Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig hit a booming triple in the fourth inning of Monday night's NLCS Game 4. After he swung, Puig flipped his bat in celebration and raised his hands in the air, apparently thinking it was a home run until the ball bounced off the outfield wall. At least one St. Louis Cardinals player took offense at Puig's theatrics, reports Jayson Stark of ESPN.
Carlos Beltran, who was the hero of Game 1 for St. Louis, says Puig is talented, but does not know how to play the game the right way.
"As a player, I just think he doesn't know [about how to act]," Beltran told reporters. "That's what I think. He really doesn't know. He must think that he's still playing somewhere else."
"So you know, he's going to learn. It's going to take him time, but he's going to learn. When you try to do those things sometimes, you know, you get that attention. And you don't want to wake up nobody. I always thought if you hit a home run off a pitcher, you've got to make him believe he made a mistake. You don't wake him up. Or next time, the pitcher's going to be more focused with you and he's going to try harder to get you out."
For his part, Dodgers' manager Don Mattingly downplayed Puig's celebrations, saying, "That's just Yasiel," Mattingly said when asked. "Obviously, I'd like to see him run right away."
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny also refrained from saying anything against Puig.
"He's a good player. Guys are going to handle successes and failures however they're going to handle them, and that's not really our say," said Matheny.
Puig's teammates have had mixed reactions to his mannerisms on the field. Michael Young says it is not his style while Jerry Hairston points out that Puig doesn't mean any harm by his celebrations. Hairston also said that his teammates have talked to him about how to better focus his energy.
Puig has become known for his manner of celebrating the game and having a bit of flashiness on the field. He claims he just wants to have fun while playing the game, saying players tend to show a lot more emotion on the field in Cuba.
After scorching the Atlanta Braves with a hot bat in the NLDS, Puig started off the NLCS hitless through the first two games. He went 2-3 in Game 3, however, as he looks to get back on track with the Dodgers down two games to one in the best of seven series.