Everybody seems to have an opinion about Yasiel Puig and how he's adapting to life in North America and the major leagues. Some opinions are more irritating than others. But what does Puig, himself, think? It's hard to know, because he hasn't done many interviews, and most of them are in a big crowd and have to be translated from Spanish to English and back, so a lot gets lost.
Therefore, score one for Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes, who talked to Puig and published a five-minute interview this past weekend. For those who don't speak Spanish, it's no problema. Two of the better fan-created blogs with Dodgers coverage — Roberto Baly's irreplaceable Vin Scully Is My Homeboy and Chad Moriyama's own unique site — have translated and organized the highlights for us. Puig's comments include a hilarious dig at teammate Juan Uribe:
“I’m happy, Hanley [Ramirez] is happy, Uribe looks scared. What an ugly face my friend Uribe has. But I love him.”
The first real quote from Puig all season and it's one of the best. And there's more, pertinent to his arrival from Cuba:
“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.”
There's a little bit more, including some analysis from Roberto and Chad that, I think, helps us understand Puig a little bit better. We're not really going to get to know him from one sit-down interview, but we probably have a better idea of what's going on in his head as we talk about him.
As for Uribe, he can't catch a break. When he was manager of the White Sox, Ozzie Guillen used to say he needed to speak four languages in order to communicate with his team: English, Spanish, Japanese (because of Shingo Takatsu and Tadahito Iguchi) and "Uribe."
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