Dodgers' Yasiel Puig plans to dial it back in 2014

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Yasiel Puig plans to tone things down in 2014.
Yasiel Puig plans to tone things down in 2014. (USATSI)

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Yasiel Puig's debut last summer was a lot of things, most notably exciting and polarizing. An awful lot of people didn't like his enthusiastic and occasionally reckless style of play. Overthrown cutoff men and getting picked off rubs people the wrong way.

In his second year with the Dodgers, Puig plans on dialing things down a little bit even though he told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that "fans go to the stadium to enjoy themselves ... After work, they spend their free time watching us play. We have to do our best to entertain them."

Here's more from Hernandez:

However, Puig also acknowledges he has to be more restrained on the field, admitting he has to be smarter on the bases and learn when to hit the cutoff man rather than throw directly to the plate from right field.

...

"To me, in order to be a bona fide superstar, you have to learn to slow the game down," hitting coach Mark McGwire said.

Manager Don Mattingly is hopeful this camp will provide Puig with that opportunity.

"It gives us an extended period of time where there aren't games on the line and we can continue to talk about different things," Mattingly said.

Personally, I've never liked the whole "play the game the right way" or "act like you've been there before" mentality. It's boring. There is enough time to be serious about life outside of baseball. Puig is one of the most exciting players in the world and I'll be disappointed if he tones it down.

That said, improving fundamentals is a good thing. Throwing to the right base and running the bases more intelligently are things Puig and Dodgers should definitely work on. But this:

That is everything I want baseball to be.

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