We’re used to seeing Yasiel Puig’s name in headlines for what he does on the base path, but Saturday night, it was what he didn’t do that’s noteworthy.
With one out in the bottom of the fourth inning, down 1-0 against the Minnesota Twins, the Cleveland Indians outfielder hit a first-pitch ground ball directly back to pitcher Jake Odorizzi.
Odorizzi started to run the ball to first, but about halfway there, realized he needn’t rush: Puig had yet to leave the batter’s box. In fact, he had already turned around and started back toward the dugout – it was confusing to both Odorizzi and fans in attendance alike (reports from the stadium say Puig was booed).
Yasiel Puig apologizes to Terry Francona, Carlos Santana
In the clip, Indians manager Terry Francona and catcher Carlos Santana approach Puig when he sits down in the dugout. After the game, Puig revealed that he apologized to them for not running.
“Santana was giving me advice that I need to run out every play and I’m 100 percent with him and said sorry to him and said sorry to Tito. I’m supposed to run on that play. I don’t know what happened in my mind,” Puig said, according to MLB.com’s Mandy Bell. "I stayed at the plate not running. Tomorrow is a new day and I need to run every play. That’s not going to happen again.”
Francona did not pull Puig from the game — a response we’ve seen before in cases regarding lack of hustle on the field. The move briefly paid off: Puig hit a game-tying double in his next at-bat and doubled again later on.
With Odorizzi taking the ball to first himself, Puig was effectively guaranteed to be out. Should he have run anyway? The unwritten rules say yes. But what say you?
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