Dodgers manager Dave Roberts couldn’t hide his anger with outfielder Yasiel Puig on Sunday, a day after the outfielder made the last out of a one-run loss to the San Francisco Giants on a baserunning blunder.
Puig did not play Sunday for only the third time since June 28. Asked whether Puig’s base-stealing try that backfired the night before influenced that decision, Roberts did a poor job of deflecting the question.
“I don’t know the answer to that question,” he said. “I do. But I don’t want to say.”
Roberts then tried to clarify that comment without mentioning Puig.
“When I put a player in the lineup, every situation, every pitch, every out is important,” he said. “It’s important that I guys I write in the lineup, I can trust them. So that’s all I’m going to say about it.”
Puig took off for second base with two outs in the ninth inning but was thrown out when he didn’t slide, saying he felt something in his left ankle as he neared the base. Roberts said Puig was not treated by the trainers for any injury.
The manager said it wasn’t the first issue he has had with Puig.
“There’s been some things that I kept notes of,” Roberts said.
Roberts said before Sunday’s game that he hadn’t spoken to Puig about the mistake before indicating that his actions delivered the message he wanted to send.
“He’s not in the lineup. So whatever message he gets from it, I’m putting the guys out that I feel gives us the best chance to win today,” the manager said.
“Personally, yes, I’d have a problem, because my father served this country for 30 years,” he said. “I can appreciate any player’s individual act. And that’s personal.
“But I would just ask every person to really be educated. Really think long and hard and be educated on why you’re doing what you’re doing. After that, then it’s individual player’s decision.”
Bruce Maxwell, a rookie catcher for the Oakland Athletics and the son of a U.S. Army veteran, became the first major league player to join the protest Saturday and Sunday when he took a knee during the anthem in Oakland. Teammate Mark Canha stood behind Maxwell, placing a hand on Maxwell’s shoulder in a show of solidarity.
Justin Turner sits out again
Third baseman Justin Turner, the National League’s second-leading hitter, sat out his third consecutive game because of a stomach virus. Roberts said Turner is also experiencing pain in his right thumb, which was bruised when he was hit by a pitch last in week in Philadelphia.
“We just want to make sure that we try to kind of minimize the pain before we get him back out there,” Roberts said of the Turner, who hit in the batting cages. “If he does get jammed and it blows up it [will] cost him more time.”
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