Dodgers owner Magic Johnson made the rounds today at ESPN Radio 710 as he joined Mychal Thompson and Mark Willard earlier this morning for about 15-20 minutes.
Magic talked about Don Mattingly, the Dodgers 2013 season and Clayton Kershaw’s extension as he was excited about what the Guggenheim Group is building in the future. However, on with Max and Marcellus on ESPN Radio 710, Magic was asked about Yasiel Puig and if he’s talked to him after his rookie season in 2013:
Ya we’ve had conversations and matter of fact, he’s going to the Laker game tonight and we’re going to talk about dinner. He’s a work in progress, but he was sorry for some of the things he did. This guy is a talent. There’s nobody in MLB that plays harder than this guy. He goes after everything and does everything at 100 percent. The guy is 22 years old, his first year in the big leagues and he’s going to get better.
Puig was criticized for some of his play in the NLCS after he admired a long triple to right and in Game 5 he lost a double in the sun, but didn’t run hard after the ball behind him.
However, Johnson alluded to Puig’s energy picking up the Dodgers as he helped spark one of the greatest runs in baseball history and an NLCS berth after they were in last place as last as June 22.
Asked if Puig was close to becoming the face of LA sports, Johnson wasn’t shy to sing the praises of his 22-year-old phenom:
Ya he’s not there yet, but he’s about to be. This guy already got 66’s everywhere. When we got hot, you couldn’t find his jersey anywhere.
Magic was quick to praise Juan Uribe and Hanley Ramirez as helping Puig adjust to the big leagues with Uribe being the “father figure” and commanding Puig’s respect.
While Puig won’t play winter ball, it’s important for him to continue to work as the Dodgers are counting on him to take the next step in the 2014 season.
In case you missed it, here’s the Dodgers pool celebration, PLUS Yasiel Puig’s celebration dance off!