Count Jonathan Papelbon among the Yasiel Puig haters.
Puig has taken the majors by storm since breaking into the Dodgers lineup on June 3, prompting many to trumpet his All-Star candidacy. Papelbon, frankly, thinks all this talk is ridiculous.
“To me, it’s an absolute joke. It’s really kind of stupid if you ask me,” the Phillies closer said on MLB Network Radio on Tuesday (as transcribed by CBS Philly). “The guy’s got a month, I don’t even think he’s got a month in the big leagues, and just comparing him to this and that, and saying he’s going to make the All-Star team, that’s a joke to me.
“It’s just really what happens in baseball when … to me, it really does an injustice to the veteran players that have been in the game for eight, nine, 10-plus years. It kind of does them an injustice because they’ve worked so hard to stay there.”
Puig has put up astounding numbers through his first 27 games, batting .443 with eight homers and 17 RBI. His on-base percentage is .473, while his slugging percentage is .745.
The 22-year-old’s electric style of play — his three outfield assists were something — and the fact that his success has come in the major media market of Los Angeles explain the sizable amount of All-Star support he has received. But it’s not surprising that someone like Papelbon would not want a qualified veteran’s spot taken by this unproven up-and-comer.
It’s highly unlikely Puig will be voted in conventionally. He’s not on the official ballot, and would need to make it as a write-in candidate, but he can be picked as a reserve by NL skipper Bruce Bochy, who just happens to manage the rival Giants, making it unlikely.
Puig could also make the NL squad if he wins the NL’s “Final Vote.” The five finalists won’t be announced until Saturday once the top vote-getters are named (on FOX, 6:30 p.m. ET).
Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia also weighed in, sharing his thoughts Wednesday on Jay Mohr Sports on FOX Sports Radio. What do you think the skipper said? Forward the audio clip to the 7:37 mark to hear Scioscia’s answer.