LOS ANGELES — It was bad news all around Tuesday for Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, who continues to be kept out of the lineup with hamstring discomfort and was informed his eye-catching custom spikes are no longer allowed by Major League Baseball.
Puig received a letter from MLB stating that he will be subject to a fine if he wears customized Nike shoes on the field again. The Orange County Register reported the fine could be as much as $5,000 for a violation.
Puig first wore shoes with an American flag theme on the Fourth of July and later wore shoes, designed by a local artist, with a Cuban flag theme.
The shoes that seemed to catch the league’s eye, though, were a tribute to retiring Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully. Worn for one game during the opening series of the second half at Arizona, one shoe read “WIN FOR VIN,” complete with a superimposed image of Scully’s face on the side. The other shoe read “#ITFDB,” a reference to Scully’s famous tagline to start games: “It’s time for Dodger baseball.”
Puig had promised more eye-catching shoes on the current homestand, but it is uncertain whether those shoes will be seen in games now. One pair in his locker was Statue of Liberty-themed, and another pair had a large “66,” Puig’s uniform number, emblazoned on the side.
There was little chance he could be fined for any kind of footwear Tuesday because he was out of the starting lineup for the fourth consecutive game, a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, after tweaking his right hamstring running down the first-base line Thursday at Washington.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts suggested this past weekend that Puig might have to go on the disabled list if he were unable to play by Tuesday. The club will wait one more day before making a decision. Puig was available to pinch hit Tuesday, Roberts said.
Other than his hamstring injury, Puig, who bats right-handed, also could have been out of the lineup Tuesday because the Dodgers were facing Rays right-hander Chris Archer. The Rays have left-hander Matt Moore scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.