It initially looked like Yasiel Puig was going to blow off the media. His interpreter was waiting by Puig’s locker when Puig, showered and dressed, appeared in a doorway through which reporters are barred and said to his interpreter, “vamonos,” and the two of them disappeared. About 15 seconds later, though, they reappeared, accompanied by Dodgers assistant PR director Jon Chapper, who clearly had intercepted and interceded. Puig looked rather annoyed, but he did take three questions, telling his interpreter before the third one that it would be the last one.
That third question was about his emotional reaction to striking out on three pitches in the fifth inning.
“There is nothing really to comment on about that,” Puig said, through the interpreter. “I thought (the second pitch) was a ball, and (plate umpire John Hirschbeck) called it a strike.”
On the subject of his countryman, 21-year-old Marlins rookie Jose Fernandez, shutting down the Dodgers, Puig said, “He is a tremendous pitcher, and he mixed his pitches well. Obviously, we didn’t do well against him. Obviously, he is a tremendous pitcher.”
And then one of the local guys here asked him about the Marlins’ attendance and the Cuban-American community coming out to see the matchup between him and Fernandez.
“I’m happy to see so many in the Cuban community come to the game to support Fernandez, and myself as well,” he said. “Hopefully, Marlins fans will continue to support those players who are doing a great job in that other clubhouse.”
And that was pretty much all there was from Puig, which was better than nothing of course.
Meanwhile, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said after the game that Puig didn’t actually SAY anything to Hirschbeck as he walked away from home plate, but the fact Puig turned to look at Hirschbeck was what ticked off Hirschbeck, who appeared to react by pointing a finger at Puig. But Puig was caught on camera moments later yelling at Hirschbeck from the dugout before disappearing up the tunnel with Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig.
Mattingly acknowledged that the situation needs to be addressed. When I asked if tomorrow night might be the time to sit Puig for a day, Mattingly said, “Well, I can’t sit him now because you asked. That would be you sitting him, not me. So every day you ask, I have to play him one more day before I sit him.” This was Mattingly’s attempt to disguise his obvious annoyance at the question with what appeared to be good-natured banter, but there is no doubting the fact he is getting tired of answering these questions about Puig.