Yasiel Puig has spent this offseason mostly with his friends and family or at NBA games, and we saw pictures on Instagram of his 23rd birthday celebration earlier this month. Puig plays with a limitless abandon on the baseball field, and he apparently likes to drive fast. He has a budding collection of cars. Puig was arrested for reckless driving again early Saturday morning in Florida. This is the second time he has been arrested for such an offense since coming to the United States to play professional baseball.
The Naples Daily News reported that the Dodgers outfielder was arrested at 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning for reckless driving after allegedly driving at 110 m.p.h. on a Florida freeway section dubbed “Alligator Alley” which has a posted speed limit of 70 m.p.h. Puig was driving his 2013 Mercedes westbound.
Puig was fortunate enough to have his charges dropped in November from his first arrest for reckless driving back in April while he was playing for the AA-Chattanooga Lookouts. He was allegedly driving 97-mp.h. in a 50-m.p.h. zone in Tennessee. The judge dropped the charges after his 13 hours of community service with the Dodgers helped his cause.
Puig had a breakout rookie season with the Dodgers in 2013, and he finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. He hit .319/.391/.534 with 19 homeruns and 42 RBIs in 104 games.
Puig’s wildness and over-the-top persona is fun to watch on the baseball diamond, but his young attitude often worries me after incidents like this. After his first arrest, it seemed like the Cuban phenom learned his lesson. We even saw multiple stories about Puig being involved in charity work with children this offseason. We were hoping for a quiet offseason, his first full offseason as a full-fledged Major Leaguer.
Obviously Puig’s popularity and fame has soared since his epic 2013 season with the Dodgers. He’s churned up the sours of opposing players and fans since he first came up with the Dodgers. His cannon of an arm spurned what could be Dodger legends we share and pass down over the years. Yet Puig’s immaturity could hamper him from utilizing his talents to his full potential.
Luckily Puig didn’t harm himself or anyone else, but driving that fast should be held to the race track or the Autobahn. Puig won’t get off this time as easy as last. Let’s hope that Puig can calm down and focus on the impending task at hand- his first Opening Day game as a Dodger in March.
The Dodgers have yet to comment on Puig’s arrest.