Yasiel Puig doesn’t get along with everyone, just ask the Pittsburgh Pirates.
But since being traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the Cleveland Indians, it appears manager Terry Francona already has won him over. The former Boston Red Sox skipper is known around Major League Baseball as one of the more popular managers among players, so this likely won’t surprise many baseball fans.
Puig, 28, joined MLB Network’s “High Heat” with Chris Russo on Wednesday to discuss being traded twice in a six-month period, in addition to his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers. When Francona came up, Puig spoke very highly of his new manager.
“That’s the best manager I’ve ever been around,” Puig told Russo, as transcribed by Cleveland.com’s Joe Noga. “Yes sir.”
Puig’s eccentric ways rub some people the wrong way, but the outfielder said he doesn’t do it to push people’s buttons, he’s simply trying to bring energy to his team.
“I’m just trying to have fun and use my personality to give a lot of energy,” Puig said. “When I play like that, I do better on the baseball field.”
Francona praised Puig’s energy shortly after he joined the Indians, saying he respects the way he runs to first base “like his pants are on fire.” The skipper added that his energy is “extremely contagious,” which is exactly what Puig said he aims for.
The Cienfuegos, Cuba native is hitting an impressive .328 in 16 games since joining the Indians.
Thumbnail photo via David Richard/USA TODAY Sports Images