puig almost certainly ratted out other would-be defectors, either because he felt he had to or felt it would draw attention away from himself. There are lawsuits about that now, though it’s an open question whether U.S. courts are the best place for such things.

More broadly, the entire process inevitably causes someone in Puig’s shoes to be wary of anyone he doesn’t know, even to this day. And no matter what led up to his defection, his flight itself was harrowing and its repercussions continue to this day. He was shaken down by people who did not have his best interests in mind before, during and after he defected, and even if he’s far better off now for having endured it all, it’s no less troubling what he had to go through.

I still have the same takeaways I had after the L.A. Mag piece earlier this week. I’ve said most of them enough already so I won’t annoy you with them once again. But Ben Badler of Baseball America — retweeting something he first said last summer — still makes a fantastic point:

  1. drewsylvania - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    Puig is human.

  2. nymets4ever - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    the more namby-pamby excuses you make for Puig, the better Craig will think your article is.

    • drewsylvania - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      Hey troll–read the articles before commenting, you’re making yourself look stupid (again).

      • nymets4ever - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:54 PM

        Actually I know exactly what I’m talking about. We freakin get it already, Puig had an awful childhood dealing with oppression and isolation. Well guess what, now you’re in America and you have millions of dollars so everyone’s sick of hearing about it and hearing the excuses. I’m sure other ballplayers have had tough upbringings too. Most grown men manage to deal with their situations quietly and gracefully without becoming social pariahs along the way and needing a million people making excuses on their behalf.

      • drewsylvania - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:11 PM

        You didn’t read the articles. Done with your stupidity.

      • nymets4ever - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:54 PM

        You’re just bitter because I can sum up Puig’s overtold rehashed sob story better in one paragraph than all these mancrush-having, bleeding-heart, L.A.-biased sportswriters can in ten rambling pages. You want me to fall in line with the mindless sheep narrative of making excuses for this multimillionaire All-Star ballplayer just because he had it tough in the old country.

      • Alex K - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:17 PM

        You’re really sticking with the articles being about Puig’s childhood or upbringing? There is precious little about that in the LA Magazine article, and nothing about it in the ESPN one. So, yeah, you’re uninformed about this conversation.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:39 PM

        I get that you can’t ignore articles on this website. I get that you have to make yourself bigger than real people. I get that you’re an incompetent when it comes to communicating with others. I get that you think your word is God’s. I get that you think very highly of yourself. What you don’t get is that your words reflect your poor qualities as both a baseball fan and a human being.

        You are trash. Useless and a waste of space.

        Enjoy your moment.

    • ilovegspot - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:11 PM

      Obviously that moron met fan is too stupid to read the article. What a fkn idiot.

      • nymets4ever - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:01 PM

        Aww, does it make you angry that there are actually people in this world who don’t want to get down on their knees for Puig just because he came from Cuba?

    • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      The more you decide to communicate with the outside world, the more of an idiotic asshole you prove yourself to be.

      • ilovegspot - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        hopefully that loser met fan can’t procreate. what a fkn too. total disgrace to Met fans.

  3. jre80 - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    Punk

    • ilovegspot - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      jre80=punk troll

  4. cur'68 - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    Puig-a-palooza continues unabated. Good luck to him, I say.

  5. drewsylvania - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    If you’re making negative judgments without reading the articles, shame on you.

    We can’t say we’d have done differently because we haven’t been confronted with his choices. Nor are we likely to be, since this is the U.S.

    • raysfan1 - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      A thousand thumbs down to you, Sir. How dare you:
      1) point out the obvious that none of us have had to endanger our lives coming to this country
      2) none of us have had to make a choice to try better our lives while not knowing if we can then ever help the loved ones we left behind, or even know day to day if they are safe
      3) and, worst of all, realizing that being able to empathize with a guy’s challenges does not equate to “making excuses” for him or saying it’s okay to break laws in this country.

      Besides, reading is hard.
      /s

  6. El Bravo - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    Puig doesn’t come across as a good dude in either article. He likely isn’t. The process comes across much worse though. That still doesn’t excuse Puig from the scandalous routes he took and he should be held accountable to some of those poor choices where possible. Probably NOT possible, since the process is literally illegal but the blind eye is turned toward it from the US and the MLB. The embargo needs to be lifted, or a loophole for the MLB drafted, to allow these players to join the MLB like any other Latin American ballplayer.

    • ilovegspot - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:14 PM

      El Dumbo

      • El Bravo - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        Sweet story, brah.

    • Alex K - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:04 PM

      Puig doesn’t come across very well in either article. I’m not going to say he likely isn’t a good dude because a person trying to win a lawsuit against him made him sound bad, though.

      As for his time in America it has been a mixed bag- 2 arrests for reckless driving but also multiple charity apperances.

  7. yahmule - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Get one while they last!

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41d0hJMZnhL.jpg

    8~)

  8. illuminancer - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    I get it already! Puig hasn’t had an easy life. Doesn’t mean I’m not going to laugh when he stands there admiring a ball that doesn’t go out.

    • peymax1693 - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      My sentiments exactly. Ironically, it seems to me that the irrational hatred of all things Puig that has been expressed by the Bill Plaschke’s of the world have actually provided an excuse for Puig’s supporters to dismiss legitimate criticism of Puig’s fundamental lapses.

      I keep asking this question: what is it about Puig’s upbringing and journey to MLB, as terrible and harrowing as it was, that would excuse his inability to hit the cutoff man?

      I would criticize any hot shot prospect who failed to master this basic fundamental, be it Yasiel Puig, Bryce Harper or Mike Trout.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:25 PM

        I keep asking this question: what is it about Puig’s upbringing and journey to MLB, as terrible and harrowing as it was, that would excuse his inability to hit the cutoff man?

        No one, I repeat no one, is saying Puig should be immune to criticism about his on field actions. I’ll say it again, no one, is saying Puig should be immune to criticism about his on field actions.

        What they are saying is maybe the reaction to his mistakes is far worse than the transgressions themselves? People like Plaschke et al are saying he’s destroying the locker room. People saying he needs to “grow up”. Those are the reactions we bring up and say, maybe cut the guy some slack?

        Shane Spencer missed the cut off man which led to the Jeter Flip Play, no one is railing against Spencer learning to play the right way. Vlad missed the cut off man all the time, but people always praised his arm…

      • peymax1693 - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:48 PM

        No one, I repeat no one, is saying Puig should be immune to criticism about his on field actions. I’ll say it again, no one, is saying Puig should be immune to criticism about his on field actions.

        What they are saying is maybe the reaction to his mistakes is far worse than the transgressions themselves? People like Plaschke et al are saying he’s destroying the locker room. People saying he needs to “grow up”. Those are the reactions we bring up and say, maybe cut the guy some slack?

        Shane Spencer missed the cut off man which led to the Jeter Flip Play, no one is railing against Spencer learning to play the right way. Vlad missed the cut off man all the time, but people always praised his arm…”

        My point is that people like myself, who criticize Puig solely for his on the field actions, are routinely lumped together with the Plaschke’s of the world and told that we are being ridiculous and need to cut the man some slack.

        Why would I cut the man some slack for being fundamentally unsound, when there is no excuse for it? I wouldn’t do it for any other player, so why should I for Puig?

  9. kingscourt25 - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    But the cut off man, Craig

    • nymets4ever - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:04 PM

      Yea, let’s mock and minimize the importance of baseball and social fundamentals just because this punk-ass Puig is incapable of performing them.

      • doctorofsmuganomics - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:32 PM

        Good idea.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:43 PM

        I love it when you get all superior with that brain dead dipstick self.

      • nymets4ever - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:56 PM

        Wait, you use “braindead” one of your cute little insults here, but then you turn around and glorify that asshole Puig for acting like a braindead child in a baseball uniform! Make up your mind, fella.

      • kardshark1 - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:04 PM

        The Mets have a lot of fundamentally sound players… How’s that working out for you?

        Fans don’t want to see 1950’s fundamentals and “respect for the game.” They want excitement, entertainment and victories from their team. Puig provides all of these.

        You watch the David Ecksteins and Ryan Theriots of the world. I’ll pay to watch the exciting players.

  10. bubbalynch - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    Why do you call Yasiel an “asshole”? I mean unless you know him personally, how could you know this?

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