Ronald Acuna Jr. is one of the most talented young players in baseball, but he had to be taught a hard lesson Sunday.
The outfielder hit a long fly ball off the wall in the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers but failed to run it out, thinking it was a home run. It ended up being a single, and he failed to score in the inning.
Manager Brian Snitker decided to pull him from the game to teach him to hustle on every ball in play:
"You've got to run. That's not going to be acceptable here," Snitker said, per David O'Brien of The Athletic. "...The name on the front is a lot more important than the name on the back."
Snitker spoke to Acuna in the tunnel to the clubhouse before making the switch:
While there is no denying Acuna should have gotten at least a double on the play, removing him from the game was a bold move from the manager.
The 21-year-old has been among the Braves' best players this season with a .296/.376/.537 slash line following Sunday. He has 35 home runs on the season as well as 29 stolen bases, flashing the tools that made him one of the top prospects as a teenager out of Venezuela.
This game was the decisive battle in a three-game series between the two best teams in the National League. Atlanta is trying to win the NL East and compete with Los Angeles for the best record in the league, making Sunday's matchup an important one.
However, Snitker decided it was worth showing Acuna how to play the game the right way, and Atlanta came through with a 5-3 victory anyway.