Jay-Z wants Yasiel Puig next for Roc Nation Sports, report says

July 11, 2013

Yasiel Puig signs autographs after the Dodgers’ beat the Diamondbacks 7-5 in 14 innings. (Christian Petersen / Getty Images)

Yasiel Puig’s meteoric arrival with the Los Angeles Dodgers hasn’t escaped the notice of sports’ newest big-name agent.

Jay-Z would like to add the center fielder to his burgeoning all-star roster at Roc Nation Sports, according to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. For his part, Puig, who learned of Jay-Z’s interest during an East Coast trip, is intrigued by the possibility.

Suddenly, though, Puig, the National League’s Player of the Month in his very first month in the majors, has found July less welcoming than June. He reportedly dissed Luis Gonzalez earlier this week and was dressed down for it by Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire. ESPN’s Pedro Gomez reports that the 22-year-old has used his translator to try to get phone numbers from women. He may be hitting .400 but he’s striking some wrong notes of late with the a style of play that’s been called arrogant.

“In Cuba, there wasn’t much press. Here, I have a lot of press on me and it’s not something I really like. Maybe they don’t understand the situation I’m in,” Puig told MLB.com. “I’m not bad, I just don’t like the press and I don’t like the fame. I’m having fun and I want my team to get all the attention. There are a lot of guys in the bullpen or in the dugout waiting for their turn to talk.

“It’s not that I don’t want to give an interview, I just don’t want all the press all over me all of the time.”

Hooking up with Jay-Z isn’t exactly the way to lower his profile. Roc Nation, partnering with Creative Artists Agency Sports, already has Kevin Durant, Robinson Cano, Geno Smith and Skylar Diggins on board. Jay-Z made it clear that he was coming after baseball’s super-agent Scott Boras on “Crown” on his Magna Carta Holy Grail album, rapping: “Scott Boras, you over, baby. Robinson Cano, you coming with me.”

Already in his brief sports-agent career, Jay-Z is getting blowback. Jason Whitlock, writing on Fox Sports.com, has bluntly cautionary words for athletes signing with Jay-Z.

The marriage of Jay-Z to the sports world is idiotic.

Selling athletic competition and selling music are two distinctly different disciplines. Sports are founded in traditional, mainstream American values. Music, particularly rap and rock, is founded in rebellion and anti-establishment values.

Jay-Z’s sensibilities do not comfortably co-exist with the sensibilities that best promote athletic culture. The NBA’s headfirst embrace of hip-hop music is one of the main reasons the league has lost relevancy the last 15 years. Blaming it all on the aging and retirement of Michael Jordan and/or the Pistons-Pacers brawl at The Palace is intellectually lazy and David Stern-friendly propaganda.

If Puig makes the jump, Passan reports that Jaime Torres, his current agent, would receive his full commission on the seven-year, $42 million contract that Puig signed a year ago.

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren · July 10, 2013