After the latest off-field distraction involving Yasiel Puig, you couldn't blame the Los Angeles Dodgers if the team decided to send the exciting, polarizing and talented 23-year-old down to Triple-A Albuquerque.
That's not going to happen, of course.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly doesn't seem all that bothered by Puig's late arrival to the ballpark for Friday's home opener, telling reporters that it isn't "that big a deal," per Mark Saxon of ESPN.
And really, it's not. We've all been late to work at least once—especially when we were in our early twenties, as Puig is now. To his credit, Puig took responsibility for his actions, saying, "I asked him (Mattingly) for forgiveness as well as my teammates. It was my mistake. I'll be here early tomorrow."
But saying the right thing—and doing the right thing—are two totally different things, with the former often far easier than the latter. Given his past transgressions—both on and off the field—Puig finds himself in danger of his coaches and teammates beginning to find that his words ring hollow.
It's a danger that former MLB outfielder Frank Catalanotto alluded to on Twitter shortly after the news of Puig's benching broke.
"Mattingly has his hands full w Puig. This kid better start respecting the game and be a good teammate before it becomes a big problem," he tweeted.
Upon his return to the lineup against the San Francisco Giants Saturday, Puig went 1-for-4 but was picked off by Madison Bumgarner in the third inning. He also failed to drive in a run for the Dodgers when he stepped to the plate with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning, managing only a shallow fly ball to right field.
Since making his MLB debut in 2012, Puig's 12 outs on the basepaths (not including being caught nine times on 20 stolen base attempts) are tied for the most in baseball, according to ESPN Stats and Information.
Not only is he causing issues for his team off the field, but he's not helping things once he gets on base, either.