Yasiel Puig Reportedly Has Had Multiple Altercations with Dodgers Teammates

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2015

AP Images

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig missed 39 games earlier this season with a hamstring injury, though some of his teammates would have been happy if he hadn't come back at all. 

Speaking to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, one anonymous Dodgers player made his feelings about Puig clear. 

"We've talked about this," the Dodgers player said. "At this point, it would be addition by subtraction."

The same player later added that trading Puig would be a Catch-22 for the franchise because "he's a top-three or -four talent in baseball."    

In the same article, Passan noted that an upcoming book about the Dodgers written by Molly Knight called The Best Team Money Can Buy offers "anecdote after Puig anecdote that illuminates what makes him so off-putting to so many."

Here are details of one incident involving Puig and Dodgers right-handed pitcher Zack Greinke that Passan cites from Knight's book:

In 2014, during the Dodgers' annual trip to Chicago, the team bus stopped downtown to allow rookies undergoing hazing to walk into a pizza place and emerge with food for the veterans. Some Dodgers players, not wanting to wait, skipped off the bus. When the bus was ready to leave, Puig was outside, looking for his luggage inside of the bay underneath the bus. After Puig ignored multiple requests to close the luggage bay, Greinke hopped off the bus, grabbed the suitcase in front of Puig and chucked it onto Michigan Avenue. Puig stepped toward Greinke and was restrained by reliever J.P. Howell.

Other instances mention Puig being scolded by Skip Schumaker once for showing up to the park 20 minutes late and being engaged in a relationship with the daughter of a minor league coach. 

Passan wrote that those previous problems with Puig have not convinced the Dodgers brass that they go beyond "occasional annoyance."

Puig's attitude and antics have long been a source of controversy since he debuted for the Dodgers in June 2013. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly benched him in the fifth inning of a game against the Chicago Cubs as a rookie when Puig threw a bat and sulked following a strikeout. 

In 2014, Puig was benched for the Dodgers' home opener for showing up late to Dodger Stadium. 

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 10:  Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers watches his three run home run in the second inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium on June 10, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Publicly, things have been quiet around Puig. Some of that could be due to the fact he's only played 31 games, though he's also quoted in the book as being flexible to team demands, saying during a meeting last year, "You guys tell me how you want me to play."

As the player said, Puig is one of the best raw talents in baseball. He made the All-Star team last year and is hitting .289/.382/.465 so far this season. His .847 OPS is second among Los Angeles outfielders, behind rookie Joc Pederson (.913). 

At 24 years old, Puig has proved himself to be an exceptional talent. And he's signed through 2018, so the Dodgers have every incentive to work with the Cuban star to hope he doesn't become a bigger problem as the franchise tries to win its first World Series since 1988.   

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