08.19.13

If Yasiel Puig Could Just Hit The Cutoff Man, Maybe He’d Be A Half Decent Major Leaguer

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 11:57 pm by

(pic culled from Larry Brown Sports)

OK, that’s sort of the proposition posed by Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi, who not only inspired an allegedly profane response from Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig earlier tonight, but hopefully caught the attention of LA GM Ned Colletti with the sage observations below. Clearly, Puig has such a dangerously low baseball IQ, the Dodgers have no choice but to waive him, immediately!

Saturday, Puig made the final out of an inning at third base when he tried to tag up on a fly ball to shallow center field. Sunday, he made a week’s worth of blunders in one inning: In the top of the sixth, he was picked off at first base. In the bottom, he allowed the trailing runner to reach scoring position because of an overaggressive throw to third base.

The Dodgers are in a precarious position here. Mattingly should bench Puig for a day – the clearest form of manager-player communication – to make certain he understands the need to be more aware of game circumstances. But that’s probably unrealistic because Puig helped the Dodgers go on an historic 42-8 run, and the paying customers in L.A. would be displeased if they bought a ticket to Dodger Stadium only to learn their hero wasn’t in the lineup.

Eventually, though, Puig must get the message – and the sooner, the better. When Starlin Castro was a rookie, the Chicago Cubs figured he’d eventually stop losing track of outs and forgetting about baserunners. He hasn’t. Perhaps the Cubs should have waited for Castro to master the game’s basics before handing him a $60 million contract extension. Puig signed a $42 million deal the day he became a Dodger, so Mattingly must come up with other forms of motivation.

Funny, David Wright signed a rather large contract extension before the 2013 season began, and despite the fact he’s won as many World Series as Yasiel Puig, he was named team captain. Despite putting up somewhat average offensive numbers for a ballclub far out of contention, there’s been no editorials from Morosi suggesting that Terry Collins needs to read Wright the riot act.  It couldn’t possibly be the Fox Sports columnist (who previously warned us about this kid’s lack of character) thinks a shitty attitude and/or a  flimsy work ethic are exclusive to players from Cuba or the Dominican?

Nah. Instead, Morosi is pointing to actual, on-the-field performance.  Not only have the Dodgers lost two out of their last 3, but Puig’s 0 for 5 showing Monday dropped his batting average to a mere .351.   HE”S TERRIBLE.  If Mattingly really wants to make a point, why not bench Puig for the rest of the regular season?  Maybe the playoffs, too.

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