(So) Hard To Handle 

“Boys come along a dime by the dozen
That ain’t nothing but ten cent
Pretty little thing let me light your
‘Cause mama I’m so hard to handle now
Yes I am”

~Black Crowes


Monday I wrote a nice little piece about my thoughts on the trade deadline, that the Dodgers did pretty well, and ended it with, “Let’s go.” Well, the Dodgers went — and not in a direction any of us thought they would go.

Within minutes of that piece being posted, news of Yasiel Puig ‘storming’ away from Dodger Stadium broke after having been told that he would not be accompanying the team to Colorado. This would ultimately all be retracted, but the damage was done. Bit by bit the story leaked out — Puig was well aware of the situation beforehand, and wasn’t at the stadium that the team had told Puig he would either be traded or sent to Triple-A; and that it was actually a culmination of Puig’s behavior that lead them to this decision.

There are many good articles out there chronicling the story as it went down, and why Puig should or shouldn’t still be playing with the Dodgers, and I won’t pretend to compete with any of them. But I will say, I have no idea how this could not have been handled better from the front office. If you’ve done such a good job of keeping the “issues” that Puig has been apparently having all season under wraps, why not keep it up? Put him on the DL, or even just demote him with premise of Puig needing to work on his craft. Although his offense is indeed declining, his defense is much superior to other outfielders remaining with the team, and his offense is on par if not better than theirs.

I have generally been a defender of Puig. As I’ve stated previously, I love the way he plays with a childlike love of the game, sometimes with all out abandon. I do, however, understand that I can’t pretend to know the inner workings of a team, or the clubhouse. Whatever was going on with Puig must have become just too much to deal with for the front office to feel the need to move him somewhere other than the big league team. I just don’t see how the way this went down behooves anyone involved, especially the front office if they wish to move him for a piece to bolster the club.

Now, we’re three games into the ‘Post Puig era’ and things are going so much better since he’s gone! Or, not so much. After having scored 25 runs against the Diamondbacks at home, they managed just nine runs while allowing 21. Of course, Puig has absolutely nothing to do with the Dodgers pitching woes, or the amount of players currently on the DL. Nor am I saying that Puig would’ve had a stellar series against the Rockies. But the timing maybe could’ve been a bit better. Newly acquired right fielder Josh Reddick does not hit well against lefties, so he didn’t even start on Wednesday. And moreover, it’s a bad time for the Dodgers to poop the bed, as the Giants went into Philly and dropped two of three. And Reddick still doesn’t have a hit as a Dodger! (Ok, this is completely unfair. Reddick is a very good hitter and will get it together).

And now there are more on the DL. Adam Liberatore and Louis Coleman have both been placed on the 15-day DL. Bud Norris is most likely headed to the disabled list with back tightness. As a Dodgers fan, you have to ask, when will it ever end?

Ok, so as an eternal optimist, I’m done. I can’t go on with all the things that have gone on in these three short days. The Dodgers are still only two games out in the National League West. The Red Sox are coming into town, fighting for the American League East lead. But their pitching has not been stellar, and they are on a losing streak. And they won’t be using much of their hottest hitter, DH David Ortiz. The Dodgers are very lucky to be in the position they’re in now. And that’s ok. Slow and steady wins the race.



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