Sunday MLB Insider: Puig needs time to handle fame

  • Article by: LA VELLE E. NEAL III , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 13, 2013 - 6:26 PM

The Dodgers rookie was not voted into the All-Star Game, but that could give him time to get a handle on his sudden celebrity.

hide

Dodgers rookie outfielder Yasiel Puig has captured the imagination of baseball with his spectacular start, hitting .397 with eight home runs and 19 RBI in his first 36 games.

Photo: ALEX GALLARDO • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

After Major League Baseball announced its All-Star Game rosters, the field for the now-annual Final Vote was released. And it appeared that there was no way Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig would miss out on the All-Star Game.

The kid from Cienfuegos, tore up the league in June, assembled an army of followers and helped the Dodgers escape the basement of the NL West division. His skills are marvelous. He chases pitches out of the strike zone like Bo Jackson but hits them like Kirby Puckett. He entered the weekend batting .397 with eight home runs and 19 RBI.

Puig, however, lost the Final Vote to Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, who was backed by his club’s massive campaign.

Unless there’s a late-breaking injury, there will be no Puig-apalooza at Citi Field on Tuesday.

At first, I thought it was baseball’s loss to miss out on a good story like Puig’s at the Midsummer’s Classic. Now, not so much.

Puig, 22, has 36 games of major league experience and has a lot to learn. On the field, Puig already is being pitched differently by clubs looking for a weakness. To his credit, he has eight hits (all singles) over his past five games, so he’s finding ways to get on base.

But he has rubbed opponents the wrong way at times.

‘‘That’s where he’s going right now, creating a bad reputation throughout the league,’’ Arizona’s Miguel Montero said.

Montero is upset because Puig stared him down after trying to run him over at home plate recently. There’s nothing wrong with Puig showing emotion, but opponents and umpires won’t like being shown up, and there will be a price to pay.

Another incident: Diamondbacks legend Luis Gonzalez approached Puig before a game and tried to talk with him (Gonzalez was born in Florida but has a Cuban background). Puig ignored him. Would he do that to Cuban icon Tony Oliva?

Another issue came up Thursday. A few hours before the final vote results, the league and players’ association released the top-selling jerseys in the game. Puig was 10th — ahead of Miguel Cabrera. That’s marketing power worth taking advantage of.

It’s too early to call Puig a brat. His life has changed dramatically since signing with the Dodgers last year.

But not being in the All-Star Game isn’t the worst thing for him. He can use the break to figure out the best way to handle his instant stardom.

Central Intelligence

White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn is plotting a course for his team to return to contention in the near future.

Hahn believes he has enough good pitchers to build around. The everyday lineup needs to be upgraded. Sox hitters don’t work counts, strike out a lot and can’t manufacture runs. So any moves Hahn makes will involve getting position players in return, and that began Friday when lefthanded reliever Matt Thornton was traded to Boston for Brandon Jacobs, a 22-year-old outfielder. Reliever Matt Lindstrom is also available, and outfielder Alex Rios could be had for the right price.

Paul Konerko, Jesse Crain and Jake Peavy could be dealt once they come off the disabled list.

One encouraging position player has been rookie catcher Josh Phegley, who has three home runs, including a grand slam, in his first 20 major league at-bats.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Detroit 69 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Portland 94 FINAL
Cleveland 99
Sacramento 102 FINAL
Toronto 119
Boston 98 FINAL
Minnesota 110
Dallas 94 FINAL
Houston 99
Denver 93 FINAL
New Orleans 85
Brooklyn 102 FINAL
Atlanta 113
Oklahoma City 92 FINAL
New York 100
Charlotte 86 FINAL
San Antonio 95
LA Clippers 94 FINAL
Utah 89
Washington 98 FINAL
Phoenix 106
Toronto 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Pittsburgh 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Chicago 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Temple 86 FINAL
UCF 62
Winthrop 75 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 68
Lafayette 59 FINAL
Colgate 54
Northeastern 60 FINAL
Drexel 65
Wake Forest 76 FINAL
Florida State 82
Rhode Island 64 FINAL
Fordham 63
Delaware 82 FINAL
James Madison 88
South Carolina 58 FINAL
LSU 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Maine 58
Seton Hall 80 FINAL
Marquette 70
Binghamton 68 FINAL
UMBC 56
American Univ 54 FINAL
Navy 64
Elon 65 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 82
Wright State 76 FINAL
Oakland 84
Minnesota 58 FINAL
Penn State 63
Duquesne 55 FINAL
Richmond 86
SMU 63 FINAL
South Florida 52
Hartford 66 FINAL
Stony Brook 72
Albany 47 FINAL
Vermont 44
Hofstra 79 FINAL
William & Mary 100
UNC-Asheville 74 FINAL
Longwood 64
Radford 84 FINAL
Char Southern 77
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 73 FINAL
Notre Dame 77
Texas Tech 36 FINAL
Oklahoma 81
Oregon State 55 FINAL
Arizona State 73
Morehead State 82 FINAL
Austin Peay 69
Drake 69 FINAL
Bradley 57
Lehigh 62 FINAL
Bucknell 68
Rice 48 FINAL
Houston 59
Missouri State 57 FINAL
Illinois State 67
Loyola-Chicago 47 FINAL
Wichita State 58
Nebraska Omaha 64 FINAL
South Dakota St 86
Northern Iowa 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
Louisville 81 FINAL
Boston College 72
St Johns 74 FINAL
Creighton 77
East Carolina 58 FINAL
Memphis 70
Georgia Tech 70 FINAL
Miami-Florida 50
Miss State 73 FINAL
Ole Miss 79
Clemson 68 FINAL
NC State 57
Indiana 67 FINAL
Purdue 83
Kansas 64 FINAL
TCU 61
Oregon 56 FINAL
Arizona 90
Air Force 66 FINAL
San Jose St 52
Stanford 84 FINAL
Washington 74
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 71 FINAL
Binghamton 55
Akron 60 FINAL
Ohio U 72
Ball State 72 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 55
Memphis 56 FINAL
Cincinnati 44
East Carolina 32 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 87
Murray State 59 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 75
Kent State 63 FINAL
Central Michigan 65
UT Martin 64 FINAL
Tennessee St 58
Eastern Michigan 56 FINAL
Western Mich 83
Bucknell 61 FINAL
Lehigh 76
Indiana 57 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Colgate 56 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Fordham 66 FINAL
Davidson 45
Duquesne 76 FINAL
St Bonaventure 64
George Mason 66 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 70
Detroit 59 FINAL
Youngstown St 58
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 58 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Oklahoma St 54 FINAL
Kansas State 52
West Virginia 57 FINAL
Texas Tech 73
Denver 56 FINAL
South Dakota 82
Northwestern St 46 FINAL
Central Arkansas 63
Austin Peay 67 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 87
Kansas 61 FINAL
Iowa State 56
Bowling Green 50 FINAL
Northern Ill 67
Penn State 64 FINAL
Minnesota 75
San Jose St 80 FINAL
Air Force 83
Boise State 82 FINAL
Colorado State 83
Utah State 51 FINAL
Wyoming 86
San Diego State 50 FINAL
Fresno State 57
Nevada 52 FINAL
UNLV 75
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close