No player is ever above the team.
This has been a saying and action that has dated throughout the history of any and all sports. In regards to baseball, there are players then there are stars. Some coaches treat stars differently from other players due to the fact of their skills and popularity. However, some coaches treat everyone the same. It really comes down to the coach.
In the case of the Major League Baseball, one manager benched a star player. The Los Angeles Dodgers have already clinched the NL West title Now, they are looking ahead and plan on being in the top overall seed heading into the postseason.
On Monday (September 25th), there was some drama that was unwelcomed by the team. That drama involved outfielder Yasiel Puig, who was late for batting practice on Monday, which resulted in his being benched.
Andy McCullough of the LA Times gave some insight into this situation. He wrote on Twitter, “Roberts said he needs to trust his players to remain focused on every pitch of every inning. He is still frustrated with Puig. Roberts indicated that Puig's benching was related to more than one incident. The irritation has built up, apparently. Dave Roberts remains upset with Yasiel Puig. He has not decided how long Puig will be benched. The timing, I would say, is not ideal.”
In case of those who don’t follow the Dodgers closely, this related intrigue involving Puig is nothing new for the team or its fans. The media has put a spotlight on him this season and he's been pretty focused for much of it. However, this is not ideal timing for a manager-core player dust-up.
Removing the unwelcomed drama, Puig is living up to his expectations. He is enjoying a nice bounce-back season after a disappointing 2016. Currently, he has a line of .259/.339/.474 (113 OPS+) with 26 home runs and 15 stolen bases in 147 games.
Make no mistake about it, the Dodgers do have plenty of outfield depth and with Puig in the lineup, they are better off. There's still time to get this sorted out before the NLDS begins.
However, it's obviously not a promising development in L.A. You could make an argument that the Dodgers do need some drama to put a spotlight on the team due to fans having choices in the city. However, this may not be the type of interest that they were looking for in this situation.