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Dodgers and Yasiel Puig: When bright, young superstars act dim

April 28, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig works on his batting technique during a workout in spring training.
Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig works on his batting technique during a… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

Superman can be stupid?

The things we learn watching the young develop. And hopefully that’s all this is, Yasiel Puig, growing up and having a rough moment along the way.

Remember, Puig is only 22, stupid rich, in a foreign country, on the disabled list with a sprained left thumb, and no doubt bored out of his mind.

Which in absolutely no way is intended to excuse his arrest on reckless driving charges. Hopefully this is simply a shock, a lesson learned, a one-time mistake. Jail is supposed to do that to the young.

Puig, the man-child the Dodgers signed last season from Cuba to a $42-million deal, came to spring training and just electrified everyone who watched him. He may be green as a cucumber but he oozes ridiculous talent.

Only now comes this, news that Puig was arrested early Sunday morning in Chattanooga, Tenn., on charges of reckless driving, speeding and driving without proof of insurance.

There’s a certain amount of crossing the fingers by the Dodgers that Puig is mature enough to handle his position, not that they haven’t tried to ease his way by assigning former pitcher Eddie Oropreso to serve as his interpreter/companion.

Oropreso cannot be with him 24 hours a day, however. There are bumps along the way for all of us as we’ve grown up, but most of our mistakes are kept private as possible, not headline fodder like for celebrities, or in this case a celebrated athlete.

And that’s what Puig is, double-A Chattanooga’s superstar with a seemingly unlimited future, who allegedly acted stupidly and was caught in the act. Thankfully no one was injured and it proves a lesson learned.

Make no mistake, though, the Dodgers will be watching their young phenom more closely than ever.

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