Papelbon on Puig as All-Star: 'Absolute joke'
Yasiel Puig is garnering serious All-Star consideration thanks to an outstanding month that has helped turn around the Los Angeles Dodgers' season.
But Jonathan Papelbon, for one, apparently thinks including Puig on the National League All-Star team would be a big mistake.
"To me, it's an absolute joke," Papelbon told MLB Network Radio when asked about Puig's All-Star candidacy. "It's really kind of stupid if you ask me."
The 22-year-old Puig has taken the majors by storm since debuting with the Dodgers on June 2, batting .443 with eight home runs and 17 RBIs in 27 games, including three more hits and a home run on Tuesday.
The Dodgers have gone 16-11 since Puig's arrival, rebounding from a rough start to climb back into contention in the NL West.
But Papelbon, who reportedly struggled to pronounce Puig's name correctly during his interview with MLB Network Radio, believes that the Cuban outfielder has not played in the majors long enough to warrant an All-Star spot.
"The guy's got a month, I don't even think he's got a month in the big leagues," Papelbon said during the interview. "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."
A nine-year veteran and five-time All-Star, Papelbon has a 2.05 ERA and 15 saves this season. The Philadelphia Phillies closer did not pitch against the Dodgers this past weekend, when Puig went 7-for-16 and scored five runs in the four-game series.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Wednesday that he is "not sure" whether Puig should play in the All-Star Game.
"Every day he does something unbelievable," Mattingly said during an interview with ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd on "The Herd.
"He's making more and more of a case that he's a guy who should at least be looked at. I still think you have to earn that berth. But he's shown if he had been up earlier, he would have been a guy that everyone would have been talking about that would have been up there for sure."
Mattingly actually has more of an issue with the All-Star Game deciding home-field advantage in the World Series. He believes if the All-Star Game was nothing more than an exhibition, it would be easier to include a player like Puig.
"For me, the All-Star Game should go back to being an exhibition so it can be something where we could have some of the best players and If something magical is going on like Yasiel Puig, you put him in it," Mattingly said. "But the problem is they say this game matters, and it changes who gets home-field advantage in the World Series -- and to me, I don't like that."
ESPNLosAngeles.com's Arash Markazi contributed to this report.
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