Los Angeles Dodgers star Yasiel Puig couldn't avoid negative attention in the 2013 NCLS, and this time the group irked by his behavior are the umpires calling the series.
According to Ken Gurnick and Lyle Spencer of MLB.com, during L.A.'s Game 5 win against the St. Louis Cardinals, some of the umps were taking umbrage with the way they felt the rookie outfielder was behaving on the field:
Puig has enraged the crew, which believes he is showing up umpires at home plate. It nearly came to a head in Game 5 when Puig was called out on strikes by plate umpire Ted Barrett and stood in the batter's box, left hand on hip, staring at Barrett. Earlier in the at-bat, Puig said something to Barrett, who came out from behind the plate, brushed off the plate and apparently said something to Puig.
Apparently, this crew, which Torre oversees, feels that Puig has crossed the line. It's not known if Puig has been fined, but apparently word was sent from MLB offices to the Dodgers' clubhouse that disrespecting the umpires with displays at home plate won't be tolerated, especially by Puig.
Gurnick and Lyle also reported that Dodgers owner Stan Kasten had some words with Joe Torre, executive vice president of baseball operations for MLB:
So, is that what Kasten and Torre were arguing about?
"Just some friendly conversation," said Torre.
"Joe and I were chatting," said Kasten.
This would be the second time that Puig's caused a bit of drama in the series. During Game 3, he chose to finish off a triple with a demonstrative jump onto third base and a little bit more celebrating.
You'd think that since it's the playoffs and all, Puig's reaction wouldn't be a big deal. In big-time situations like this, players are going to respond with emotion. However, the rookie's celebrations didn't sit well with Carlos Beltran and other Cardinals players.
Clearly a great talent, Puig has proven a bit hard to handle for the Dodgers in 2013.
Back in August, he was taken out of a game against the Chicago Cubs in the fifth inning for what were termed "disciplinary reasons."
There was also the time the polarizing star brushed aside former major league slugger Luis Gonzalez before a game, which upset Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire.
Overall, Puig had a forgettable NLCS. Aside from that triple, he didn't do much offensively. In Game 6, he also made a few defensive mistakes that ended up costing the Dodgers, who lost the game, 9-0, and the series to St. Louis, 4-2.
There could be ramifications for Puig that last beyond the postseason, as the league could pursue a fine or a suspension stemming from his behavior toward the umpires.
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