Mr. Puig, Mr. Puig. What can we do with thee?
Sure, he helped win a postseason game. But let's be open and clear: what Puig did last night was embarrassing on his part. It's not good baseball.
If you didn't get a chance to see it, Puig lined a ball hard into right field. Thinking it was a no-doubter, he flipped his bat, stared at it, threw his hands up in the air, and started trotting. When he then saw the hit drop, he picked up his speed and made it around to third base. But what could have been an inside-the-park home run, making history, was reduced to a triple. In short, Puig has not found the wonderful level of baseball maturity that Cardinal players - rookies included - have (Matt Adams, Matt Carpenter, Michael Wacha, Trevor Rosenthall, etc.).
But what's even sadder is the fact that he may never reach a level of maturity. Baseball writers, commentators, and even Dodgers coaches are simply "accepting Puig's style" and letting him do whatever he wants to do. What's the problem with this? Anyone remember a guy named Alex Rodriguez? Widely known as "A-Rod", he has produced outrageous numbers and helped several teams. Early on, it was noticed that A-Rod fed off of the spotlight, the fame, the show, and excitement. He fed off of it all more than any player we've seen in many years. But the coaches and writers just let it go. As long as he's winning, right? Now where is A-Rod? He has been cast into the pit of hate by baseball fans and Americans everywhere. All of that feeding came around to bite him. Eventually, you enjoy it too much. Now no one can stand him. No team wants him. No sport supports him. And Puig is headed down the same road.
In a recent interview after Puig's dramatics, Carlos Beltran (who is the type of player A-Rod should have been) said that "he will learn" - referring to maturity and humility in sportsmanship. One can only hope. Baseball has enough reality TV aspects. I'm not sure we could handle one more Puig.