New Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has talked to most all of the other players on the roster, but one man has eluded him thus far since Roberts was hired. That man? Yasiel Puig.
The 25-year old Cuban outfielder has had something of a Hollywood type career. He came in as hot as a meteor, taking baseball by storm in his first couple seasons. But then he hit a major rough patch in 2015, and the reports of his demise were circling everywhere.
Now, though, Puig is working as hard as ever to improve on his shape and play since he knows just how vital that will be to the long-term success of the Dodgers franchise. However, he still needs to work on one other aspect – building relationships.
Roberts said he hoped the coming weeks would allow them to forge a relationship, the lack of which plagued former manager Don Mattingly toward the end of his tenure. The two will talk next month at spring training, Puig said. Roberts blamed himself for one missed connection when he said they “were supposed to have a setup deal, but it just didn’t happen.
The two sides have yet to meet to discuss the upcoming season, but don’t be alarmed. This kind of thing can tend to happen when the team is in the offseason stage and the players are doing their own thing while a manager gets his stuff in order.
It will be interesting to see the type of relationship and friendship that Roberts is able to build with the outfielder since, as mentioned, Mattingly and Puig were unable to have any type of connection whatsoever towards the end of Mattingly’s run.
If the Dodgers are to have a successful 2016, as well as a successful future in general, then the foundation of friendship built between Roberts and Puig is going to be one of the most important things that comes out of this season.
As long as there’s a workable level of respect, understanding, and trust, then it definitely seems like the Dodgers are going places with that tandem.