Saturday, August 31, 2013

0 comments Scott Miller Says the Dodgers Need to Control Their Crazy Mexican Outfielder

Yasiel Puig has become a somewhat polarizing figure among sportswriters because he has a tendency to do some really great things on the baseball field and then also some really stupid things on the baseball field. Lately, it seems sportswriters have been very concerned that Yasiel Puig is going to do something stupid to hurt the Dodgers in the postseason. It's very nice these sportswriters are so worried about Puig hurting the Dodgers chances of winning a playoff game, but it's just an example of a baseball player who needs to mature a little bit because he hasn't even played a full season in the majors. Scott Miller doesn't see it that way and thinks Puig will never be like Kirk Gibson. 

You can see it coming from here to the autumn leaves.

Crowd screaming. National television cameras blazing. Game 4 … or 5 … or 6 of the playoffs.

But definitely not Game 3 or Game 7 of the playoffs. This hypothetical situation would never happen in Game 3 or Game 7.

And Yasiel Puig runs into an out, overthrows a cutoff man, commits some egregious mistake that costs the Dodgers the game.

ALL ON ONE PLAY! Puig is such a danger to the Dodgers, the Dodgers organization, and children in general that he can run into an out, overthrow the cutoff man, and commit another egregious mistake all on one play. After the game, Puig will try to save a six-year old boy from choking on a hot dog and somehow manage to kill the six-year old boy AND his nine-year old brother. Puig is a dangerous man. 

Maybe even costs them the playoffs.

As well as America's claim to sovereignty from a foreign nation's rule. Once Puig is done screwing up in the playoffs, America will be run by the Canadians.

The Dodgers go home for the winter. Their fans are left hugging only their chipped and faded 1988 World Series champions coffee mugs.

Actually they will probably begin to prepare for the upcoming Lakers season and enjoy the California sunshine.

And Puig jets off to join a South Beach conga line for the winter. Party on!

Hoo, boy.

See, Puig joins a conga line because he is Cuban! Cuban people join conga lines.

I like to play a game called "Is this statement a little racist?" Let's play that game substituting people of a different nationality or race into this sentence to see if this statement by Scott Miller could be a little racist.

"And B.J. Upton jets off to join an Alabama gospel choir for the winter."

"And Shawn Green jets off to start his tour of kosher delis for the winter."

"And Shin-Soo Choo jets off to run over innocent pedestrians with his car."

Eh, maybe Miller's sentence isn't necessarily racist, but it's pretty ridiculous writing to indicate that Puig doesn't care about winning games and only wants to join a conga line. Sportswriters complain from time-to-time that pro athletes don't have fun while playing on the field, but then when a pro athlete does have fun while playing on the field a writer like Scott Miller claims the player only cares about joining a conga line.

Puig clearly has the talent to lead the Dodgers to an October title. And he clearly contains the recklessness to push the team bus straight over a cliff. Self-made man meets self-destruction, head on.

The Dodgers need to learn to control their pets better. Baseball isn't entertainment and Puig certainly isn't 22 years playing in his first season in the majors. Is it possible that Puig could do something stupid in the playoffs? Of course, but this concern isn't worth discussing in an entire column.

Do you think they haven't tried? School is in session every day with Puig. Manager Don Mattingly talks with him. Coaches lecture him. General manager Ned Colletti schools him. Teammates from Juan Uribe to Adrian Gonzalez try to teach him.

And Puig won't listen? The Dodgers must bench him or release him immediately.

So what do you do if you're the Dodgers?

Wine and dine him even more?

Sit him down indefinitely?

I say execute him or just, again, immediately release Puig so he can join that conga line that he so desperately wants to be a part of.

Sit him down for six innings, then insert him into the game in a sixth-inning double-switch?

Wait. They did that last one Tuesday. And Puig emerged from his time out to immediately stroke a game-winning home run.

The Dodgers certainly aren't going to be able to teach Puig a lesson if he insists on making the Dodgers a better team by performing well. There has to be another way to teach Puig a lesson at the expense of Puig's Dodger teammates and the team's goal of winning...

He showed up 35 minutes late Tuesday. He was in the worst slump of his career, only 2 for 17 in the first four games in Philadelphia and Miami, striking out in four of his previous 11 at-bats.

Puig was in a slump? This is clearly a fatal personality flaw that only a lecture from Don Mattingly could correct. You know, you sign these players from overseas thinking they will never go into a slump like every other MLB player never goes into a slump...then it turns out this player from overseas loves playing baseball AND he makes mistakes on the field? It's just not worth it when you can sign an American-born player who never goes in a slump, never makes a mistake and is very, very serious about the sport of baseball.

The weekend Phillies series was a kaleidoscope of errors and misjudgments: Puig missed two cutoff men, was picked off a base and was thrown out attempting to advance on a shallow pop fly.

Full disclosure: Puig-mania annoys the hell out of me. Not sure why, but it does. Still, Puig is a 22 year old player coming from Cuba to play in America. He's entitled to a few mistakes and I have faith he will mature.

Yet with each home run and highlight-reel moment, the monster grows.

All of Puig's success on-the-field is really starting to make him think he is good at baseball. He needs to be knocked down a peg or two for some reason.

Biggest question this season now is this: Can the Dodgers eke a Kirk Gibson moment out of Puig this October before they get a Frankenstein moment?


This is an interesting Frankenstein reference. Frankenstein was essentially created by Victor Frankenstein, so is Scott Miller suggesting the Dodgers have created Yasiel Puig? I think that's kind of a backwards way to look at Puig's talent since it seems completely obvious Puig has a lot of raw natural talent that needs some sort of molding and shaping. It seems Puig isn't a Frankenstein and Scott Miller wants the Dodgers to turn him into their very own creation like Frankenstein.

Yet this late-night carousing, cutoff-man missing, curfew busting phenom borders on going berserk-o out of control. Did you see the tantrum he directed at plate ump John Hirschbeck after striking out Monday in Miami?

Miller conveniently leaves out that Hirschbeck tried to pick a fight with Puig.

The fact Hirschbeck picked a fight with Puig is irrelevant. Look at that wild and crazy Puig pissing off umpires! No other MLB batter has ever gotten angry with an umpire before!

"All the things that we see are part of the maturity of a guy coming from a different country who is in the major leagues all of a sudden and having huge success," Mattingly told reporters in Miami. "And part of our job is to help him mature and handle all that.

"And I don't know if we can do that overnight."

I think we know that answer to that one.

Probably "no" because people very rarely will just magically mature overnight. It takes time.

Scouts last year watched minor-league games in which Puig opted to chill in the bullpen, rather than run all the way to the dugout from right field, during half-innings in which he wasn't going to bat. Playing for Double-A Chattanooga in April, Puig was arrested for reckless driving, speeding and driving without proof of insurance. The police report said he was driving 97 mph in a 50 mph zone.

Clearly, the Dodgers need to find a way to go back in time to April so they can ensure Puig doesn't get arrested for speeding. Has anyone said Puig is completely matured? He needs to mature, but I don't understand the sudden need for the Dodgers to stage an intervention with Puig as if he were an alcoholic on the brink of destroying his life.

The Dodgers' task is to keep him playing at close to 100 mph while preventing him from driving 100 mph.

Which so far they have managed to do while Puig plays in the majors. Also, I get what you did there Scott Miller. Great use of italics and a clever way of writing. Kudos.

Last thing they want to do is break his spirit on the field, or go all Larry David and curb his enthusiasm.

I think someone needs to rein in Scott Miller's use of pop culture references such as this one.

Best -- and most realistic hope -- simply is that they can smooth out the rough edges. 

Well I don't know, Puig is 22 years old. There's not much maturing and smoothing of the rough edges that happens when a person is so old and still immature.

They are not going to completely remake him. You wouldn't want to completely remake him.

No, the Dodgers wouldn't want to completely remake Yasiel Puig. Of course they aren't the ones writing an entire column declaring the Puig needs to change his ways immediately or else he will singlehandedly cause the Dodgers to lose a playoff game. If anyone wants Puig to be remade it seems to be Scott Miller.

Talent like this is rare, and it doesn't play at half-speed.

Problem is, neither do the mistakes.

Great point. If Puig can't play the game of baseball without making any mistakes is it even worth having him on the roster? We wouldn't want Puig to be the first MLB player to ever cost his team a playoff game. **

**As long as you ignore other MLB players like Lonnie Smith who arguably cost his team a playoff team...except that playoff game was a World Series game.