Appearing on MLB Network Radio this morning, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti gave full credit to Yasiel Puig for calling the team's much-ballyhooed team meeting last week. Colletti says Puig was looking for feedback and advice from his coaches and teammates about how he can improve his game and how he can handle himself better moving forward.
Dodgers’ GM Ned Colletti confirmed to @MLBNetworkRadio that Puig called the team meeting and asked his teammates how he could get better.
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) March 30, 2014
The initial perception was the Dodgers initiated the meeting as something of an intervention to reel Puig in and get him on the same page as his teammates. Assuming Colletti is being forthright with the details and not attempting to deflect any of the criticism that has come Puig's way, this changes the perception completely. It's actually a very mature act on Puig's part that shows he's committed to developing into the best player he can be.
Of course, skeptics will remain, especially considering many of the reported quotes coming out of the meeting, which slanted the story in an entirely different direction.
For example, from ESPN LA:
"It was good for everybody. Donnie just wanted to squash this, and it did," one veteran, who asked not to be named, told ESPN.com.
Puig said he understood his teammates "wanted to help me get better" and encouraged them to approach him directly anytime they had something to say to him.
"Puig's a good kid. He just didn't come up through the system like we all did," a veteran teammate said.
That wording might lead one to believe the Dodgers were the aggressor on this matter, but perhaps Puig's request was kept quiet. Honestly, it's difficult to decipher what might be truth and what might be spin. All that is known with certainty is the Dodgers came together, and the end result seems to have been positive for everybody involved.
At the end of the day, that's all that really matters to them. But if indeed this was Puig's idea and his way of reaching out, then Colletti and manager Don Mattngly should be overjoyed about the strides their young star is making.
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