A member of a MLB team showed up 20 minutes late for practice today and was benched as punishment. For 99.9% of ballplayers, this would be a blip on the radar. Reporters would tweet the news or include it in pre-game notes. The world would move on, scarcely noticing it.
Oh, it was Yasiel Puig? Well, then… FREAK OUT! RABBLE! RABBLE! RABBLE! RABBLE!!!
Yes, Yasiel Puig was late. That’s not good. His history of playing fast and loose with team rules and the speed limit have lost him the benefit of the doubt. While it is entirely possibly, if not probable, that Puig simply got the start time of team stretch wrong, there is at least a chance that he was late because he was just acting irresponsibly. As such, a punishment was meted out that seemed appropriate to the offense. Puig has vowed to get his act together, but for him to suddenly become an upstanding citizen overnight is probably unrealistic. Perhaps we could all cut him just a little bit of slack for what is really a very minor offense?
Or not. Well, at least Jill Painter of the LA Daily News isn’t willing to do so. She’s going to the complete opposite end of the spectrum:
Puig couldn’t even make the time to be on time for the Dodgers’ home opener Friday. He doesn’t care about his team or his bosses or the fans who hang on his every at-bat.
Don’t listen to anything he says. He’s not responsible. He’s reckless and selfish and his mistakes are inexcusable.
This comes from a piece entitled “Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig threatens to unravel team with latest home-opener escapade.” So, for those of you scoring at home, being 20 minutes late to team stretch equals UNRAVELING OF THE ENTIRE TEAM!
Whether you believe Puig’s excuse or not, these hysterical types of reactions are only going to make things worse. One of the reasons the media has an issue with Puig is that he is stand-offish with the media. Gosh, I wonder why?
He’s a kid. He was late. He got punished. The Dodgers didn’t disband. The world didn’t end. Let’s just move on, at least until he does something truly dastardly like overthrowing a cutoff man.