If there is one team in Major League Baseball that has already grown to hate Yasiel Puig, it has to be the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 22-year-old Los Angeles Dodgers rookie had quite the series in Arizona earlier this week, and he apparently annoyed people by doing more than just staring down D-Backs catcher Miguel Montero after trying to run him over. He also disrespected a legend.
According to USA Today Sports, former Diamondbacks slugger Luis Gonzalez approached Puig during batting practice at Chase Field on Monday and introduced himself. Gonzalez reportedly began explaining to Puig — in Spanish so there was no language barrier — how his family also had roots in Cuba, but Puig wouldn’t even give him the courtesy of an acknowledgement.
Gonzalez later confirmed that Puig snubbed him but would not elaborate. If you are thinking that the story sounds like one that would be overblown, also keep in mind that Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire reportedly lectured Puig about ignoring Gonzalez, reminding him that Gonzo had a game-winning hit in the World Series off the greatest closer of all time and has his jersey retired in Arizona.
Puig has been in the majors just over a month, but his arrogance has already been well-documented. Young superstars often play with a chip on their shoulder that irritates people (Bryce Harper would be a good example), but it sounds like Puig’s behavior borders on downright disrespectful. As long as he continues to back it up, there’s very little that can be said. But when the bat cools, a lot of people could turn on the youngster in a hurry.