The Dodgers, MLB and fans are hoping to solve the puzzle that is Yasiel Puig, their latest attempt coming in the form of a charitable trip to his native Cuba.
The first report is certainly highly positive, suffice it to say.
MLB.com’s Alden Rodriguez was along for the ride and took in Puig’s reaction to being home again, which is interesting enough in and of itself, but also how the polarizing right fielder mingled with Clayton Kershaw.
At this point, unless a baseball fan has been living under a rock, everyone has heard how Kershaw reportedly kinda-sorta demanded Puig be traded through Andy Van Slyke, whose only source inside the clubhouse is (his son) Scott — who just so happens to be stuck behind Puig in the depth chart.[For the record, if you can’t tell by how I wrote the sentence, I don’t trust the report. But there you go. Run with it as you will.]
Kershaw had this to say:
“I know I’m probably not going to be able to go to Cienfuegos, where he’s from,” Kershaw said of Puig, “but just being here, seeing the culture and being here, it can only help me understand him a little bit more as a person, and maybe give me a little bit more credibility with him. It’s important.”
Those last two words could not possibly ring any truer.
We’ve covered ad nauseam how vital recapturing something close to Puig’s potential is to the Dodgers. Fans all over social media can’t help but make known how the feel about him. Teammates have chimed in and anonymous sources have taken cheap shots.
Puig is tough, if not outright impossible, to figure out. Given where he comes from and what he’s been through, I can’t blame him for some of his antics. At some point, it’ll be tough to keep using his background as an excuse, but for now, I choose to use it as an explanation.
It’s really cool to see Clayton Kershaw trying to do so, as well.