Sheepwriters and Puig

The coverage of Yasiel Puig is hitting a new low point. Various self-absorbed writers, some on the beat, some national, continue to push out stories concentrating on Puig's lack of interaction with the media. This irrelevant, ongoing storyline is a product of lazy, self-centered, half-assed sheepwriters applying their formulaic trade.

That's the reaction of a man who feels forced to answer questions from sheepwriters.
Jon SooHoo
These bullshit columns or statements are usually built on unverified, second-hand gossip, like the Gonzo "feud" that didn't happen or Puig's offhand remark about the media earlier this week, which
was tweeted by one guy who wasn't even there.

That's insidious enough, but those untrue or out-of-context things about Puig are then repeated as offhand fact en route to supporting the latest "guess what this wild son of a bitch did now" story. And for what?

Mentioning Puig's "blowup" toward home plate umpire John Hirschbeck the other night is a perfect example of a lack of evaluation and context. The simple narrative that Puig was disrespectful to the man in blue fueled the master narrative, so lazy sheepwriters didn't bother reviewing the game tape.

Had they done so, they would've seen a great Dodgers dugout-angle replay that I saw on Marlins TV. Puig swung and missed on the third strike, then immediately started walking away. His facial expression was blank and his lips were sealed when he turned his head for a brief second toward Hirschbeck while walking away.

That's when Hirschbeck ripped off his mask, pointed at Puig and taunted him with something to the effect of "sit down." Puig didn't react because he had his back turned. He erupted only after he got to the dugout and realized Mattingly was carrying on an argument with Hirschbeck.

It doesn't matter that Puig mouthed off on the previous strike. When a Major League umpire rips off a mask and points a finger, he's normally reacting to a manager or a player in his face doing much the same. But in this situation, after a swinging third strike with no reaction from the player, Hirschbeck escalated the situation by himself. It's as simple as that.

Factually inaccurate or misleading accounts of what Puig is doing or saying are one of two major failures of the sheepwriters. The other is the tendency, and willingness, to thrust oneself into the spotlight by focusing on your own frustrations about an off-the-field issue.

Make no mistake, the Dodgers couldn't care less about Puig's handling of the media. It's a petty distraction. It's a low-level, off-the-field issue that has no impact on how Mattingly will fill out the lineup card or how Colletti will evaluate the roster in the offseason.

The above action > sheepwriter opinions of Puig
Jon SooHoo
So what if Puig doesn't live up to the communicative expectations of uncreative people who follow the team and roll out formulaic, self-centered garbage on deadline?

Puig isn't interested in talking. The Dodgers aren't motivated to do anything drastic about it, and for good reason. It's a non-issue. Yet, the drumbeat continues.

Lonely sheepwriters still charge up that steep hill, defiantly raising their microphones and recorders in the air, so everyone else can appreciate their personal struggles to relevancy.

So, when you read a writer suggesting Puig be benched, be sure to separate that writer's evaluation of Puig's on-field performance, and any statistical support for it, from their disgust that he's not making it easy for them to do their jobs.

If you discover the writer has no such stats or justification for any such action, then you've just read a column written by a self-important sheepwriter who met a deadline.

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For a more positive story about some of the amazing things Puig has done, check out a little bedtime story I wrote about his first week with the Dodgers here.

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