When Yasiel Puig arrived at Dodger Stadium on Monday for his first sport there since being traded to the Reds within the offseason, fanatics in Los Angeles have been temporarily reminded of what they’d been lacking.
Smartly perhaps no longer all that temporarily, for the reason that Puig used to be past due in attending to the ballpark and overlooked a distribution of rings commemorating the Dodgers’ NLCS win over the Brewers to the 4 gamers dealt to Cincinnati. That used to be roughly in personality for the Cuban-born outfielder, which most likely helped his former teammates and Dodgers executives recall a lot of what they have been maximum in no way lacking about him.
As soon as the sport began, alternatively, Puig wasted little time in taking Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw deep, connecting on an excellent first-inning house run. That used to be greater than sufficient of a reminder of his monumental energy, a part of a tantalizing bundle of athletic presents too steadily held at bay via a mercurial way of thinking.
Puig’s house run elicited loud booing as he rotated the bottom paths. That may have mirrored a mix of sadness along with his inconsistent play as a Dodger and frustration with Los Angeles’s choice to deal him in a transfer that used to be extensively interpreted as clearing roster and wage area for what would turn out to be a futile effort to land Bryce Harper.
In any tournament, the opposite 3 gamers in that business, Matt Kemp, Alex Wooden and Kyle Farmer, were given their rings in what used to be described as a casual rite out of doors the guests’ clubhouse. Readily available to welcome the crowd again to Los Angeles used to be Dodgers proprietor Mark Walter and different workforce officers, together with supervisor Dave Roberts.
Requested about lacking that second, Puig mentioned (by the use of the AP), “He can ship the hoop to my locker or give it to me at batting observe. He may give it to me in particular person, I don’t care.”
After acknowledging that he used to be “glad” to not have to reply to anymore for Puig’s habits, Roberts mentioned, “This man did a large number of issues locally and helped the Dodgers do a large number of just right issues. … When he’s motivated and incentivized, he’s an excellent participant.”
The advice that Puig, 28 and in his 8th MLB season, didn’t at all times show an good enough stage of motivation echoed feedback made via Dodgers 3rd baseman Justin Turner in a tale printed Sunday via the Los Angeles Instances.
“The irritating phase is if Puig used to be just right, and performed just right, then we’d be a actually, actually, actually just right workforce,” mentioned Turner, Puig’s teammate for the former six seasons. “So everybody sought after him to be that just right participant. He didn’t see it that manner.
“He simply noticed it as he used to be simply going to turn up and do no matter he desires.”
Puig himself admitted in February that, no less than over his ultimate couple of seasons with the Dodgers, he “by no means labored exhausting.” In feedback on the time to ESPN, he mentioned, “Perhaps that’s the explanation why I didn’t have my higher years.”
In line with Reds Supervisor David Bell, punctuality has no longer been an issue for Puig since he arrived in Cincinnati. Bell additionally praised the best way the outfielder “has performed the sport” and been an “remarkable” teammate.
“We adore having him right here,” Bell mentioned.
Puig hadn’t essentially been justifying that love within the batter’s field. He introduced a lowly .163 batting reasonable, a .200 on-base proportion and a .302 slugging proportion to Dodger Stadium. He additionally had only one house run and 6 RBIs in 45 plate appearances this season,, however he rose to the instance via connecting off Kershaw.
For his phase, Kershaw used to be making his first get started of the season after being close down throughout spring coaching on account of irritation in his throwing shoulder. He didn’t make an Opening Day get started for the Dodgers for the primary time since 2010, however recovered neatly sufficient after Puig’s clout to head seven robust innings, giving up simply the 2 earned runs at the homer whilst hanging out six without a walks in a Four-Three win.
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