Dodgers @ Marlins August 21, 2013: Let’s Get Our Puig Priorities Straight

August 21, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

marlins_homerYasiel Puig, fresh off his huge blast in a game that he didn’t start yesterday, is back in the lineup, so I guess Don Mattingly isn’t thinking of the children, and… good lord, I’m bored by this story already. Like, really, truly, putting-me-to-sleep bored, because it just exposes the same “old school vs. new” viewpoint we deal with constantly. (As well as some other, quieter, items that I won’t specify but which I’m sure you can easily guess.)

Am I really to be shocked that completely out-of-touch dinosaur Bill Plaschke is actually more upset that the Dodgers didn’t “stick to the lesson plan” than he is cognizant that Puig’s homer actually, you know, helped them win? (Shades of his old “bench or trade or execute Matt Kemp!” stories, as though that ever helped.) Or that someone at FoxSports.com who couldn’t even be bothered to put their byline on the page was all too gleeful to collect every last bit of Puig-related drama? Of course not.

Dodgers
Marlins
LF
Crawford
LF
Yelich
RF
Puig
2B
Solano
1B
Gonzalez
RF
Stanton
SS
Ramirez
1B
Morrison
CF
Ethier
3B
Lucas
C
A.Ellis
SS
Hechavarria
3B
Hairston
CF
Marisnick
2B
M.Ellis
C
Hill
P
Greinke
P
Eovaldi

The frustrating thing for me is, I wasn’t against sitting him down for a day for all the reasons I mentioned yesterday. He was struggling at the plate, and he had been making stupid mistakes in the field, so whether you consider it “disciplinary” or not, it’s a totally reasonable move by Mattingly. But so is then putting arguably your most talented hitter into the game in a big spot, because as much as we’d like to think that Mattingly’s job is to impart life lessons on all the poor little orphans out there, it’s not: it’s to win baseball games. I say this, remember, as someone who doesn’t think we should gloss over Puig’s real-world mistakes, and as someone who still worries about his maturity level. But come on, people. Let’s get some perspective here.

If anything, what I took from yesterday is that Puig was able to take his benching in stride, not as an affront that would send him into a tailspin, and came off the bench to hit that dinger and help the team win. I’m happy because the team got a victory; I’m nearly as happy that it seems to have annoyed Bill Plaschke.

So with all that out of the way, the Dodgers face old friend Nathan Eovaldi, and it says a lot about how great Hanley Ramirez has been that I don’t really miss Eovaldi at all. I say that not to bash the 23-year-old, who has been pretty good this year (up until getting destroyed by San Francisco last week) while touching triple digits with his fastball, but because as much as it would have been nice to have him when the team was forced to resort to Ted Lilly & Matt Magill earlier this year, there’s not a single one of us who would undo that trade. That’s how valuable Ramirez has been. I hope Eovaldi succeeds in Miami — not tonight, of course — and so far, he’s off to a good start.

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