Los Angeles Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig made headlines for the wrong reasons again Friday when he arrived late to Dodger Stadium for the team’s home opener against the San Francisco Giants at 1:10 p.m. local time.
As punishment, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly benched the young star and started veteran Andre Ethier in right field. Mattingly explained in his postgame press conference that he would have put Puig in the game if needed.
Mattingly on Puig: "I think he truly thought it was later...it was a mistake that he made and we move on. I don't think it was a huge deal."—
Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) April 04, 2014
#Dodgers manager Don Mattingly on Puig benching: "I don't think it's a real big deal. Yasiel was probably humbled today."—
Robert Flores (@RoFloESPN) April 04, 2014
Mattingly says on @SportsNetLA Puig believed the game was a later start and would've used him in the right situation.—
Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) April 04, 2014
Traffic in Los Angeles usually is brutal, which can make getting to the ballpark difficult during certain hours, but there’s no excuse to be late, especially for the home opener. Puig’s maturity has been questioned throughout his brief major league career. The St. Louis Cardinals were not happy with some of his antics during last year’s NLCS.
At least Puig did the right thing and apologized to his teammates.
From what I hear, Puig was really embarassed when he showed up. Apologized to all of his teammates before the game. Still....—
Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) April 04, 2014
The Dodgers went on to lose 8-4 to the Giants, dropping their record to 4-2.