By Jon Weisman
Speaking to reporters on Winter Development Camp media day at Dodger Stadium, Ned Colletti reiterated (among several topics, including the three-year-contract extension for Don Mattingly) that the team does not tolerate Yasiel Puig’s offseason mistakes — most recently an arrest speeding 110 mph in Florida — that conversations to educate him are ongoing and the outfielder has shown contrition.
“It’s a very interesting dynamic,” Colletti said. “I see a lot of different sides to it. I don’t condone what he’s done. I don’t know if it’s ironic, but it’s interesting to me that since the offseason began, he’s spent a lot of time in L.A., and he’s really spent a lot of time with kids. … He’s setting this great example and doing stuff I don’t see many big-league players do within the community. At the same time, there are boundaries you’ve got to stay in. Whether it’s how you drive or other things in your life, it’s part of growing up. That’s part of being responsible. That’s a key thing for us, and a key thing for him.”
Colletti said that he and Puig converse regularly, including the day he was arrested. He stressed that “he is an adult” and a 24/7 babysitter is nor what’s called for.
“He’s always been contrite with me,” Colletti added. “When I talked to him, he knew. He wasn’t in a good conversation, and he knew he wasn’t in a good spot. And he knew he had let a lot of people down. I said to him, ‘You did all this wonderful stuff in the community. How do you plan on explaining this to the kids? What if something tragic had happened — how are you going to explain that to the kids?’ ”
Colletti said several members of the organization continue to work with Puig to help him mature.
“We don’t condone the behavior,” Colletti said. “We do a lot of different things to teach and to mentor and to show him the responsibility that’s necessary … and educate to get to the point where the behavior conforms with what we need.”