By Steve Dilbeck
6:46 PM EDT, August 20, 2013
Hello, hello, is anybody there?
Those lessons the Dodgers are trying to impart to Yasiel Puig keep on coming, apparently by the hour, Manager Don Mattingly on Tuesday fining the rookie sensation after he showed up late to Marlins Park.
Mattingly also is keeping Puig out of the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Marlins, a move that had been determined before his late arrival, the manager told reporters in Miami. The fine was unrelated to the benching and Mattingly said Puig would start Wednesday.
The manager noted that Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez also had sat out games on the current road trip.
“Everybody gets a day off,” Mattingly said.
Not everybody is late to the ballpark, however, and Puig has a habit of being one of the last to arrive. Mattingly said the outfielder, who was staying at his parents’ home in Miami, said he got caught in traffic.
Mattingly had a closed-door meeting with Puig and an interpreter for approximately 10 minutes before Tuesday's game to explain the reason he was not playing and the fine.
Mattingly would not say how much the fine was. “More than a dollar and less than $10,000,” he said.
The Dodgers, however, clearly see the need to rein in their prized rookie. No simple task, considering his aggressiveness is a key factor in his success. But Puig is a bit of a peacock who struts around the clubhouse and sometimes acts impervious to all else around him.
He reportedly swore at media members Monday. Then he went 0 for 5, got into an argument with umpire John Hirschbeck and, while in a fit of anger, briefly had to be led out of the dugout and to a tunnel by teammate Juan Uribe.
Puig, 22, currently is in a three-for-23 skid (corrected) at the plate, the first real slump of his major league career.
The Dodgers have repeatedly met with Puig over his missing cutoff men and taking reckless chances on the bases. The lessons keep coming. Now it’s time for the student to learn.
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times