Miguel Montero: Yasiel Puig is creating a bad reputation around the league

Miguel-Montero-Yasiel-PuigYasiel Puig has been in the majors with the Los Angeles Dodgers for just over a month, but he is already making enemies. On Tuesday night, Puig ran through a stop sign from his third base coach and tried to truck Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero to score a run. Puig is a star in the making, but the play added to a list of reasons he is not making many friends around the league.

“If he’s my teammate, I probably try to teach him how to behave in the big leagues,” Montero told MLB.com on Wednesday. “He’s creating a bad reputation around the league, and it’s unfortunate because the talent that he has is to be one of the greatest players in the big leagues.”

Arizona pitcher Ian Kennedy expressed a similar opinion earlier this week, saying that Puig plays with a lot of arrogance. The 22-year-old is batting .394 with 8 home runs and 19 RBI in only 35 MLB games. He has also made outstanding plays like this in the field, but Montero is not ready to crown the young Cuban just yet.

“Right now, I’m not going to say he’s the best because he hasn’t proved anything yet,” Montero said. “Does he have talent? Of course. Does he have the tools? Of course. He’s got so much talent, it’d be really bad if he wasted it doing the stupid things that he’s doing. You have to respect to earn respect. If you don’t respect anybody, you aren’t going to earn respect.”

The play on Tuesday itself was clean, but Montero took exception to the way Puig stared him down after trying to run him over.

“I don’t blame him running me over, it’s part of the game,” he said. “The only thing I really don’t appreciate is why you have to look back at me. I really don’t appreciate that.”

Puig has also frustrated opposing pitchers by flipping his bat and trying to show people up. The bottom line is he’s young. He’ll learn as his career moves along. Whether or not he’ll care what other players think of him remains to be seen.

Miguel Montero gives Yasiel Puig finger wag after collision (Video)

Yasiel Puig made a rookie mistake on Tuesday, and Miguel Montero taught the youngster a lesson.

Puig ignored his third base coach when he tried to score from first on a fly ball to center by Adrian Gonzalez in the top of the 5th of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 6-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Rookie Adam Eaton dropped the ball, allowing two runs to score.

Instead of stopping at third, Puig decided to challenge shortstop Didi Gregorius, who caught the relay throw from Eaton in shallow center. Gregorius threw home and Puig was meat at the plate. Puig knew he was going to be out, so he tried shoving Montero to get the catcher to drop the ball. It didn’t work, and Montero gave him the Dikembe Mutumbo finger wag after tagging him out:

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Does Trevor Bauer’s new rap song take shots at Miguel Montero (Audio)

Trevor-Bauer-Miguel-Montero-DiamondbacksThe Arizona Diamondbacks traded 22-year-old pitcher Trevor Bauer to the Cleveland Indians earlier this offseason, and on Monday D-Backs catcher Miguel Montero gave us some insight as to why the team decided to make the move. Montero said that Bauer was difficult to work with and was not open to taking advice from veteran players and coaches.

Bauer’s latest rap song would seem to indicate that he disagrees.

The right-hander released a new rap track on Wednesday entitled “You Don’t Know Me.” According to Waiting for Next Year, the song was recorded back in December. However, it includes a couple of lines that sound like they would be perfect responses to Montero’s criticism.

“With that, its time to get back to all these fans that I’ve been losing due in part to the rumors moving about that that I refuse to listen” is one such line. The part that references a person who “hides behind a mask to facilitate a task” would seem to be another. Give the track a listen if you please, although it’s straight up horrendous in my opinion.

The fact that the track was recorded in December doesn’t mean it’s not about Montero. Even though Bauer seemed like he was going to be more mature when asked about Montero’s comments earlier this week, he could have easily amended the song. It’s also possible that he had problems with Montero before, and the catcher’s comments simply confirmed it. In any event, there’s no way I’d be quitting my day job if I was Bauer.

H/T Hardball Talk

Miguel Montero rips Trevor Bauer for not wanting to listen to anyone

Trevor-Bauer-Miguel-Montero-DiamondbacksTrevor Bauer has an incredibly unique throwing routine (see a video of it here) that worked out well for him during his days at UCLA and later in the minor leagues. Last season, Bauer made his MLB debut with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He did not pitch well in four starts, compiling a 2-1 record to go along with a 6.06 ERA. He struck out 17 batters in 16 1/3 innings, but struggled with control as he also walked 13.

Over the offseason, Arizona traded Bauer to the Cleveland Indians. On the surface, it appeared that the Diamondbacks could be a bit premature in giving up on the 22-year-old. However, rumors swirled that Bauer was traded because his personality made him difficult to work with. D-Backs catcher Miguel Montero confirmed that speculation during an interview with Arizona Sports 620 on Saturday.

“It was tough,” Montero told Burns and Gambo. “When you get a guy like that and he thinks he’s got everything figured out, it’s just tough to commence and try to get on the same page with you.”

Montero said he tried to simplify things for the rookie, but that he would turn around and make them “even harder.” The veteran catcher said the issues started in spring training, when Bauer seemed to ignore all the advice he was given.

“Since day one in Spring Training I caught him and he killed me because he threw about 100 pitches the first day,” Montero said, adding that he urged Bauer to slow down and work more on locating his fastball. “And he said ‘yes’, and the next time he threw I saw him doing the same thing. He never wanted to listen.”

Bauer’s story is a common one among younger players. When you do things a certain way and that approach is effective in college and the lower levels, your ego tends to become inflated. If the first pitch he ever threw in the majors was any indication, Bauer obviously had some nerves going. Had he taken the advice of his manager and teammates, he may have found more success. As Montero put it: “Good luck to (Indians catcher) Carlos Santana.”

Joey Votto, Miguel Montero in the Club

I didn’t quite have the chance to post this up after Sunday’s game, but since the Reds are still playing at the time of this publishing, I feel I can induct Joey Votto into the club. Reds first baseman Joey Votto joined the LBS Golden Sombrero Club taken an ofer against the Marlins in a 9-2 loss on Sunday. He punched out four times against the Florida staff which is quite the impressive feat. In fact, to make matters more impressive, he turned the trick against three different pitchers — starter Ryan Tucker, as well as relievers Joe Nelson and Justin Miller. About the only good thing we can say for Votto as he receives his inauspicious honor is that at least he went down hacking all four times. Congrats Joey, and welcome to the club.

If one wasn’t enough, then two certainly is. It’s always more fun to go join a club with some company, anyway. UtesFan89, who authors the blog Playing for Pride, sends in the news that Diamondbacks backup catcher Miguel Montero took the gas pipe against the Pirates today. If you’re wondering how UtesFan89 happened upon the news, it’s because he concentrates his writings primarily on the Pirates during the baseball season (putting up with such futility is reason enough to visit his site). And luckily for me, UtesFan89 has done all the homework and passes on this, “Miguel Montero got the highly regarded Golden Sombrero (4 at-bats, 4 K’s… all swinging, just FYI). He also left 8 runners on base, and had the error on Duke’s sacrifice bunt that wasn’t a sacrifice.” Clearly not a good day to be Miguel Montero.

I’d like to say something positive about Miguel Montero, but there isn’t much there. As for Votto, expect plenty of brighter days. And big thanks to Playing for Pride for the Andre Miller-like assist.