DODGERS The MOLLY KNIGHT Book Thread

Discussion in 'Los Angeles DODGERS' started by Chiefdodgerslkrs24, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. Chiefdodgerslkrs24

    Chiefdodgerslkrs24 Among the Pantheon

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    Book: Disdain for Yasiel Puig by Dodgers teammates no longer a secret

    Inside the Los Angeles Dodgers' clubhouse, the contempt some teammates hold for outfielder Yasiel Puig is no longer a secret limited to whispers. They discuss it openly, resigned to the fact that the Dodgers don't plan to trade their mega-talented right fielder no matter how deep the animus runs.

    "The Best Team Money Can Buy," a fascinating new book that explores the inner workings of the Dodgers' clubhouse, author Molly Knight delivers anecdote after Puig anecdote that illuminates what makes him so off-putting to so many.

    The idea of trading Puig – a notion the Dodgers have never seriously entertained, according to sources – comes down to a simple question: Would Los Angeles really be better without him? And even if some players believe that might be the case, none of the past incidents have convinced the Dodgers that Puig's harm today goes beyond occasional annoyance.

    While some issues, like his habitual tardiness for games, have abated this year, according to sources, Puig's work ethic in batting practice and the weight room continue to bother some teammates. Much of the hostility stems from a general sense of entitlement shown by the 24-year-old. During spring training this year, as Knight writes and multiple sources confirmed to Yahoo Sports, Puig argued with teammates over who should be allowed on a plane ride that typically includes wives and girlfriends. The subject of someone from Puig's entourage joining the traveling crew came up, and sources told Yahoo Sports that Puig argued with pitcher Zack Greinke and nearly came to blows with infielder Justin Turner over the matter.

    Greinke, the National League ERA leader and one of the game's best pitchers, was at the center of another memorable Puig moment related in Knight's book. In 2014, during the Dodgers' annual trip to Chicago, the team bus stopped downtown to allow rookies undergoing hazing to walk into a pizza place and emerge with food for the veterans. Some Dodgers players, not wanting to wait, skipped off the bus. When the bus was ready to leave, Puig was outside, looking for his luggage inside of the bay underneath the bus. After Puig ignored multiple requests to close the luggage bay, Greinke hopped off the bus, grabbed the suitcase in front of Puig and chucked it onto Michigan Avenue. Puig stepped toward Greinke and was restrained by reliever
    J.P. Howell.

    Word of the incident spread quickly, those there giddily recounting it to those who got off the bus, and highlighted the chasm between Puig and his teammates.

    Puig's reputation preceded his time with the Dodgers. During spring training 2013, Mitch Poole, the Dodgers' longtime clubhouse manager, assigned Puig's jersey number on a lark. "I thought it'd be funny to give him number 66 to reference 666, like he was Diablo," Poole told Knight. During the spring, Puig cottoned to the number and asked to keep it because he thought it was good luck.

    Upon his debut, Puig already made teammates wary by engaging in a relationship with a minor league coach's daughter. His inability to show up on time was another constant problem. Puig was chided by veteran
    Skip Schumaker during his rookie season for coming to the stadium 20 minutes after he was expected to arrive. Manager Don Mattingly benched Puig opening day when he was nearly an hour late.

    How Puig's on-field impact (he's hitting .289/.382/.465 this season) meshes with the off-the-field issues will remain a constant question for the Dodgers until the latter vanishes or the former wanes. The Dodgers have gone out of their way to help Puig, according to Knight's book, assigning a private security firm to watch over him because of threats from the drug cartel that smuggled him to Mexico from Cuba. The organization is constantly trying to balance assuaging Puig while not showing him preferential treatment, aware his value to the team goes beyond his statistics. As Knight wrote: "Whatever Puig's issues were, he was one of the best players in the game, he sold tickets, and he was relatively cheap."

    The players recognize as much. When the player who posed the addition-by-subtraction question reconsidered his thought, he told Yahoo Sports: "That's the biggest Catch-22. He's a top three or four talent in baseball."

    And that hasn't changed. As much as Puig might slack in preparation, he continues to play the game at an unmatched level, his dynamism unfettered. Sometimes it's great, and sometimes it's laughable, and always it's exciting, and in a baseball culture that appreciates the steadiness necessary to survive its long season, Puig's ebbs and flows can be off-putting.

    This is Puig's third season. His first two ended with the Dodgers playing in the postseason, and another October looks nigh. Among their monstrous payroll, frontline farm system, deep scouting group and unmatched analytical power, they are the sort of team that could reel off multiple championships in the next five years. Puig is signed through 2018, and as he enters his prime, teammates wonder whether he'll change.

    "You guys tell me how you want me to play," Puig said during a meeting last year, according to Knight's book, and a few teammates spoke up, including then-Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who said: "I just don't want your career to go the way my career went. All my teammates hated me because of the way I played."

    The distaste for Puig is palpable, some of it fresh, some still festering from the past. It's real, though, and the Dodgers know at the very least they need to monitor it so it doesn't devolve into the scenario where they might actually be better without someone so good.
     
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  2. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    can't say i'm surprised
     
  3. blazer5

    blazer5 DSP Legend

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    This just reaffirms that Greinke is a gangster. DGAF...
     
  4. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    turner too
    insane clown posse representing
    [​IMG]
     
  5. carolinabluedodger

    carolinabluedodger DSP Legend

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    I read this article before coming into the forum and I'm sure it's based in truth. What I don't know is how overblown it may or may not be. While it's inevitable in a group of 25 men to have some conflict at times, you can't really say how deep it runs. Ryu doesn't seem to have a problem with him, nor did Uribe. I don't have a clue about this stuff but it's likely there is some bias against him simply for his antics since coming to America, the speeding, careless & reckless charges and his on the field manners that draw a lot of attention. I would think it's also safe to say that there are those on the team who are rooting for him to become the player and leader than he could become, if he can stay out of his own way. I for one, don't want to see him traded, but it may be that his behavior could dictate his future, as far as this team is concerned.
     
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  6. doyerfan

    doyerfan MODERATOR Staff Member Moderator

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    Some of that is silly and funny to me, some of that is mildly concerning cause Puig does seem to be a dick, and a lot of that seems pointless to get worked up about. Overblown and not to mention it's hard to take serious when you have 4th hand accounts from only a certain point of view. I'll probably read the book but again, just seems like the easiest way to get attention is to add to the Puig is a monster shit cause yeah he makes it easy but it's also easy to appeal to that idea with a lack of certain context.

    Puig is probably hard to deal with, and it'd help for him to be better. But it's not like all baseball players have to be great dudes. I mean, I love greinke and the dude can be a dick. we could all write paragraphs about players who were shit heads and it didn't really matter. It can be very funny with Greinke, and Puigs can be less funny but point remains that these athletes live in a different world to them, and it hasn't shown that they can't win with that so, meh. It's a fun tabloid to add to narrative but I still feel for the guy.

    I also find it funny that the dude doesn't even go all out in the weight room, which bothers people, and he still looks like a body builder.

    I guess I find it hard to care much cause outside of some funny ass stories it doesn't really change my mind about Puig: he's a 24 year old who seems to be a bit bratty and at the same time plays with the idea that he should be able to hit any pitch, get to any ball, and throw anyone out, which makes him amazing to watch with the occasional craziness.
     
  7. BlueCrewFan_1965

    BlueCrewFan_1965 Well-Known Member

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    Newsflash! Talented athlete acts like a privileged child and his teammates resent it. Yawn.
     
  8. MZA

    MZA MODERATOR Staff Member

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    #chemistry
     
  9. KOUFAX0000

    KOUFAX0000 DSP Legend Damned

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    Bunch of fucking Racists!
     
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  10. BigDaddyKaine

    BigDaddyKaine DSP Legend

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    Non news.

    I don't have sources nor have I ever personally known professional athletes to confirm or deny this but I imagine you could literally say this about every single player in every type of sport.

    The reason this is written about Puig is this whores book is because she knows he generates buzz like few other athletes, especially on the Dodgers.

    Just a stupid whore trying to generate buzz for a probably shit book. Pass.
     
  11. back2back x 2 + 1

    back2back x 2 + 1 DSP Legend Damned

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    tough stuff by Greinke.

    also an easy way for Greinke to get his collar bone broken again because Puig would mop the floor with him.
     
  12. N.Z

    N.Z DSP Legend

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    Looks like our best pitcher will be leaving at the end of the year. So, where are guys like Gonzo and Uribe during this? Why is the skinniest, whitest guy on the team the only one with a backbone? Fucking Dudgers.

    Anyway, when was the last time Puig played like a superstar? I'd take Joc any day of the week.
     
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  13. LASports96

    LASports96 DSP Legend

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    Yawn. He plays like he does IDGAF
     
  14. Chiefdodgerslkrs24

    Chiefdodgerslkrs24 Among the Pantheon

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    Greinke was the last person I'd expect to get confrontational. Guess I shouldn't be surprised after he lowered his shoulder to Quentin.
     
  15. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    What Yasiel Puig being a pain in the butt means. And what it doesn’t mean.
    Craig Calcaterra | NBC Hardball Talk — 2 hours ago

    As I mentioned last week, Molly Knight has a great new book coming out on July 14 about the Dodgers of the past few years. As I mentioned then, there is a LOT of Yasiel Puig stuff in that book, the vast majority of it which shows him to be a fairly significant pain in the butt for his Dodgers teammates and team management.*

    Last night Jeff Passan recounted a few of the Puig anecdotes from that book, and added some new reporting which reveals that even though Puig has cut out the tardiness and, it seems, the occasional lackadaisical play on the field in 2015, he remains an annoyance in the clubhouse. I’ll add that, after I wrote that post about the book last week, I spoke to a current Dodgers player who said much the same thing: Puig gets on everyone’e nerves.

    As a pretty prominent Puig defender, I have had a lot of folks asking me if I’m changing my tune about Puig in light of Knight’s book, reporting like Passan’s and the stuff I’m hearing independently. Stuff like this:

    That’s fair, of course. I have certainly waved my Puig flag high over the past couple of years. Still, I think it’s worth pointing a couple of things out about the criticism of Puig and the basis of my defense of him.

    To the extent my defense of Puig has been a direct defense, it’s rarely if ever been that his behavior was exemplary. Personally I like a good bat flip and some emotion on the field, so I’ll always like that. But when it comes to the other things — him being late for games or making dumb mental errors — I’ve always acknowledged that you can’t be doing that sort of thing. Look around the HBT archives and you’ll see no shortage of coverage of Puig’s perfidies.

    When I do defend Puig it’s almost always when someone — primarily Bill Plaschke — comically overstates the gravity of his offenses against God, nature and baseball. The guy has claimed, with a straight face, that Puig will bring armed drug dealers/terrorists to Dodger Stadium, putting fans at risk. Less sensationally, he and some others placed every Dodgers failure at his feet for two years, regardless of whether or not he contributed to it, and proclaimed that he will bring on the team’s downfall. Over and over again. And of course there is a serious double standard at play here.

    There is also a lot of weird racial and cultural baggage sitting around that colors coverage of all Latin players, and Puig coverage has been colored by this more than just about anyone’s. Remember, playing the game the right way is a subjective undertaking. So much of the Puig outrage in the public sphere has revolved around the nonsense that comes with thinking that, say, The Cardinal Way is the only right way to play. The Dodgers, for their part, don’t agree that playing the game the Puig way is a bad thing. At least on the field.

    So, what to make of Puig’s testy relationship with teammates? Well, it’s not good. It’s never a good thing when players don’t get along in the clubhouse. But the fact that a guy’s teammates don’t get along for him is not the be-all, end-all of our assessment of a guy. The rundown:
    • Whether players get along with one another matters to players because it makes their life and job harder. No one likes to have a jerk co-worker. A player’s jerkiness also matters to the press, as they have to try to get quotes from him.
    • We, as fans, are perfectly capable of enjoying and even loving the play of a guy even if he annoys his teammates and the press. We really can. It should affect our enjoyment of him very, very little, assuming his behavior is not such that it reveals him to be a really bad person in an absolute sense. Short of that, someone tell me why I should care if Bill Plaschke or Justin Turner have a harder day at the office because of Yasiel Puig. They don’t have to work with Gleeman or that jackass in the cubicle next to yours who clips his nails and hums along to Maroon 5 songs and I don’t see them wringing their hands over it.
    • Players like their routines and their harmony and a certain vibe in the clubhouse. But we are too quick, I think, to defer to players’ opinions about such things and to think that it matters for us as fans. Huston Street thinks his career will end if his role changes. Players have almost come to blows over music on a boombox. They also haze each other in dumb ways and look askance at players who are perceived as intellectuals and make a big point about how we, as non-players couldn’t possibly understand what is important to players. I’m fine to take them at their word on that, but I would hope that they as players would admit they don’t understand what it’s like to be just a fan and that I don’t have to care about the things they care about in order to enjoy baseball. Even if the media, oh so often, identifies with the players’ side of such matters, likely because of some weird combination of beng in the clubhouse themselves, relying on them for information and a strain of Stockholm Syndrome
    • It does matter if the player’s jerkiness is so great that it causes his teammates to play worse. At least if you’re a fan of the Dodgers. Maybe, over the long haul, having to deal with an annoying teammate does make them play worse. For now, though, the value of Puig’s bat, legs and glove has outweighed any negative effect is attitude and personality have on the Dodgers. I say that based on the success the Dodgers have had since he’s arrived, his numbers and, admittedly, our inability to precisely measure how the bad chemistry he creates negatively affects the team. But don’t just take my guesses for it. In Passan’s article itself, the unnamed Dodgers player who said trading Puig would be “addition by subtraction” backtracked later and admitted that Puig is a top three or four talent in baseball and that the idea of trading him is a “Catch-22.” I think any honest Dodgers player would admit that, even with his problems, Puig has helped the Dodgers win more games than he has caused them to lose.
    • There have been a lot of jerks in baseball history. One of the biggest is Reggie Jackson. He led his teams to five World Series titles and six pennants.
    • Puig, for his part, has cut down on the tardiness, the dogging it and other weird behavior, even if he continues to be an annoyance in the clubhouse. Which isn’t to say he’s becoming a better teammate. Maybe he’s not. Maybe he’s growing more complacent as a professional in some ways, being a jerk in ways that are less obvious to the outside world. But if we’re going to slam Puig for stuff, it’s probably worth also noting when he does improve rather than running out the same litany of wrongs whenever he comes up. Passan’s article is fine, but let’s remember: most of it is recounting stuff from a book which covered the 2013-14 time frame. I’d be more interested in hearing how he’s bad for the Dodgers today than how he was bad for them during a 2014 road trip.
    I hope those distinctions are clear, despite my rah-rahing for Yasiel Puig. I hope that we can agree that we do not have to consider Puig the same way his teammates or the press does, as we are the audience for his baseball entertainment, not people who share close quarters with him. Put differently, I hope we are totally capable of thinking that Puig is amazing and fun in some aspects (i.e. when he takes the field) even if he is less so in others.

    *To be fair to Knight, and to clear up any misunderstanding, she is fair in her reporting on Puig. I don’t throw her in with the folks who go over the top on him. She mentions the racial/cultural stuff I mentioned above and gives both sides of the stories involving him. Many take these incidents and color them through their own filters, but I think Knight shoots 100% straight in her reporting.
     
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  16. back2back x 2 + 1

    back2back x 2 + 1 DSP Legend Damned

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    we just hope Olivera can mentor Puig and make him more of a pro in a timely manner. not to be racial, but i don't think any of the white guys are gonna help Puig in this regard. yes, there is a divide. a cultural divide and a divide in age as well. Olivera's older, but at least he can relate to Puig and they have a long history together.

    acknowledge the divide, address it the best way possible, or eventually acknowledge that Puig's maturation is too far gone and make the dream deal that Loria himself probably can't wait to pull the trigger on and bring Stanton home.
     
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  17. back2back x 2 + 1

    back2back x 2 + 1 DSP Legend Damned

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    ..or promote Seager and allow Seager and Joc to take over the clubhouse and push Puig into the background somewhat. make Puig and the culture that he's pushing/immaturity he's displayed an afterthought.
     
  18. THINKBLUE

    THINKBLUE DSP Gigolo

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    Racist :wowracist:
     
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  19. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    so who [if anyone] said it?
    zack? turner? someone else?

    Anonymous Dodger Player:
    Trading Puig would be Addition by Subtraction

    by Vincent Samperio | Dodgers Nation — 10 hours ago

    [​IMG]

    Yasiel Puig has been one of the most polarizing figures not only in Los Angeles, but also in the Major Leagues, since his debut in June of 2013.

    Puig came into the league and immediately lifted a stuck-in-the-mud Dodgers team and helped them win the NL West and reach the NLCS. His arrival coincided with Hanley Ramirez’s complete hot streak down the stretch; however, the Dodgers fell to the St. Louis Cardinals in six games. Since then Puig has consistently shown his talent, but has put off some with his bat flips, antics and off-field issues.

    Regardless of what others say about the eccentric outfielder, the Dodgers have embraced their superstar and he’s rewarded them with his play on the field. Rumors and stories of Puig being an issue in the clubhouse have swirled since that first year, yet his teammates have never mentioned anything that says they have issues with the 24-year-old.

    According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, there is a teammate that believes getting rid of Puig wouldn’t be a bad thing:

    “We’ve talked about this,” one Dodgers player told Yahoo
    Sports. “At this point, it would be addition by subtraction.”

    Passan goes deeper into possible issues involving Puig, some taken from Molly Knight’s upcoming book, The Best Team Money Can Buy: The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Wild Struggle to Build a Baseball Powerhouse.

    Puig was benched on Opening Day in 2014 after showing up late to Dodger Stadium, but he hasn’t been benched for tardiness since then. In the dugout, it appears that Puig is liked and he’s always one of the first players out to celebrate. The All-Star is now without Hanley Ramirez and Juan Uribe; however, it doesn’t seem to have changed much on the outside.

    Players won’t ever publicly say that Puig is a problem, but the fact that one feels strongly enough to say that a trade would be a good thing isn’t exactly what the organization wants to see.​
     
  20. back2back x 2 + 1

    back2back x 2 + 1 DSP Legend Damned

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    i'm guessing it was Ethier. he has the most to gain.
     

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