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How Yasiel Puig has — and hasn’t — moved on with the Reds

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Yasiel Puig had already broken in a red glove by the time his new team conducted its first full workout here last week. The cleats, the duffel bag, the batting gloves — all red, flowing in perfect harmony with the Cincinnati Reds uniform that he will don for at least the next five months, perhaps even a bit longer.

Any traces of Puig’s tumultuous time with the Los Angeles Dodgers have faded by now, but only by way of appearance. The Dodgers remain a very noticeable presence in Puig’s thoughts, acting mostly as a source of motivation in a quest to prove that he can — and, no matter what the numbers say, always could — hit those damn lefties.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

He is, in spite of lingering bitterness, thankful for the time, thankful for the experiences, thankful for the fans and, yes, thankful for the color.3
Puig will be a free agent at season’s end, and in case you forget, he will happily remind you. The thought never seems to stray too far from his mind. After starring early on, then getting hurt, then settling in as a productive-yet-unspectacular reverse-splits right fielder, Puig is staring at an uncertain future on the open market — a reality that has only been magnified by the continued deterioration of baseball’s middle class.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Puig said. “If I don’t have my best year now, maybe next year I go in with no color.”

Puig sat on a folding chair just outside the Reds’ complex and drew a hearty laugh from the dozen or so media members who surrounded him on a crisp Monday afternoon, moments after he completed his first official day with his new team. Puig arrived in Goodyear about a week earlier than he was required to and immediately began to work on ways to be more effective against left-handed pitchers, the ones who so often confined him to the bench in Los Angeles.

Ward has never seen Puig work this hard this early, but his enthusiasm is tempered. He seeks consistency out of Puig. He wants to see him remain diligent through the inevitable bad times, a constant struggle throughout Puig’s career.

Ward’s presence should only benefit Puig, as will the familiarity of former Dodgers teammates Matt Kemp and Alex Wood. The hitter-friendly dimensions of Great American Ball Park also will help, as will the added motivation that comes in a contract season.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

“Those are the two colors that I want to be in my house, in my closet — red or blue,” Puig said. “There’s a lot of red teams, there’s a lot of blue teams. It’s not only Cincinnati, not only Dodgers, you know? Maybe Texas, Anaheim. I don’t know. There’s a lot of red teams. St. Louis Cardinals — I don’t know. I also can stay here. You never know.”

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