Yasiel Puig seems like one of the more difficult personalities in baseball to manage. The Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder has tremendous athletic ability, but his attitude rubs plenty of people the wrong way. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly might be one of those people.
Puig has battled some nagging injuries during LA’s season-opening series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia. He left Sunday’s 7-5 win in the ninth inning with an apparent back injury. Mattingly seemed annoyed.
“Shoulder yesterday, back today, so I’m not sure if they’re going to get him tests or get him to the MRI Monday or a bone scan on Tuesday, maybe,” Mattingly told reporters sarcastically, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Marx Saxon. “I’m not quite sure what we’ll do. We may not do anything. I’m not sure.”
Prior to the game, Mattingly joked that Puig is like the boy who cries wolf because he grabs a different body part every time he swings and misses. Puig also had two baserunning mistakes on Sunday, which weren’t the first two of his career.
Puig did not have a good offseason. He was arrested for reckless driving and supposedly packed on a significant amount of weight. Last year he was snippy with reporters at times and showed up late to the ballpark, though the team fluffed his childish behavior off.
Maybe he’ll grow out of it. Puig is only 23, so he could mature as his career moves on. As long as he continues to produce at a high level, his behavior will probably be excused. If he doesn’t, Mattingly and others will become even more annoyed.