They were back in those friendly confines Tuesday, back in Dodger Stadium with its fresh, very green grass, back stretching and running and fielding on their home field.
Not back on the field was Yasiel Puig, who remained out for the day to receive treatment for his sore lower back. Back in the dugout was Manager Don Mattingly, elusive as ever, but trying to make nice with his mercurial star outfielder after his frustrated comments over Puig’s play Sunday in Australia.
Mattingly met with Puig on Tuesday during the workout but would not say what was discussed.
“Not even a hint,” Mattingly said.
Mattingly said he expected Puig to return to baseball activities Wednesday. He did have an MRI exam Tuesday that came back fine. Puig’s relationship with Mattingly is supposedly the same.
“Yasiel and I are fine,” Mattingly said. “We’ve talked. I don’t have any issues with Yasiel. Frustration is with anybody or anyone on our team when we’re not playing the way that gives us a chance to win. I want to win. I know these guys want to win. I think it’s my job to make sure we understand what it takes to win. It’s not just Yasiel. I know Yasiel is a huge lighting rod. Any time I say anything about Yasiel it turns into a story.”
Puig made two ridiculously poor baserunning gaffs Sunday in Sydney and then left the game in the bottom of the ninth, complaining his back was sore.
After the game a frustrated Mattingly was asked what had force Puig out.
“I guess his back,” he said. “Shoulder yesterday, back today, so I'm not sure if we're going to get him tests or get him to the MRI on Monday or Tuesday or bone scan Tuesday. I'm not quite sure what we'll do.”
Before the game, in a more light-hearted mood, Mattingly had said: “He seems to grab something every time he takes a swing and misses. At this point, it's like the little boy that cried wolf. At some point, you don't really ever think he's hurt. So one of these days he's going to be hurt and we won't know.”
Mattingly said Tuesday the two comments were actually separate.
“Before it was really playful and it got pushed into the after, and I didn’t think that was fair,” he said. “I think that was taken the wrong way. I was in general frustration over that whole game.”