Howell talked with Shaikin about a number of topics related to bullying after he and his wife Heather read her children's book "Dangles," which talks about bullying, to a number of preschoolers at Children's Bureau Preschool in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Shaikin included the following sentence in his article after talking with Howell.
But Howell on Friday wanted to clarify his comments, telling Ken Gurnick of MLB.com that Puig was never bullied by Dodgers teammates.
"Not in the clubhouse, never by teammates," Howell told Gurnick. "I was asked if Puig had been bullied and I said yes, but I meant by fans and media and people on the outside that don't know him. Never in the clubhouse. Are you kidding? People early in the season said our clubhouse wouldn't have chemistry, and it turned out to be an awesome clubhouse -- everybody got along."
Howell told Shaikin that Puig handled the bullying from outside with aplomb:
"The guy is such a champion. 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 talked about what he considers to be other types of bullying in baseball, including pitchers throwing at someone's head. He cited a situation last season when Ian Kennedy intentionally threw at Zack Greinke, stating:
"When he's throwing at someone's head, you could be going to be a funeral. To me, that's a bully. (Kennedy) might be a great guy. But, on the baseball field, that is wrong."
Bullying has recently been an inflammatory topic in sports, partially thanks to the situation between Miami Dolphins lineman Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito. The Dodgers even released a statement:
"Bullying is an issue we take very seriously. We've discussed this with Yasiel and he has assured us that he is comfortable with the clubhouse environment as well as his teammates, coaches and support staff," the team said. "As an organization, we will continue to be proactive in monitoring what goes on in and around our clubhouse."