It appears that the Yasiel Puig drama train is fueled up for yet another run on the tracks.
When the news scrolled across my phone that Puig’s agency had decided to part ways with him, the hope was that it was somewhat amicable. Perhaps Puig was looking for new representation and a fresh start heading into the new season after closing out 2018 with a strong effort.
I guess I knew better. With Puig, things are never quite that simple.
Wasserman’s decision to terminate its partnership with Yasiel Puig is behavior-related, source tells SB Nation. Unclear what exactly transpired.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) February 7, 2018
Something doesn’t meet the eye here. Puig is entering his age-27 season. In 2018 he slashed a .263/.346/.487 line with 24 doubles, 28 homers, 74 RBI, and 15 steals. All this went along with advanced metrics determining him to be a positive defensive outfielder. Agencies typically don’t want to cut ties with marketable athletes who are producing. That is assuming there isn’t any excess baggage.
Puig was his usual self with some headlines off the field last year. There was the derogatory gesture made towards a fan in Cleveland. He was benched by Dave Roberts multiple times for showing up late, including an incident down the stretch run. He was also benched for boneheaded base-running mistakes.
But by October, he was the lightning rod the Dodgers needed in the postseason. It was more than just licking his bat and making electrifying plays that seemed to fuel the entire ball club. At-bat after at-bat, Puig seemed dialed in, focused and really was a tough out.
Puig hit .455 in the NLDS and followed that up with a .389 average in the NLCS. His on-base percentage was well over .500 in those two series. He helped fill the void vacated by Corey Seager in the Championship Series, getting the Dodgers to the big dance. He homered twice against Houston in the World Series, and guaranteed a Dodgers win in game six to force a deciding game seven. It truly felt like Puig was finally fitting in as a valuable cog in the Dodgers clubhouse.
More details on this story are sure to make their way to light. So now we wait. And such has become life with Yasiel Puig. A talented, captivating, and yet enigmatic talent in who just happens to play baseball in the most exciting city in America.
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