Yesterday, in a little noticed interview with ESPN Deportes, Yasiel Puig sat down with Enrique Rojas to discuss a variety of things, and I thought it was one of the few media reports where I felt Puig actually opened up a bit about how he’s doing and what he’s doing.
Unfortunately, I don’t speak Spanish, but luckily Roberto Baly of Vin Scully Is My Homeboy does, and all credits for the translations go to him.
“I’m happy, Hanley [Ramirez] is happy, [Juan] Uribe looks scared. What an ugly face my friend Uribe has. But I love him.”
“I came to this country to play baseball and give the best on the field. What people think outside the field, I don’t worry.”
“I don’t worry what the media says, I just play ball. Every individual thinks and writes what they want.”
“During practice, the coaches insist that I have to throw it to the cutoff man. I’m working hard on the throws.”
“Working on running the bases too because we can’t make mistakes if we want to win the championship.”
“It has been a little bit difficult to adapt to the big leagues.”
“Many write without knowing but when they come and meet the person, they realize it’s not like that.”
“In Puig, I see myself when I was his age. He’s very young and needs time.” – Hanley Ramirez
“The most important thing is that the kid is working hard everyday to be ready. No one can criticize his professionalism.” – Adrian Gonzalez
I didn’t only want to document the interview because of the hilarious mocking of Juan Uribe, but I also thought it was significant because: 1) he acknowledges for the first time that it’s been a struggle to adapt 2) he recognizes and is aware of both of his most complained about flaws 3) he basically reiterates that he hates the media.
Ironically, on the last point, this interview was a good example of how he can use the media to change the perception of him, as this made him seem more human to me and less of a living meme. However, he probably has his own reasons behind what he chooses to do, so that’s his choice, for better or worse.