(pic culled from Larry Brown Sports)
Yasiel Puig’s initial misread / premature celebration of a HR-that-wasn’t (yet still managing a stand up triple in the process), was sort of like throwing chum into
Brian McCann’s driveway the shark tank, but few baseball etiquette guardians have reacted nearly as hysterically as CBS New York’s Brad Kallet, who calls the Dodgers rookie outfielder, “cocky, arrogant, and extremely unlikeable.” Though it would seem there’s a few million paying customers at Chavez Ravine who hold a different opinion, Kallet says Puig’s actions Monday night, “absolutely disgusted me as a lifelong baseball fan.” (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
First of all, act like you’ve been there — even though he hasn’t. What’s happened to the days of Paul O’Neill hitting a home run and immediately putting his head down as he began jogging around the bases? (He did that as a rookie, by the way; not just as a 15-year MLB veteran.) Oh, and when Mets outfielder Jordany Valdespin pulls the same garbage as Puig he’s labeled a troublemaker and a bad teammate. Why? It’s simple, really: because he’s a bad player. So because Puig has talent he gets a free pass, and is in fact embraced for his antics? Think about that for a second. It’s completely hypocritical.
Call me old-school and old-fashioned. Call me too conservative. Tell me to “get with the times.” Whatever. The bottom line is that you don’t show up the opposing pitcher and you don’t “pimp out” a home run. It’s disrespectful and it’s a bad look, and anybody who has ever played the game at a high level knows that those “unwritten rules” we hear so much about actually have merit and are worth something.
Just stop with the excuses, people. He lived in Cuba all of his life and is just having fun playing in America! That’s my favorite excuse. The last I checked, he can still have plenty of fun, be a celebrity, play baseball for millions of dollars and be loved by the masses without playing like a fool.
Another excuse: If you don’t want him to act like this, then don’t let him beat you. Really? That’s the rationale? So let me get this straight. If one person defeats another person — in any profession — then that person has every right to act like a jerk? Laughable.
I won’t call Kallet “old-school” or “too conservative”, but I will settle for “selective” and “thoroughly predictable”. On what planet has Puig received a free pass? He’s been previously benched and publicly scolded by Don Mattingly, the target of beanballs thrown by the Diamondbacks and for several months now, he’s been easy fodder for any columnist seeking to elevate his or herself for being (ahem) “old-school”. Sure, it’s entirely possible that at some point in the future, Puig’s immaturity might cost the Dodgers a run or a win, but it would be helpful to cite a specific example of that actually happening.