I was up late Friday night when TMZ tweeted out the link to the alleged video of Yasiel Puig’s bar fight. The initial reaction: Just please don’t be Ray Rice. Please, please, please don’t be Ray Rice.
Turns out the video not only wasn’t Ray Rice, but it wasn’t even Puig — which seems important if you’re going to claim it’s, you know, Yasiel Puig.
This kind of brings the story full circle in regards to TMZ. They’re pretty terrible.
When the initial story was reported, it was described as a vicious bar brawl that started when Puig had to be pulled off his sister, which, as we’re finding out, is basically the opposite of what actually happened.
TMZ gonna TMZ.
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported the most up-to-date story of what seems to have happened that night, and it’s much more tepid, but probably wouldn’t evoke the visceral response TMZ’s original story may have.
If that’s their intention consistently, which is obviously the case, anything they report should be handled with an entire mountain of salt.
Jeff Passan relayed a message from Puig’s representatives:
Yasiel Puig’s lawyer Jay Reisinger on the now-retracted TMZ video: “Anyone who has actually ever seen Yasiel can see clearly it’s not him.”
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 19, 2015
Though, I prefer Heyman’s take on the video:
tmz claims to have puig bar fight video — but this puig appears to be light-skinned with a beard! https://t.co/Yg4ROA8Nzq
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 19, 2015
I’d add the “Puig” in the video is significantly skinnier than the behemoth Dodgers fans watch on the field. TMZ must have thought Puig took Andrew Friedman’s advice to shed some pounds to heart.
My final point on this story (hopefully) is TMZ’s actions are exactly why journalists are so adamant on the important of their integrity. The story surrounding Puig this winter has been either this one (which, as we’re finding out is not the kind of thing we should judge him based on) or Andy Van Slyke’s comments.
If one’s perception of a person is taken directly from public sentiment, those in charge of said sentiment should hold themselves to a higher standard than: “Hey! This might get some clicks!”