October 15, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66 reacts after he grounds out into a double play in the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Championship Series baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Was Yasiel Puig Bullied Within The Dodger Clubhouse?

I don’t even know what to make of this. Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times writes about how Yasiel Puig was bullied inside the Dodger clubhouse in a recent article in the L.A. Times. Relief pitcher J.P. Howell broke the silence in an interview after delivering an anti-bullying message to preschool children in Los Angeles. Apparently Howell responded by telling Shaikin that he noticed Puig being “bullied” by certain players within the Dodger clubhouse. I have no idea what exactly being bullied entails in this story but it sounds fishy to me. Who would bully Puig?

“who Me bullied?”-Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Howell originally told Shaikin that Puig had been bullied within the clubhouse, but later recanted by saying that it was actually the media and fans who were bullying Puig. Howell and his wife were relaying an anti-bullying message by reading a book to some preschoolers in Los Angeles. Howell was bullied as a kid and wanted to get the message out to the kids. Bullying is not ok, no matter who it is.

Howell mentioned the pressure within the clubhouse to party and drink late into the night, which reminds me of Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, and Carl Crawford all partying at a downtown Miami nightclub with Lebron James during a series in Miami last August. That little episode resulted in Puig being late to the ballpark and being fined by manager Don Mattingly. But Howell goes on to speculate more about the bullying of Yasiel Puig…..

“The guy is such a champion,” Howell said. “He has such a big heart. Sometimes he acts like a jerk, but that is his defense mechanism. It’s not really him.

“Someday, he is not going to be 22. He’s not going to be like that. I love the guy. I hope he never changes, just maybe matures.”

Howell changed his statement in a later interview with Ken Gurnick by saying…

“I was asked if Puig had been bullied and I said yes, but I meant by fans and media and people on the outside that don’t know him. Never in the clubhouse. Are you kidding? People early in the season said our clubhouse wouldn’t have chemistry, and it turned out to be an awesome clubhouse — everybody got along.”

This is in light of some kind of recent Miami Dolphin NFL bullying scandal. Of course I could care less about the NFL, but this has brought bullying into the forefront in recent weeks.

The Dodgers released a statement about the bullying situation….Bullying is an issue we take very seriously. We’ve discussed this with Yasiel and he has assured us that he is comfortable with the clubhouse environment as well as his teammates, coaches and support staff. As an organization, we will continue to be proactive in monitoring what goes on in and around our clubhouse.”

As someone who was bullied quite frequently in grade school, I can tell you it is not ok. I understand what Puig is going through more than most people. Nobody deserves to be bullied no matter who you are. Yasiel Puig is a person with real feelings. Nobody should be made to feel intimidated or uncomfortable. I hate bullies, they are my mortal enemies.

Howell, and his wife read a homemade book about a monkey named Dangles to the kids at the Children’s Bureau Preschool at Magnolia Place in Los Angeles. The book talks about the dangers and repercussions of bullying. Howell’s wife Heather wrote the book herself.

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Tags: J.P. Howell Los Angeles Dodgers Yasiel Puig

  • Aaron Somers

    Great stuff Scott.

  • ehsank24

    Good read Scott. Also was bullied at times in elementary school, I can understand the pain as well.

  • LasordasLair

    Thanks guys

  • Quasimodo

    I’ve got to say it must be hard finding something substantially strong enough to really sink you teeth into to write about, Scott. A story about a story of a story being told to preschool children? Not really the kind of dynamic news I’ve gotten so used to from you. I’m not worried,. Soon enough the stove’ll get hot enough for you, my Brother. I find Dodgers news is pretty dry everywhere. ‘The Bully’ is the new focus and something everybody can relate to. Nobody escapes though life without being bullied. I’m not gonna bite into the ‘Puig being bullied’. I think anybody who’d take that to him would find something they’d have to chew on.

    • LasordasLair

      Thanks Quasi.