SAN FRANCISCO -- Yasiel Puig remained silent Tuesday about the Los Angeles Magazine article that told a story of his escape from Cuba and the death threats he purportedly received last year from human traffickers under control of a major Mexican drug cartel.
Manager Don Mattingly said he has spoken to Puig to check on his mental state.
Asked how Puig seemed, Mattingly replied, “Fine.”
Mattingly said he hadn’t read the article but had heard about it.
He said he wasn’t worried about the team’s safety.
“I look at Yasiel from the baseball side of it,” Mattingly said. “I don’t know what happened and I don’t know what’s going on with it. My job really is for us to win games, help him in any way we can, as far as on the field, help him get ready to play.”
Asked if he had any idea whether Puig’s life had been threatened last year, Mattingly replied, “I worry about the baseball side of it. I don’t know what goes on, I don’t know what went on or how it happened, I don’t know if the guy who wrote the article knows what happened or what went on because I haven’t heard Yasiel say anything about it. I don’t think it’s really my place to talk about it.”
Reminded that what happens to Puig off the field could affect him on it, Mattingly replied, “We haven’t see any differences from the time we’ve had him. We continue to try to help him mature as a player. That’s what we do. We don’t know about the other stuff.”
But isn’t that other stuff scary?
“Again, I haven’t read it,” Mattingly said. “I’ve just heard little tidbits. I wouldn’t even know what I was talking about.
“He hasn’t changed since he’s been here, really. He’s still Yasiel. He’s been the same kind of kid, really, the whole time. Hopefully, from our standpoint, baseball-wise, he’s getting a little better all the time.”