What a professional. How classy of the guy. Very mature.
These are words that need to be associated with Yasiel Puig after what he showed to the organization most recently. And no, i’m not talking about the whole mess in Australia.
Puig messes up. Puig is publicly criticized by someone in the organization. Soon thereafter, Puig is publicly embraced and defended by that same person, who now says the criticism was misunderstood and, c’mon people, he’s a really, really great kid.
Yeah, funny how that works.
Dodgers’ GM Ned Colletti confirmed to @MLBNetworkRadio that Puig called the team meeting and asked his teammates how he could get better.
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) March 30, 2014
We had a feeling this was the case when it was first called to our attention, but couldn’t confirm it. Someone definitely called a team meeting where Hanley Ramirez and Juan Uribe were very vocal about their feeling towards the whole situation.
But wow. I can’t say i’m not impressed. Given, this is a very optimistic view on this point. But there haven’t been of any reports of Bryce Harper calling any team meetings to beg to his teammates to find ways to become a better baseball player. (Of course Harper hasn’t had a pressing need to call a team meeting because he’s is very different from Puig [less hispanic], right?). Running into outs on the basepaths is never a good thing, it costs the batter on deck any chance to do anything, and it’s something that should be met with a good reprimanding. Now, to the extent that he has been since the series down under? Of course not, but Puig is nowhere near a finished player.
And of course, it’s a farce that getting on Puig for being a bad baserunnner (while valid, is still far, far overblown) has leaked into his “lack of professionalism”, whatever that means. And getting on him for not giving his teammates a chance to drive him in on is extremely different than yelling at him for the [needed] flair that he brings for the game. But if you for whatever reason buy into all of this nonsense, that Puig needs to tone it down for the sake of the game, and that his baserunning is going to destroy the Dodgers this season, well it looks like he’s grown.
Calling a team meeting and asking them for advice on how to be a better baseball player shows some sort of humility that I can’t say I dislike. I can only hope he doesn’t tone down his game, because that’s what makes him so special. However, if Yasiel Puig is truly learning, then get ready for a great season.