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:
- He will mature and realize he has a lot to lose and clean up his act.
- He will stay the way he is.
- 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.