During Wednesday’s radio program ‘Inside Pitch’ on MLB Network Radio, show co-host and former general manager Jim Bowden made an interesting comment about his concern for 22-year-old superstar phenom Yasiel Puig during the upcoming off-season. Bowden said (and I am paraphrasing) I’m not concerned about what Yasiel Puig does from now through the post season, I’m concerned about what Yasiel Puig does from October through next February when spring training begins.
Say what you will about Jim Bowden or like him or not, he certainly has a knack for creating controversy which, of course, is what a good radio talk show host is supposed to do – Jack Clark notwithstanding.
With so much negative national media attention coming down on Puig, seemingly to the point where many (non-Dodger) writers and bloggers actually want the young superstar to fail, I cry foul and take exception to Bowden’s comment. Ironically, Bowden is a So Cal guy who actually has a bias towards the Dodgers and has been very outspoken about his affection towards Puig. But in it’s simplest form, what Yasiel Puig does on his own time or during the upcoming off-season is none of Bowden’s (or anybody else’s) damn business – so long as Puig doesn’t break any laws or bring embarrassment to the Dodger organization or to the game of baseball.
It’s no secret that the very young Puig is living large since defecting from an impoverished and oppressed lifestyle in Cuba and even I have to admit that it is a bit surprising where and with whom he has been turning up lately, but let’s be real here – if you were a handsome 22-year-old single celebrity athlete with $42 million burning a hole in your pocket wouldn’t you enjoy being invited to the Playboy Mansion or other lively late-night hot spots?
Whether or not Puig’s late-night escapades are hurting his play on the field is subject to debate and personal opinion, although his overall numbers tend to suggest that they are not. But until he does something during the off-season that shows indiscretion, what he does on his own time is his own business.