Los Angeles Dodgers teammates Clayton Kershaw, Yasiel Puig and Scott Van Slyke found themselves at the center of a firestorm last November without so much as uttering a word.
Simply put, Andy Van Slyke, father of Dodgers outfielder Scott, said more than enough for the trio in an interview on a CBS Radio Station in St. Louis during which he strongly implied Kershaw asked the club to trade Puig.
“Yeah, that was a mishap,” said a remorseful Scott Van Slyke when speaking with media at the Dodgers fourth annual FanFest on Saturday.
“I’d rather put that behind me and move on. Obviously, you guys know and see me with Yasiel everyday. I love the kid and I think he is a benefit to our team and my feelings for him wont change.”
Given Van Slyke’s close friendship with Kershaw and Puig’s negative public perception, many gave his father’s comments some merit.
“I may have said something that led to that conclusion for himself,” Van Slyke said. “But by no means was I gossiping about things that happened between other people.”
Kershaw and Puig had the opportunity to speak during their participation on Major League Baseball’s goodwill tour of Cuba last month. “We talked, and it was great,” Kershaw said. Puig echoed a similar sentiment, and added the two will meet during Spring Training to ensure they are “on the same page.”
The Dodgers ace further diffused the situation by placing trust in Van Slyke. “I think the only thing I can say about all of that is, Scott’s one of my best friends,” Kershaw said.
“I believe whatever Scott says, and anything else that happens outside of that, I wouldn’t pay much attention to. It’s probably not the truth.” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said last December Kershaw did not approach the club with the request they trade Puig.
Van Slyke said he did not apologize to Puig for the incident, nor feel the need to. “I think [Puig] knows where I stand with him and I make that pretty clear to him every day,” Van Slyke said.
The 29-year-old outfielder also gave his father poignant instructions for the future. “When all that stuff happened, I told him, ‘if you get questions, just give them my phone number and I’ll handle it.'”