We all think we know Yasiel Puig. The arrogant, immature Los Angeles Dodgers star that smashes home runs as easily as he gets himself in trouble with Dodgers coaches and even the law.
But there is more to the 23-year old Cuban than meets the eye. A complex back story that wouldn't be out of place in a Hollywood epic.
Jesse Katz of the Los Angeles Magazine penned an epic profile of baseball's most controversial man, and his journey to the big league's is simply unbelievable.
The article is an epic in itself so we've picked out the best bits that detail the strange and quite frankly insane spot, the talented outfielder found himself in - along with his then-girlfriend, and boxer Yunior Despaigne - from whom the stories come.
- He was brought to Mexico and stashed in a dingy motel for weeks by a group of smugglers with ties to Mexican drug cartels.
- A small-time crook from Miami named Raul Pacheco promised to pay the smugglers $250,000 to deliver Puig, who would then give Pacheco 20 percent of his future contract earnings.
- Something went wrong during the negotiating process, and Puig (and Despaigne) were essentially held hostage by the smugglers while they shopped Puig around to various agents.
- Puig was eventually rescued from the motel by a group of men hired by Pacheco to stage a kidnapping at the motel and get Puig out of there.
- Still wanting their money, the smugglers threatened Despaigne and his mother, claiming they'd harm them and Puig unless they were paid.
- One of the smugglers, Leo, was killed execution-style after Puig allegedly asked a business associate of his, Gilberto Suarez, to help him make the threats stop.
- After Puig and Despaigne's falling out, one of Puig's former teammates turned Despaigne's brother in to the Cuban authorities, claiming that he tried to convince him to defect.
This really is ridiculous and - if true - doesn't point Puig out to be one of the most innocent fellows, what with the "business" connections and possible link to underground activities.
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