Dodgers: Yasiel Puig talking about changing his ways is depressing

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 27: Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after hitting a three run home run during the sixth inning of game four of the 2018 World Series against the Boston Red Sox on October 27, 2018 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 27: Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after hitting a three run home run during the sixth inning of game four of the 2018 World Series against the Boston Red Sox on October 27, 2018 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /
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Former Dodgers star Yasiel Puig will be a new man when he returns to MLB.

For years, Dodgers fans have defended the ebullient Yasiel Puig when other fan bases dogged him for being too emotional, too bombastic, and too much of a “stain on the old game” with his new-world celebrations.

Unfortunately, a year away from the game in 2020 might not have changed Puig entirely, but it does seem to have made him a bit more self-conscious about the non-baseball-related things that make him special.

Puig opened up in an interview this week about what he’ll have to alter about his persona to make his way back to MLB, and it definitely will have Dodgers fans feeling down in the dumps.

Puig told a depressing tale to a gathered video call of reporters this week, indicating he’d be heading back to MLB with his tail between his legs after a lost 2020.

"“The main thing for me and my agent right now is to be healthy and improve the things that bothered some people when I played,” Puig said. “To give my best in the playoffs and in the big leagues in the future, if I have the opportunity in spring 2021.“You’ve got to pay attention to the coaches. If they tell me to move to a certain area and the ball ends up being hit somewhere else, that’s a problem with their statistics. They’re the ones in charge.“I didn’t like to do it, because I’m the one in the game and I see if the batter is going to hit the ball here or not. If they decide [on the positioning], you’ve got to respect that. You’ve got to do what they say. I’m ready to play in the big leagues and leave behind the things that were bothersome.”"

Sure, some of it is technical. Puig should probably be, um, listening to his coaches 100% of the time, and not outwardly displaying anger or annoyance when their positioning results in an extra-base hit instead of an out.

Whether he believes it or not, after all, outfield analytics are always more likely to be correct than Puig’s own intuition.

But we hope, all technical fixes aside, that the next version we see of Puig in an MLB game still includes the little things that make him him.

https://twitter.com/AgentRachelLuba/status/1343729328769495040?s=20

Just because he plans to be a bit more obedient with his coaches (good!) doesn’t mean we can sacrifice the bat licking, fist pumping, and tongue-wagging celebrations.

Hopefully, he isn’t scared off from being his true self just because 2020 was an oddball year.