Once one of the biggest up-and-coming stars in MLB, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has taken a backseat since last season. In Phoenix, Ariz. for spring training, Puig was asked how he feels about this shift, and he didn’t exactly respond with grace.
The previously carefree cadence of his speech was replaced by something angrier, as the former All-Star outfielder said in Spanish, “I’m not concerned with what is said or asked by people like you,” wrote Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times,
“I don’t listen to that, what we could call, in my country, stupid commentary,” he said. “I’m focused on my work, not every stupid question.”
Asked by someone else what he would consider a smart question, Puig replied, “I don’t know. You can’t hope for anything from these people. They have never asked anything intelligent, anything important.”
Puig was demoted to the minors last year, a decision that was much publicized because of how he reacted as much as anything else. He spent time with the club’s A+ team in Rancho Cucamonga and its AAA team in Oklahoma City before working his way back to the majors during the final month of the season. Puig also earned a spot on Los Angeles’ playoff roster.
According to Hernandez, Puig’s role has yet to be defined for the upcoming season. He could potentially even be sent back down to the minor leagues again if he doesn’t impress during spring training.
For a guy who was once viewed as a potential franchise savior — a guy who has more latent talent in his pinkie finger than many have in their entire body — he clearly has a lot of work remaining to turn things around.