LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig found himself back in hot water and back in the manager's office on Wednesday for what appeared to be a lack of game preparation -- or perhaps a lack of effort.
There was no direct explanation, but Puig was pulled after the fourth inning of the Dodgers' 4-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. The reason, he said, was a failure to prepare for his at-bats, although he had only two of them in the game.
"I wasn't preparing well for each pitch," Puig said through a translator. "It was a good decision."
But manager Don Mattingly, who insisted he wanted to keep his reasons for the benching in-house, seems to be growing exasperated with his talented wunderkind. On the team's last road trip, he fined Puig for arriving late to the clubhouse in Miami, and he has talked several times with him about fundamental mistakes such as risky base running and missing the cutoff man on throws from right field.
Mattingly would not dir...