Though there have been some reports of tensions between them in the past, Clayton Kershaw may return to Dodger Stadium with a new understanding of his teammate Yasiel Puig, and of Puig's roots. Both Los Angeles Dodgers players are currently taking part in Major League Baseball's goodwill tour of Cuba. Kershaw was spotted taking some extra throws on the back lawn of the hotel where the players are lodging.
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Kershaw told ESPN: "I think for me, just understanding the culture a little bit more. It's so important," Kershaw said. "I have, obviously, a lot of teammates who are Cuban, so just for me to understand what they've been through, some of the hardships that they've gone through, understanding how they grew up."
For Puig, there's added intrigue around his return to Cuba, given that he defected from the country not long ago. He had emotional reunions with people from his past, including a former coach. This trip perhaps signals a new era for Cuban players, one in which they may not have to fear that their families will face retaliation if players seek opportunities abroad.
Kershaw, meanwhile, is getting his first look at the country that produced his talented teammate. "It's cool to see," the Dodgers' ace said of the reception the players have gotten in the island nation.
Keep up with the Dodgers on ESPN's clubhouse page.