Yasiel Puig is one of the brightest young stars in major League Baseball, but now that details of some of the traumatic things that are going on in Yasiel’s life are coming to light, one can’t help but ask: “How is this guy able to play baseball with stuff like this on his mind?”
According to an extensive article from ESPN The Magazine that took more than five months to write and included interviews with more than 80 people who know of Yasiel’s situation, Puig is playing under constant threat of death from the human traffickers who helped him defect from Cuba.
Suffice it to say, when you start dealing with human traffickers, there are some scary and very undesirable things that go on. Yasiel has acknowledged some of the things discussed in the article, but Puig seems very reluctant to talk about details. Here’s what Puig’s said:
“I’m aware of the recent articles and news accounts. I understand that people are curious and have questions, but I will have no comment on this subject. I’m represented on this matter, and I’m only focused on being a productive teammate and helping the Dodgers win games.”
It does’t seem like Puig wants to talk about it and who blames him? If what the article asserts is true, representatives from the group of traffickers who brought Yasiel from Cuba into Mexico are still awaiting more money. This, despite the fact that Puig reportedly paid the group 20 percent of the $42 million contract he signed with the Dodgers last year.
So why is more money being demanded? It turns out that the initial group that got Puig out of Cuba was not the same group that finally got Yasiel into Mexico. As the first group kept Puig in a guarded apartment just off the coast of Cancun while waiting for money, a second group stole Puig and successfully delivered him to Mexico.
The first group still hasn’t seen the money they feel they are owed. The ESPN story asserts that a member of the Mexican-based smugglers has actually been at the Dodgers’ team hotel demanding money.
Obviously, such revelations are sure to have an affect on Puig, his teammates and the MLB. Major League Baseball released a statement saying the following:
“The safety and security of everyone involved in our sport is of paramount importance to Major League Baseball. MLB and its clubs have individuals and resources in place to provide appropriate security, but as a matter of policy, cannot comment on such measures that have been taken without potentially compromising those efforts.”
You really should take some time to read the full ESPN piece on Yasiel Puig. And then be more amazed he is able to play at all.