We in the media wrote a lot about Yasiel Puig yesterday.
If anything, you’d figure that would dispel any misconceptions about the Dodgers’ outfielder. Such as this one:
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) July 12, 2013
By my count Puig did two interviews — one via sattelite on SportsCenter and another group interview in the Dodgers’ clubhouse — before yesterday’s game. He did another group interview afterward, when most of the questions were about his sore hip.
Whoever says he doesn’t talk to reporters has confused the facts; he simply doesn’t enjoy talking to reporters. “The press is something new for me,” Puig said yesterday (in Spanish, with clubhouse attendant Alex Torres interpreting), “and it’s something new and it’s difficult because sometimes they put in things that I never said.”
Puig became particularly heated with ESPN reporter Pedro Gomez before yesterday’s game. The conversation was in Spanish, and even the most fluent Spanish speaker couldn’t make out the particulars after Hanley Ramirez dialed the volume up to 11 on the salsa music playing in the clubhouse. Puig isn’t unique among professional athletes getting angry at reporters, though he’s among few whom the world’s largest cable sports outlet has (temporarily) assigned a personal reporter. And before arriving in America, he’d never had more than two reporters to deal with at a time. These days, he’s up to 20 or more.
All of this is only relevant because it’s a small part of the larger assimilation process for Puig as a major-league baseball player, a process that has taken some strange twists on and off the field.
Fact is, he’s talking to reporters. For now.
Some bullet points to tide you through the weekend:
• Major-league teams have a deadline of 2 p.m. Pacific Time today to sign their 2013 draft picks, but the Dodgers won’t need the extra couple hours. All of the draft picks they intended to sign are under contract after pitcher M.J. Villegas (23rd-round pick) agreed to terms yesterday.
• Could Donald Fehr return to the MLB Players’ Association? The union may be considering it.
• Several years ago John Lennon’s son, Sean, covered the Jimi Hendrix classic “Little Wing” live on a French television program: