Categorized | Mark Timmons

Don’t stick your head in the sand

Yesterday, I wrote this:

“OK, I am going to throw out a couple of ideas for NEXT year.  It always pays to think ahead.  Don’t kill me.“  Then I made a suggestion that Puig could be traded to the Marlins for Stanton and prospects.    I did not say that I would make the trade.  I just threw out some ideas.  There was a lot of resistance to this and even one person said that I lost him as reader for merely suggesting this.  Look, if he wants to stick his head in the sand and ignore facts, then he doesn’t deserve to use our bandwidth!  What is foolish is not to at least consider what can happen going forward with Puig.

In case you forget, I am the same person who said that I had never seen a baseball player with the talent level of Yasiel Puig in my lifetime.  I said that he was a cross between Bo Jackson and Roberto Clemente… and I still believe that!

I know that Yasiel is only 22, from a Communist oppressive country and has instant fame and fortune.  I think I understand what that can do to a kid.  He has new-found freedom and riches and is enjoying it to the hilt.  Like many 22 year-olds he thinks he is bulletproof, smarter than others and entitled.  He believes that he is above the rules (not a novel things with 22 year-olds) and marches to his own drum beat.  That’s part of what makes him what he is.  That’s part of his charm.  Your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness.  So far, I get a deja vu feeling that Manny Ramirez is back.  There was the good and charming Manny who was a barrel of fun and made lots of good things happen and then there was the bad Manny who punched a 64 year-old traveling secretary and used PED’s (“I’m bulletproof – I’m beyond the rules”).

Don’t assume that things will stay status quo.  Here is where we are at with Yasiel Puig.  Three things can happen:

  1. He will mature and realize he has a lot to lose and clean up his act.
  2. He will stay the way he is.
  3. He will get progressively worse.

One of those things will happen and 66% of them aren’t good.  I’m not saying the Dodgers need to trade Puig, but everyone should have their eyes open.  Yasiel plays the game with reckless abandon – he’s a wild horse.  A person is not just reckless in one part of their life.  They are reckless throughout their lives and frequently, things end badly for them.  I’m not close enough to the situation to know what will happen next, but guys who are reckless, bulletproof and full-of-themselves like Yas is frequently implode.  They kill someone while driving 100 MPH under the influence or seriously injure someone in a bar fight and have to serve some time in the joint.

I have never seen a baseball player with more talent, but I have see lots of young guys just like Yasiel and a high percentage of them don’t have good lives (or long ones).  Sometimes the baggage weighs so much you just want to give it away.  It would be naive to ignore these warning signs, and I haven’t even addressed the issue that he is considering playing for the Cuban National Team and all the fallout that could bring.   That said, I loved his HR and enthusiasm last night.  I root like crazy for him, but he scares me to death.  Don’t be an ostrich!

Parting shot:  If the Dodgers didn’t have Brandon League, they would have the best record in baseball.  Eat the money, Ned.  Waive him.  Call up SVS.  The Dodgers are better off without him.  It’s called addition by subtraction.  Maybe he will get it together somewhere else.  So what?  The Dodgers have a Championship to win and it can’t be here.

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About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

43 Responses to “Don’t stick your head in the sand”

  1. Badger says:

    The reader you “lost” never posts anyway. Don’t mind him. The rest of us knew what you were talking about. It’s just talk. And, it’s talk worth considering. Who doesn’t like Stanton? And he is going somewhere. Sure hope it isn’t San Francisco.

    Who knows where this Puig thing is going. We have him for what… 7 years? A lot can happen in that amount of time. I remember when Mondesi first came up everyone was raving about his raw skills. He never did what Puig is doing, but he had those kind of tools. He also was just a tad soft in the head. I don’t think that’s the case with Puig, but how do you really know? It sure appears to be coming easy to him, and sometimes that is the kiss of death. It isn’t supposed to be this easy. You are supposed to continue to work your ass off for the kind of success he has had since showing up.

    Nice picture. A true likeness. That was my best suit.

  2. Mark_Timmons says:

    I thought I recognized…

  3. Quasimodo says:

    Well Mark, all the points you make are completely real. His dream was realized 100 fold. His world has gotten so big and there’s some signs that he thinks he owns it. I’m sure who he’s been partying with are filling his head with all kinds of crap. If Dodgers aren’t on the front burner then there’s surely problems ahead. I’m kinda pissed at Crawford and Kemp – that’s really showing him the ropes, huh?

    • HawkeyeDodger says:

      Maybe Kemp and Crawford were just having a good time and looking out for Puig or maybe they were just blowing off some steam and having a night out. I never seen such mountains out of molehills. Puig needs to work on his baseball fundamentals and at times controlling his emotions, but other than that I don’t see what act he needs to clean up. I had one one of the Loons players tell me that they got Seager to relax and break out of an early season slump by taking him out and getting him wasted. Don’t get me wrong, he should be on time and that is a real issue, but the majority of this stuff is nonsense.

  4. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I made some extensive comments about Puig earlier today at the bottom of the previous thread. I tend to lean towards your #1 above, but I understand that it could be #2 or #3. And if he turns out to be Manny without PED’s, that’s not too bad. Manny was pretty good for a long time.

    But my head is not in the sand. And if the Dodgers could get Stanton and prospects for Puig, I wouldn’t be unhappy. Might even be pleased. Although, since Stanton, himself a very young player, could be considered an established star (certainly more so than Puig), then I’m not so sure that deal could happen without the prospects going in the other direction (i.e., prospects going from the Dodgers to the Marlins instead of the other way around). Unless they’re totally pushed against the wall, I don’t see the Marlins trading Stanton 1 for 1 with anyone (not even the Cuban Mr. Puig), and certainly not surrendering prospects as well.

    I seriously doubt if eating League’s contract is a huge issue with the Dodgers. And unless he shows some immediate progress, I’m not sure he won’t be gone between now and the end of August. With rosters expanding on September 1st, and with less of a need for 13 pitchers in the postseason, League could become superfluous when September roles around. In fact, maybe the Dodgers are using League now to convince themselves one way or the other whether or not they want to continue with him much longer.

  5. Gonzo says:

    Agree with what you posted 110% I read somewhere that both Puig’s parents are engineers. So if that is true even though he is from Cuba, that fact that his parents are educated put him in a different class in Cuba.

    If I’m Kasten, I pull him to the side and let him know that while I love him as a player, his I walk on water attitude will not be tolerated. It’s a lot like parenting or business sometimes you have to be the bad guy to get the best results in the grand scheme of things.

    I hear ya Badger, I hate when people talk down to others because of their talent, position or money. I’m 36 and my parents always taught me to treat a homeless guy as if he were the president. It’s just the right thing to do was the answer when I asked why.

  6. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    By the way, in addition to getting him more experience, part of the reason the Dodgers sent Puig to Chattanooga after spring training may have been this:

    “may opt in to arbitration once he earns 3 years of Major League service time.”

    Got that from Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/

    • Badger says:

      Yoiks. I forgot about that. That is rather big isn’t it. There might be some early work done on that deal.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I agree with your comments Mark. I hope Puig does calm down, but right now he has not. I see Uribe, Ramirez and AGon talking to him, but he does not seem to listen. I am concerned.

    I agree with you on League. I have never liked League because I saw him pitch in Seattle. He lost the closer position because he was very inconsistent in Seattle. When he is on he looks great. The next time he looks horrible. You just cannot trust him. They need to let him go. I think the Dodgers have seen enough of League where they are not going to use him anymore unless we are 10 runs ahead or down.

    I just think the Dodgers need to make another decision and bring up Fife and let him fill in the 5th spot. His era is much better than Capuano’s era. Fife has an era of under 3.00 in his last 9 starts for the Dodgers.

  8. Idaho al says:

    That was idaho al’s comments above. Sorry.

  9. Badger says:

    Damn Yankees.

  10. Watford Dodger says:

    Must have missed it but Luis Cruz was DFA’d by Yankees on Monday. Hit .145 on season in 187 plate appearances between us & them. Shame. What a difference a year makes.

  11. Badger says:

    Check out the Rancho box over there on the new MILB site Mark put up. Football score against High Desert. Corey Seager had 1 of the 22 hits for the Quakes. He has his average all the way to .194. Impressive huh? Pederson only at .279, but he does have an .865 OPS so when he does hit it, it has some authority behind it. I am looking forward to seeing him in a few weeks. Which arms are coming up?

    A lot of names being mentioned on Rumores I never heard of. Looks like maybe the Dodgers are riding this horse to the finish line. The top three starting pitchers are looking pretty dang good, but I would still like to see each of them get an extra day rest during September. It will be pitching that wins, or loses, this thing. Our hitting is impressive when the switch is turned on. But, sometimes, they all look drugged.

    Anybody seen Matt Kemp?

  12. Badger says:

    I just stopped by Tony’s new site and there were 14 new posts yesterday alone. Great place to go read and get current info, but it is no place for conversation amongst posters. It moves so fast, what you post in response is on page two by that afternoon. Hope it works out for him as I enjoy reading his work. I also like the writing at MSTI, but the posting there is crazy. This is the format that works for me. I enjoy reading other people’s take on the news of the day. Not really possible for me on the other sites.

  13. Mark_Timmons says:

    That new MILB site for the Dodgers is cool, isn\’t it?

  14. Bobby says:

    Barring something absurd, we went to Miami and took 3 of 4, after going to Philly and taking 2 of 3.

    Excellent road trip. Did exactly what a first place team wants to accomplish on the road.

  15. Rob says:

    Great road trip!

  16. Badger says:

    Uruntomacher 1 for 9 with 3 BB in a win. I’ll take it. Wilson looked oka doke.

    Yeah, great road trip.

    9.5 up. I am still confident. I am sure most of us are.

  17. Bill Russell says:

    Any predictions on the Boston series? 2-1, 1-2, 3-0, 0-3? It would have been nice to save Kershaw for tomorrows game. Just to make a statement with the Boston fans. Love the 9 1/2 game lead.

  18. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I’m sure Kershaw missed the Boston series just because of where he came up in the rotation. Same for Greinke. And for me, that’s just fine. If the Dodgers advance to the World Series, Boston could be the team they meet. Since the Boston series does not appear to be critical, I’m happy that Boston is not getting a look at Kershaw and Greinke. If the two teams do meet in the Series, I’d prefer that was the first time they see them.

  19. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    At least Seager has drawn 9 walks in his 62 ABs with 4 HR. Maybe over time he gives us some concern, but for now I wouldn’t read too much into such a small sample size. He is, after all, only 19.

    9.5 game lead also leaves me very confident. Just want the Dodgers to everyone healthy and productive (including Kemp). If they go into the playoffs hitting like they are now, they could be in trouble. But that’s down the road, so no sense fretting about it.

    Any word on Jose Dominguez?

  20. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    You really can’t read too much into a short interview, but from what I heard, Puig seems to be a pretty soft and well spoken guy. Certainly I don’t detect a hint or arrogance or any other sort of negativity. Again, the interview was short and anything but definitive. Still, I came away feeling good about Mr. Puig.

    http://wapc.mlb.com/lad/play/?content_id=29934397&topic_id=8878826&c_id=la

  21. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “hint of” NOT “hint or”. Sure most people figured that typo out.

  22. Badger says:

    Yeah, Seager is 19. He’ll probably figure it out. When his brother was 19-20 he was tearing it up at UNC, which is similar to A ball.

    To beard or not to beard. That is the million dollar question.

  23. Bball says:

    I really hope he takes that offer. The beard is old news. Giant garbage if u will. Exactly 2 months ago this team was 9.5 down. Now 9.5 ahead what a difference. Super proud and pleased of this team. Keep it going.

  24. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Not so sure UNC and A-Ball (especially high-A at Rancho vs. low-A at Great Falls) are all that similar. Also, his brother wasn’t hitting with wood bats at UNC. But again, it’s only 62 ABs. Maybe in the next 62 ABs he hits .400. But I would caution Dodger fans not to expect this kid at Dodger Stadium before at least 2016 (except may a September call-up in 2015). And I fully expect that he will begin next season at Rancho, NOT Chattanooga. If he earns it, maybe he moves up to Chattanooga later in 2014, or he might just spend all of next year at Rancho.

  25. Mark_Timmons says:

    Seager started slowly at Great Lakes but after about 80 AB\’s he started tearing the cover off the ball. I expect the same at RC… soon.

  26. Badger says:

    I find expectations lead to disappointments. I trust he will get better, but what do I know. I thought Joel Guzman, Andy LaRoche and Dee Gordon were all can’t miss prospects.

    I have heard from several sources I trust that the good D1 programs are equivalent to A ball. I believe that to be true. Three to four years there and a high pick should be ready for AA.

  27. Dino says:

    La Times reporting Vin Scully Will return next season. YES!!!!

  28. Bball says:

    Awesome. Great way to wake up in the morning

  29. Badger says:

    You know, someone is eventually going to have to follow him. I believe Daron Sutton could be a good choice. He has Dodger blood in him.

  30. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Mark,

    Maybe he will pick it up at RC soon, and maybe not. Keep in mind that he doesn’t have much time to pick it up, since the minor league season ends at the beginning of September, which is only just over a week away. And will the Dodgers think he’s advanced enough to play in the AFL? That was a problem for Pederson last year, but maybe it did him some good. However, keep in mind that he had already advanced to AA.

    Maybe a good D1 program is equivalent to A-ball, but is that high-A or low-A? And I can’t believe they’re totally equivalent, since college players aren’t playing everyday, and they’re not using wood bats. Even if there isn’t a huge difference, sometimes nuance can result in significant variations in performance. If Seager is playing mostly against kids just out of high school at Rancho, that’s one thing. But I don’t think that’s the case. Most high school kids are found in Rookie ball and at low-A. In fact, most of the players at Rancho probably have at least a year of professional experience behind them. I don’t think too many kids (college or high school) start their careers at hi-A. There are exceptions, I’m sure, but not enough to be significant. I don’t have time to look it up, but where did our top picks from this years draft, both college players (Anderson and Windle) start their pro careers? I don’t think it was above low-A.

  31. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    To answer my own question. Chris Anderson and Tom Windle are both pitching at low-A Great Lakes. And both apparently doing very well.

  32. Badger says:

    Not to beat the horse Brooklyn, but there is a LONG list of D1 players that leaped through the minors. We could start with the Dodgers. Just look in their bullpen. Last year I had box seats and watched Trevor Bauer beat Capuano. I think the good ones are prepared to move quickly. I remember another Dodger that went from Wichita State to pitching in the Majors in very short period of time. Patrick Corbin looks pretty good and he went to a JC. Some guys just have IT. Usually, you find out fairly quickly. Not always of course, but, the good ones stand out early and find their way to the Majors by their very early 20′s.

    I would definitely send Pederson to the AFL. The more at bats the better. 5 a day every day. Maybe even a winter league in the Caribbean. Good gig if you can get it.

  33. Mark_Timmons says:

    Brooklyn,

    Seager can\’t go to the AFL because he was not in AA by August 1.

  34. Gonzo says:

    Mark I know beggars can’t be choosers, but would you be open to putting up a game time notice for the Dodgers’ games?

  35. Badger says:

    One player below AA per Major League team is allowed in the AFL.

    Got anyone else in mind?

  36. Pete M. says:

    Great news about the possibility of seeing Seagar along with Pederson in the AFL. I still call the the AFL the best kept secret in baseball. Free parking…Seating first come first serve…Hallelujah baseball fans…

  37. Badger says:

    Who else?

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