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Should We Be Upset With Yasiel Puig?

Posted by Patrick Wozniak , 07 September 2019 · 4,241 views

yaseil puig
Should We Be Upset With Yasiel Puig? In tonight’s twin over the Cleveland Indians, Yasiel Puig hit a comebacker to Jake Odorrizi in the fourth inning and immediately turned and went back to the dugout. Puig had no chance of reaching first safely on the play and Odorrizi ran the ball to first himself while looking back at Puig with a somewhat surprised expression on his face. The Target Field crowd immediately booed Puig and Dick Bremer speculated that Cleveland manager Terry Francona would pull Puig from the game.

Upon entering the visitor’s dugout veteran Carlos Santana pulled Puig aside and began talking with him and stayed seated beside Puig for the remainder of the inning. Francona stepped down from the top of the dugout and said something to Puig while rubbing his head in what appeared to be an affectionate manner. Puig ran out to right field at the bottom of the fourth and was not pulled from the game.

Francona is known as one of the most beloved player’s managers in the game and he probably knew how to best deal with an outgoing (to put it nicely) personality like Puig’s. Puig most likely immediately understood what he did wrong and his lack of hustle seemed to be an immediate reaction due to his frustration at grounding out to the pitcher. While Francona may still choose to further address the issue with Puig, his decision to keep Puig in the game certainly paid off for Cleveland. Although Cleveland ultimately went on to lose the game, Puig hit an RBI double to tie the game in the sixth inning and doubled again in his next at bat, later coming around to score. It seems likely that an emotional player like Puig was motivated to amend his mistake and may have also been fueled by all the boos he received from the Target Field crowd.

It is a bit interesting to me as to why the Minnesota crowd would be so upset with Puig not hustling on what was a sure out. I guess it’s good to “play the game the right way” and Puig certainly didn’t endear himself to Twins fans in the last home series, but if anything Puig’s choice not to hustle only helped Minnesota by ensuring that a throw didn’t need to be made on the play. It also brought about the possibility of friction between Puig and his teammates which would also be beneficial to the Twins. Additionally, does the absence of seeing Puig slowly trot down the first base line only to thrown out by a mile really take much away from the aesthetic of the game?

From my point of view, I can see why a Cleveland fan (or teammate) could be upset with the play. This series with Minnesota is absolutely crucial for Cleveland as they had fallen behind the Twins by six in-a-half games before the series and won the first game. Miguel Sano had a similar play in the next inning where the ground ball he hit skipped on Cleveland pitcher Aaron Civale and Sano was able to beat out the throw after hustling out of the box. But again, Puig could immediately see that Odorizzi handled the ground ball and that he had no chance to reach safely. Minnesota’s Eddie Rosario also failed to run to first after a dropped third strike and he had no worse a chance than Puig of reaching first on the play (he didn’t receive any booing).

Finally, if you really want to look at the play as objectively as possible, Puig may have also been keeping himself out of the way of potential injury on the play. Although the odds of getting injured on the play were probably microscopic, so were his chances of reaching without recording an out. Plus, Puig did come up limping after scoring in the top of the eighth inning, so it’s not as if he is immune to injury on the base paths.

What do you think? Are you enraged by Puig’s antics or was his not hustling pretty inconsequential? Should the home crowd have booed Puig or thanked him for making the out all the easier for the Twins? Leave your comments below.

  • nclahammer likes this



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3balls2strikes
Sep 08 2019 12:54 AM

When you're being paid millions of dollars to play the game, you give it 100% effort. Puig should have run to first because there is always a chance that Odorizzi or Cron would drop the ball in the exchange. That small chance could have allowed Puig to reach base safely and eventually score to allow his team to win. Then at the end of the season they may make the playoffs by one game all because he ran to first base on a low odds play. No matter the probability, players should give their best effort on every play. Otherwise, why play the game at all? When you play the game lazy, you give your opponent an advantage. Fans don't want lazy players on their team who give opponents an advantage! And Twins fans saw the lazy effort and scolded him for disrespecting the game, his teammates and the Cleveland fans. 

    • Bomba2026 likes this

When you're being paid millions of dollars to play the game, you give it 100% effort. Puig should have run to first because there is always a chance that Odorizzi or Cron would drop the ball in the exchange. That small chance could have allowed Puig to reach base safely and eventually score to allow his team to win. Then at the end of the season they may make the playoffs by one game all because he ran to first base on a low odds play. No matter the probability, players should give their best effort on every play. Otherwise, why play the game at all? When you play the game lazy, you give your opponent an advantage. Fans don't want lazy players on their team who give opponents an advantage! And Twins fans saw the lazy effort and scolded him for disrespecting the game, his teammates and the Cleveland fans.

............ And as for Rosario?
    • purplesoldier4u likes this
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notoriousgod71
Sep 08 2019 06:58 AM

 

............ And as for Rosario?

 

I was pleasantly surprised Bremer called him out for the exact same thing.

You hustle, on every play. Period. 

    • David HK likes this
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Kelly Vance
Sep 08 2019 12:08 PM

Well, I like hustle players as much as anyone, and probably more, but I think the criticism is overblown. Terry didn't over react and he was borne out by Puig's two doubles later in teh game. No doubt he said something like "I know how you feel, but you are gonna get flak. Do something next at bat and make it up to us."

 

Rosie, same deal. I didn't see the play, but dropped third strikes are often a surprise to the hitter more than spectators and unless the ball gets away by twenty feet or so you have no chance. 

 

I'm moving on.There are better things to talk about. 

    • Dantes929, Sconnie and Patrick Wozniak like this

I gotta harken back to the old Joe DiMaggio quote, when asked why he busted his butt on every single play, even late in the season, with nothing on the line. He said, in effect, that there was probably somebody in those stands who had never been to a game before, never seen him play, and may not go again, and he didn't want that person to see him dogging it, and have that be their memory.

 

I switched over to the Cleveland broadcast to see what they were about, and they were totally roasting Puig, even moreso than Dick. They were really getting on him about being in crucial games in a pennant race, and acting like that, and they were speculating on what Francona was going to do or say, too.

 

I like what he did, though.He had a quick word with Puig, and then he let his dugout leader, Santana, take him off to the side and deal with him. They had a looooong, and very one-sided conversation. I would have pulled him from the game, if I were Tito, but to his credit, he didn't, and Puig came through with good at bats afterward.

 

He most certainly deserved every single boo, though, and then some. What a crappy example for every fan who busts his or her fanny all week, to spend an honest dime to go to a game; fans who can only dream about spending their working life on a ball field, and see a pro athlete behave like that. It's an insult to hard-working folks everywhere.

 

 

 

 

I was telling my wife, watching the play, that this guy is the current Delmon Young. All the talent in the world, but does his own thing, be it good or bad, and as long as team's tolerate him (and keep throwing millions his way) he will continue to play. Always putting up better than aveage numbers, but think how great he could be.

Right now, I'm reading this while I'm working. Or, you know, not giving it 100%.

 

Should he run hard every play? Sure. But that Excel spreadsheet would have more formulas in it if I wasn't typing this here.

    • Sconnie, tarheeltwinsfan, Sam Morley and 1 other like this

Shame! scottz. You shall walk the streets naked while we fling pig poo at you. Okay, Okay... I am doing the same thing as you, lol.

 

The point is, most all of us rarely give 100% every day for the things we do to make a living. Puig is no different. He is an enigma that's for sure. But sometimes as fans of sports, we need that odd person, quizzical to us, a villain of sorts, someone that is easily identified, to make ourselves feel better for a brief period.

 

    • tarheeltwinsfan, railmarshalljon and Patrick Wozniak like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Sep 10 2019 07:33 AM

I see Puig's actions as a type of show-boating. If that is the way he chooses to play the game, that is his business...but I, personally,don't happen to respect show-boating. However, I'm sure Mr. Puig couldn't care less what I think.  

A little surprised that Twins fans were booing an opposing player for lack of hustle. Brutal.  

Puig was giving 100%. He was 100% engaged in that AB, physically, mentally, emotionally. That's why he reacted the way he did. He was pissed. If he didn't care, he would've jogged it out, but he was furious. His teamates know it. His manager knows it. Giving 100% is laying out for a ball on the track; it's going first to third on a single and going into third headfirst; it's battling hard for a hit in every AB. That's who Puig is. That's why he didn't get pulled for lack of hustle, and why he never will. 

 

As for those in this thread who have a different opinion of what hustle and giving 100% are about, you have a valid opinion. It's different from mine, but I don't have a problem with it.

 

As for the fans who booed Puig the other night:

 

Fans are stupid. They're also at least a touch racis… ahh, well...

 

Go Twins!

 

Some might say they're booing because of their "baseball intelligence", knowing you can't use the words "team player" and Yasiel Puig in the same sentence.IMO, he is a narcissistic, selfish player and I don't think our booing Puig has anything to do whatsoever to his race (or the color of his hair) or anything else other than the fact that he's disrespected the game, his teammates and himself by yet another poor decision.

 

Yes, GO TWINS! :-)

 

Sam Morley:"Fans are stupid. They're also at least a touch racis… ahh, well...

 

Go Twins!"