Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher J.P. Howell said Yasiel Puig was bullied in the locker room last year and said Puig’s “defense mechanism” is acting like a jerk.
According to the Los Angeles Times:
Howell said he saw Yasiel Puig bullied in the Dodgers’ clubhouse, though he would not discuss who was involved, or what happened to Puig.
“The guy is such a champion,” Howell said. “He has such a big heart. Sometimes he acts like a jerk, but that is his defense mechanism. It’s not really him.
“Someday, he is not going to be 22. He’s not going to be like that. I love the guy. I hope he never changes, just maybe matures.”
Howell also said the type of voicemails that Incognito left Martin should not be allowed even if they are considered normal in the NFL and railed against a culture in which players are pressured “in some clubhouses to party and drink late into the night.”
“You have to know that you can say no and you’ll be all right,” Howell said.
He also blasted pitcher Ian Kennedy, who hit Puig in the nose and started the brawl with the Dodgers after he hit Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke. That may have ultimately united the Dodgers and saved their season.
“When he’s throwing at someone’s head, you could be going to be a funeral,” Howell said. “To me, that’s a bully. He might be a great guy. But, on the baseball field, that is wrong.”