Before Thursday night’s series opener against the Colorado Rockies, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig remarked a bit on the latest media furor swirling around him – this time, pertaining to an alleged ‘snub’ of Arizona Diamondbacks icon Luis Gonzalez on Monday night.
Through his translator, Puig downplayed the supposed ‘incident’, even indicating that the media portrayed things much differently.
J.P. Hoornstra of the L.A. Times summarized Puig’s comments:
Yasiel Puig was clearly upset today about how his interaction with Luis Gonzalez was portrayed in media.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) July 11, 2013
Puig: “Mark McGwire was there. … I shook (Gonzalez’s) hand and said hello to Luis Gonzalez just like the rest of my teammates did.” — J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) July 11, 2013
Pedro Moura of the O.C. Register added some more insight:
Yasiel Puig, through a translator, on reported snubbing of Luis Gonzalez in AZ: “That wasn’t true. What transpired was different.”
— Pedro Moura (@PedroMoura) July 11, 2013
The USA Today account of what allegedly transpired in Arizona before Monday night’s contest depicted a much more aggressive scene – and noted that Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire witnessed Puig’s “snub” and confronted the 22-year old about the incident.
Frankly, this whole thing does reek of media overexposure – and after all, many already seem to know that Puig reportedly didn’t know what colors the Dodgers wore prior to signing with the organization. Surely it wouldn’t be too far-fetched, then, to assume that he was unfamiliar with Luis Gonzalez and his importance to the Diamondbacks?
Puig’s comments on Thursday contrast sharply with the official reports that have floated around for the last couple of days – but, then again, the central point of Puig’s deflection has to do with the media portrayal of the event in the first place.
Dodger manager Don Mattingly said in his pre-game interview on Thursday that “I know there’s a lot of stuff going on around him, stuff swirling…but it’s not a baseball problem” – emphasizing that there are absolutely no clubhouse issues whatsoever regarding Puig, his teammates, or anything along those lines.
Also before the game, catcher A.J. Ellis remarked that it’s important for the Dodgers to keep up the energy for these final four games before the All-Star break, saying “we’ve got to respond” and continue to play at a high level. Ellis noted that last season, the Dodgers swept a big three-game set in San Francisco but returned home and were swept by Arizona.
- When asked about Brandon League‘s role in the Dodgers bullpen, Mattingly said that the team still believes in him and that “we’ll find innings for him”. Mattingly also lauded the work of rookie Chris Withrow, who threw three scoreless innings of relief in last night’s 14-inning win over the Diamondbacks.
- Matt Kemp will not swing a bat for the next 5-7 days as he works toward rehabbing his injured shoulder.
- Arizona catcher Miguel Montero has gone on record to criticize the ‘stupid things’ Puig is doing on the field (his words), but Puig told Pedro Moura that he and his Dodgers teammates are “more reserved” and will not talk about the play of Montero and Gerardo Parra.