When Yasiel Puig played for the Dodgers, he got a lot of labels: Cocky. Selfish. A problem. Irresponsible. Destructive. And those are just some of the ones fit to print.
Some labels that Puig never received: Post-traumatic stress disorder. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Dyschronometria.
Why didn’t Puig receive those labels? Because PTSD, ADHD, and dyschronometria are diagnoses, not just labels, and it never crossed anyone’s mind that maybe Yasiel Puig should see a doctor.
Puig opened up on social media on Wednesday, and I went a little deeper and spent 40 minutes on the phone with his agent, Lisette Carnet. First, the tweets from Puig:
This years after I reached Korea withs the helps of my new agent I got the treatments I needed. There were things wrongs for so long with me but I nevers know about these things because in Cuba some of these things are not even known and they say you are weak or https://t.co/7SyU5il3Vy
— Yasiel Puig (@YasielPuig) November 2, 2022
There are five tweets in Puig’s thread. Here’s the text, with his original spelling and grammar intact. (For some reason, I find the grammar and spelling mistakes give the thread more power because it’s clearly coming from him, not his staff.)
This years after I reached Korea withs the helps of my new agent I got the treatments I needed. There were things wrongs for so long with me but I nevers know about these things because in Cuba some of these things are not even known and they say you are weak or not a man if you go to doctor so that was my mentalities. I thoughts in US no teams said to get any helps so I thought it was just me I was broken and I can’t get fix. But my agent work hard withs me, she was only one not scare of me like maybe other people. She saw she could helps me & it was truth what she says. Athletes comes from very poor countries they go through things others maybe no go throughs so is important to asks for help. Is so simple and yet no one have the patience or maybe the wants to help me get help. Now I am able to be happys & not hurt myselfs anymore by getting in my owns ways. Is a lot more work to do but now I knows help is there for me to use & my whole life is different. Athletes need to get good people around you that cares and are not scare to tell you things even if they are hard. They need to tells you in a ways you understands . I am lucky that I am still young and can live better & try to do better and take control of my life. I nevers talk so much on twitters. Haha. I knows i don’t write too good so sorry. That’s it. Work on yourselfs
When Puig was late as a young ballplayer, he was labeled as selfish or not a good teammate, when the actual issue was that his brain didn’t correctly process time. When he made a mistake on the field, he was “undisciplined,” when in actuality he was an immensely talented ballplayer learning the ins and outs of United States professional baseball on its biggest stage. When he struggled with people trying to control him, no one thought about the time he was literally human trafficked and had his life and the lives of his family members threatened if he didn’t do exactly what his kidnappers demanded.
We see what we want to see in public figures, but any time we reduce someone to a handful of adjectives, we’re missing the boat on the whole person. And if those adjectives are incorrect or only partially correct, every other judgment we make based on those labels ends up off-base, too.
As I mentioned, I spent 40 minutes on the phone with Puig’s agent last night before recording my podcast about him. We talked about the Cuban culture that prevented Puig from seeking medical help, instead assuming, as he said, “I was broken and I can’t get fix[ed].” We talked about Puig being surrounded by people who wanted to take advantage of him rather than to help him. We talked about her “Cuban mother” influence on the man who is younger than some of her children and how she helped him get help. And we talked about how the death of Vin Scully affected him.
Take a half-hour to listen to my attempt to distill what I learned into a bite-sized chunk, and you might walk away with a little better understanding of who Yasiel Puig is and what makes him tick.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube Channel yet? Subscribe and hit that notification bell to stay up to date on all the latest Dodgers news, rumors, interviews, live streams, and more!