Yasiel Puig has found himself at the center of multiple head-scratching incidents both on and off the field since an electric 2013 rookie season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. But his involvement in a benches-clearing brawl this week was not one of them.
At least not to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who believed San Francisco Giants catcher Nick Hundley played a role in instigating the matter. “No, no,” Roberts answered when asked if he was frustrated with his polarizing outfielder.
“I think Yasiel is playing well. He was just frustrated with himself, as he does get, as players all get, missing a pitch. He voiced his frustration out loud, and there was something said, I felt was instigated, and he reacted.”
Roberts made his remarks prior to the league levying a two-game suspension and fine against Puig. Hundley was also fined, but not suspended.
While Roberts did not take umbrage to Puig’s actions, he did intend to drive home a larger point of not putting oneself in a position where it becomes detrimental to the team. “Do I wish he could’ve stayed in the game? Absolutely,” Roberts said.
“And that’s the part I’m going to talk to Yasiel about. He’s more valuable in the game than out of the game, so that’s something we’re going to talk about. It’s emotional.
“Ideally, every player knows they want to stay in the game and not react that way. But, these are grown men reacting to certain situations. It’s on all of us to make sure we keep guys in the game.”
Puig intends to appeal his suspension, which would allow for him to remain eligible for this weekend’s Interleague series with the Seattle Mariners. The suspension represented the second of his career.
Puig received a one-game ban and fine for an obscene gesture toward a fan in June 2017.