Everybody in baseball seems to know who Yasiel Puig is these days.
The Cuban defector, who has a total of 135 big league at-bats under his belt, has electrified the baseball world and helped propel the Los Angeles Dodgers to second place in the National League West.
However, just because everyone seems to know who Puig is does not mean Puig knows who everyone in the baseball world is just yet.
Case in point, Diamondbacks legend Luis Gonzalez, who tried to introduce himself to the rookie phenom prior to Tuesday night’s game at Chase Field.
“I was just trying to show professional courtesy that I would to any other player just standing around the cage,” Gonzalez told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Wednesday. “I was actually talking to (Dodgers hitting coach Mark) McGwire and (John) Valentin, the other assistant hitting coach, and I said ‘you know, let me go say hi to Puig.’ He was right by the cage.”
The 2001 World Series hero proceeded to explain that he introduced himself as Luis Gonzalez.
“I didn’t expect him to know who I was, and I could care less,” he admitted.
Gonzalez then intimated what AZCentral Sports’ Dan Bickley wrote in a Wednesday column — Puig blew him off, and received a bit of a talking to from McGwire.
“As far as the human factor is concerned, this guy’s been up in the major leagues for a month, and about four or five months ago nobody knew who this guy was and coming from a family from Cuba, where my parents have always taught me to appreciate everything you have,” Gonzalez continued. “This guy is making money now that he will have never even thought about where he was before in Cuba, so you have to learn to appreciate things.
“And I think for all of us it was a valuable lesson.”
Gonzalez then said he walked away and it was “no big deal” to him, and that his only intent was to open up a bridge of communication with a player with whom he shares a connection.
“I wasn’t asking him to sign baseballs or take a picture with me or anything like that,” he said. “I just thought we had a common bond with where my family is from and where he’s from.”