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In piece that reads more like a thriller novel than real life, LA Magazine chronicles the journey of one of Major League Baseball's best and most talked about young talents, Cuban-born player Yasiel Puig.
The article features everything from Mexican drug cartels to murder, but more importantly, it finally answers some of the questions Puig has repeatedly refused to answer about his past.
According to the article, a Miami man, Raul Pacheco, offered Cuban smugglers $250,000 to get Puig to Mexico where he could audition for MLB scouts. It took four attempts for Puig to make it to Mexican soil. (Via Google Earth)
"Once they get to Mexico, that's where the craziness begins. ... They hold him captive there for 20 some odd days as the price for his head is negotiated." (Via CBS)
The article reports Pacheco never paid the smugglers, vying instead to go rescue his investment: "In a scene that could have been cribbed from a thousand screenplays, they stormed the motel and, according to court papers, 'staged a kidnapping.' Within days, Puig was auditioning in Mexico City." (Via Los Angeles Magazine)
The idea of such major stakes and questionable characters being involved with America's national pastime has worried many across the media landscape.
"They should be 100 percent concerned because the details are scary."
"We're talking about drug cartels?"
"Any word cloud that involves Zetas, execution style killing, drug cartel, that's an enormous, serious problem." (Via ESPN)
In an article with the headline "Yasiel Puig's journey to America should concern Dodgers," Los Angeles Times writer Bill Plaschke raises a larger point while giving his take on the article, "Puig's story is reportedly not that uncommon."
In a league where 28 percent of players are foreign-born, Cuban players often have to go through the dangerous process of defection just to try out for MLB teams.
The Detroit Free Press tells the less dramatic but similar story of former Tigers catcher Brayan Pena, who sneaked out of the country at the age of 16 to play in the big leagues. (Via YouTube / Feel Like You Belong)
"He asked one of his coaches to use the bathroom. ... The window was left open, and Pena climbed through the window and rushed to his escape vehicle. Pena didn't take anything with him. No clothes. No pictures. Nothing." (Via Detroit Free Press)
Major League Baseball has yet to weigh in on the disturbing revelations in Los Angeles Magazine's cover article, but the Dodgers manager did offer some words Wednesday.
Don Mattingly told the Los Angeles Daily News, "We’re on the baseball side of it, ... We’re just going to try to continue to help him try to mature as a player. That’s what we do." (Via Wikimedia Commons / Cbl62)
Puig finished the 2013 season with 19 homers and 42 RBIs and finished second in voting for National League rookie of the year honors.Thu, 17 Apr 2014 03:57:31 -0400
Portland city officials are having to flush millions of gallons of treated reservoir water after a 19-year-old man allegedly relieved himself in a non-traditional location.
It happened around 1 a.m. Wednesday as three teens snuck into Portland's Reservoir 5, which holds some of the city's drinking water. This security footage reportedly shows one of the guys leaning against the fence and presumably urinating. (Via KGW-TV)
Those three men were detained shortly after they were seen in the security footage, and hours later, Portland city officials decided to take the 50-million gallon reservoir offline and flush 38-million gallons. (Via KPTV)
The Portland Water Bureau there's little risk to the public's health but bureau administrator David Shaff says, "Our customers have an expectation that their water is not deliberately contaminated. We have the ability to meet that expectation."
This kind of incident has happened once before. The city flushed 8 million gallons of water in 2011 after a 21-year-old man urinated in another reservoir. (Via KOIN)
The Oregonian reports that previous episode was said to have cost $35,000, but KATU reports this most recent incident won't cost the city anything seeing that city employees are already scheduled to work.
Portland police cited all three men for trespassing and cited one of the men for public urination. The security footage will be reviewed by the district attorney's office and those men could face criminal charges.Thu, 17 Apr 2014 03:38:44 -0400
A Rite Aid pharmacy in Monroe will undergo major repairs Thursday after a chicken truck crashed into it late Wednesday night.
The crash happened around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday on Highway 74 near Sutherland Avenue.
The trailer was wedged into the building so tightly that crews called two tow trucks to pull it out.
The truck, loaded with empty chicken cages, crashed through the front of the store.
Officials said a fuel tank on the truck ruptured and HAZMAT crews had to respond to the crash scene.
The fire chief told Channel 9 that the truck was driving eastbound on Highway 74 when, for some reason, it went off the road.
The driver of the truck was taken to Carolinas Medical Center but was alert and talking with paramedics.
Police have not said what caused him to drive into the building.
There were two employees inside who were not injured. No customers were in the Rite Aid, officials said.
The accident is under investigation.