Yasiel Puig was out of the Dodgers home opening day line up because he was late to the ballpark. Puig rocked up 15 minutes late for batting practice and Don Mattingly decided he had seen enough already and benched the kid for whole game.
Many stories had come out already about this like Puig saying he thought the game was scheduled for later or that Mattingly would use Puig as a inch hitter if the time arrived.
Something doesn’t smell right.
The time was right in the bottom of the 9th when the Dodgers needed four runs to get back into the game and Donnie had to pick which player he would let hit for the pitcher’s spot. He chose Chone Figgins. I have nothing against Chone but he is no Puig.
It is no secret that the Dodgers perform better when the Cuban is in the line up. The stats back me up here too. Remember back to last year when the Dodgers were struggling and on June 21 were 31-42, 9.5 games back in last place in the NL West. The very next day the Dodgers brought in Yasiel Puig and turned the season around going 46-10 through August 23 as the rest of the division collapsed.
There were other key factors to this; not just Yasiel but he certainly played his role. The 23 year old made his debut in June and hit .436 with 7 home runs for the next 31 days. His 44 hits in the month were second most all-time for a rookie in his debut month.
Yes Hanley Ramirez came back and the Dodgers traded for the likes of Ricky Nolasco but anyone could agree that no one made a bigger impact on the Dodgers than the rookie.
I’ve been having a think about this and is arriving 15 minutes late to the start of the game enough to cause a benching? Puig knows it was his mistake but if this is some way of punishing him and to make the rest of the fans and the team hate him then who knows what the manager is doing.
BP was supposed to start at 11 and he arrived at 11:15, who cares? It is LA after all, everyone knows the traffic is bad and that it’s impossible to get around anywhere on the city’s congested roads so maybe next time don’t punish the kid for being late and just let him know it’s not on, I’m sure he would understand.
Just a thought.