Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly may be running out of patience with his star outfielder. The challenge of handling the highly gifted but mercurial Yasiel Puig has seemingly become more frustrating than rewarding in recent days, according to ESPN’s Mark Saxson.
Puig’s antics are nothing new, but his lackluster spring training and a rocky start to the regular season in Australia are making them harder to tolerate.
Puig batted .122 in spring training. At times, he seemed unfocused. In one drill, the Dodgers practiced calling for pop-ups. How rudimentary is that? Each of the veterans, including Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier took it seriously, dutifully calling for the ball and waving others off.
When it came to Puig’s turn, he jokingly turned in circles in right field and let the ball land in the grass behind him.
Now, only two games into the 2014 season, we see a little more faith erode. Before Sunday’s game against the Diamondbacks, Mattingly playfully compared Puig to the boy who cried wolf, saying he never knows when he is actually hurt because he grabs a different body part every time he strikes out.
Puig is nothing if not entertaining. Having this story line pop up this early in the proceedings, however, is likely not the type of attention the Dodgers would prefer.