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Who is yasiel puig dating. Yasiel Puigs Girlfriend
Puig stepped toward Greinke and was restrained by reliever J. It was free Girlfrien the summer of A dqting. to Yunior Despaigne's new American cellphone with the England area code. Over the years, according datong. those we spoke to within and around such platform rings, they and their attendant personnel have developed a highly specialized engineering, encompassing marine navigation, boat handling, bribery, forgery, money laundering, the immigration policies of surf nations, and the ins and outs of MLB's collective bargaining agreement. Despaigne is at a hazard to say why. Over the years, according to those we spoke to within and around such mirror rings, they and their attendant personnel have developed a highly specialized expertise, encompassing marine navigation, boat handling, bribery, forgery, money laundering, the immigration policies of multiple nations, and the ins and wants of MLB's collective bargaining agreement. Give us our money or we're going to deep you.
It was another grueling, near-sleepless journey wrought with anxiety. To stay awake, Despaigne says, the lancheros snorted lines of cocaine. Despaigne is not ashamed to admit Who is yasiel puig dating. Yasiel Puigs Girlfriend he did too. Puig, according to Despaigne, did not partake. Who is yasiel puig dating. Yasiel Puigs Girlfriend into the passage, in the middle of the Caribbean, they ran out of gas. The lead lanchero, a burly thug known as Tomasito, had to radio a colleague on Isla Mujeres who brought a foot yacht to come refuel them, but not before the group spent a fretful Who is yasiel puig dating.
Yasiel Puigs Girlfriend adrift Who is yasiel puig dating. Yasiel Puigs Girlfriend sea on the dead-in-the-water cigarette boat, pitching, rolling and, at one point in the wee hours, Who is yasiel puig dating. Yasiel Puigs Girlfriend hair-raisingly close to getting plowed under by a passing containership. Then, within some miles of Isla Mujeres, they had to fake-fish for several hours, waiting for nightfall before entering port, the better to evade the Mexican naval patrols that had, in the past, nabbed Tomasito's boats. The lancheros escorted the group to a small, tumbledown boardinghouse blocks from the beach. It had at least 10 rooms, Despaigne recalls, each one full of recently arrived Cuban migrants -- no vacancies.
The place was apparently under the control of Tomasito, Who is yasiel puig dating. Yasiel Puigs Girlfriend Tomas Valez Valdivia, born in Cuba in either or the record is unclear. With his thick neck and near unibrow, Tomasito had a face made for a mug shot. Inhe was arrested in Florida on charges of grand larceny theft of a conveyance as well as aggravated assault of a police officer with a weapon. For some reason, he was Who is yasiel puig dating. Yasiel Puigs Girlfriend to post bail. He fled immediately south of the border, where he set up shop in Cancun. The boss of a thriving alien-smuggling operation, Tomasito and his crew ferried defectors from the coasts of Cuba to either Isla Mujeres or Cancun, under prior arrangement with the migrants' relatives in the United States, chiefly South Florida.
There, the Cubans would take advantage of the revision to the Cuban Adjustment Act, which essentially makes it possible for Cubans to seek asylum in the U. If for some reason payment wasn't forthcoming, the lancheros would either hold the migrants until their families made good or kick them out onto the streets, where Mexican Who is yasiel puig dating. Yasiel Puigs Girlfriend would likely catch them and deport them back to Cuba. All over Isla Mujeres, in shoddy hotels and nondescript private homes on backstreets never visited by the island's endless streams of hard-partying American and European tourists, Tomasito and several other rival lanchero groups secreted away their smuggled Cubans for weeks and sometimes months at a time.
She'd been trapped there for perhaps a month; her husband, so far, hadn't been able to come up with the money. The lanchero rings could handle the sunk costs of an occasional nonpaying customer. Their boats regularly carried 25 people each trip -- a quarter of a million dollars per haul, two or three times a month. Yasiel Puig, of course, was not your garden-variety smuggle. That Tomasito and four of his chief associates were on the cigarette boat at all -- normally, they had pilots in their employ to handle that kind of dangerous work -- suggested how valuable they felt this commodity was.
One of those associates, Yandrys Leon, aka Leo, had just a few months earlier been indicted in the U. He told them something worrisome: He didn't yet have the funds to pay Tomasito. Rest assured, though, he was working on it. In the meantime, guards kept watch over the four. No one was allowed to leave the boardinghouse's premises unchaperoned. Escape, everyone agreed, was out of the question. They had no Mexican pesos. Nor, of course, did they have visitors' visas, or even their passports -- only their Cuban ID cards. If caught by Mexican authorities, they'd be put on a plane for Cuba and likely prison. Still no money from Pacheco. They swam in the hotel's small courtyard pool; they watched Mexican soap operas; they ate takeout.
The atmosphere became increasingly tense. You guys have to follow through just like I followed through. The Cuban government, meanwhile, last year eased restrictions by allowing its baseball players to sign with overseas professional leagues in countries like Mexico and Japan. But because of the embargo, its players are still banned from playing the game for those depraved American capitalist-imperialists just to the north -- unless, of course, they defect. To this day, the senescent Castro regime considers even the expression of the desire to do so an act of ideological treason.
To take advantage of the arbitrage opportunity created by the opposing policies of the two nations, a robust underworld industry has developed over the last decade. It is, essentially, a baseball-player black market -- bolsa negra in Cuban slang, which translates literally as "black bag. To traffic in this rarefied kind of human, the best smugglers have so perfected the art of circumventing the laws of the two adversarial nations that they've made themselves into millionaires. Sincethe market value for the most talented Cuban players has exploded. In Octoberthe slugger Jose Abreu, lately of Cuba, but then suddenly a resident of Haiti or the Dominican Republic, depending on what news source you readset the current record: Both took advantage of rules collectively bargained between Major League Baseball and the players' union that allow baseball-playing residents of any country other than the U.
As such, Puig and Abreu were able to instruct their representatives to conduct an auction, multiple bidders ballooning their price effectively without limit. While not every Cuban player in the U. Over the years, according to those we spoke to within and around such smuggling rings, they and their attendant personnel have developed a highly specialized expertise, encompassing marine navigation, boat handling, bribery, forgery, money laundering, the immigration policies of multiple nations, and the ins and outs of MLB's collective bargaining agreement. Through a network of contacts in Cuba, they approach and recruit baseball players, enticing them to defect with cash payments and, of course, promises of Major League fame and fortune.
The smugglers hire the lancheros. They act as fixers; they're in charge of the speedy obtainment of residency papers in a third country, often through bribery or forgery -- time is money. They bankroll the care and feeding of the players as they work out for scouts in those third countries. Sometimes they even keep experienced trainers on their staffs. Because all of these costs come up front, the smugglers must occasionally finance their operations by raising money from "investors," in effect hawking equity in the players' future earnings, or by "selling" players to a third party. And they maintain relationships with the U. S sports agents who can negotiate big-money deals with MLB franchises.
For this suite of hard-to-come-by services, the smugglers want between 20 percent and 30 percent of the top-line value of a player's first professional contract. That kind of revenue stream has interested a whole lot of colorful people in the underworlds of several countries: In Cancun, long the seat of smuggling rings that specialize in bringing regular civilians out of Cuba as well as ballplayers, turf wars have been waged over the business. Players have been stolen at gunpoint from one group by the next, hits taken out, rivals driven by and strafed, bullet-ridden corpses left lying in the streets.
Because of the many sensitivities regarding a story that involves both cartel-associated smuggling rings and ongoing federal investigations, we will call him El Rubio. Through their many Cancun connections, El Rubio and his partners came to learn of a young, healthy, five-tool prospect -- hits for average, hits for power, runs fast, has a live arm, plays the field, 1. Yasiel Puig, it was obvious, represented the score of a lifetime. El Rubio and his partners -- at that point unaware that Pacheco in a sense had "dibs" on Puig and was still trying to find the money to pay the lancheros -- phoned Tomasito in Cancun, according to a person familiar with the Rubio group.
Enter Jaime Torres, a former Chicago tax attorney who has become known as something like the Scott Boras of Cuban defector baseball agents. Torres has since represented so many Cuban defectors that Fidel Castro himself once denounced him as a kind of baseball-agent agent provocateur. According to Torres himself in interviews with the media on the subject of his Cuban clients, he has a simple ground rule: He will never sully his name by stooping to work with smugglers. Indeed, there is no proof that Torres does anything other than what any good agent does: It remains an open question, however, how Torres learns of these opportunities.
Chapter 4 The Stealing Of Puig After Puig was stolen away by a rival smuggling ring, the lancheros went in search of the debts they believed were owed to them. He had come to an agreement with Yasiel Puig to represent him as an agent. Around the same time, just like that, the Rubio group in Miami received a call from Tomasito: He was raising the price. Maybe he realized that he'd lowballed himself. Maybe he realized that if Jaime Torres were involved -- the guy who represented the likes of Jose Contreras and the Cuban Missile Alexei Ramirez -- Puig too must be the real deal. In Miami, the partners understood that Tomasito had all the leverage. If they didn't want to lose out on their epic score, they had no choice but to agree to whatever price he demanded.
Time was also running short. One rumor suggested that a mysterious group of Dominicans had flown to Cancun to meet with Puig on Isla Mujeres. The problem, however, was that even though the Rubio group would receive 20 percent of Puig's eventual contract, no one in the group outside El Rubio himself had hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash lying around. And El Rubio was not willing to go all-in with his own cash. They would have to scare it up from somewhere within Miami's Cuban community. El Rubio and company nonetheless agreed to Tomasito's increased price. The lanchero wanted about 25 percent up front, the rest on delivery.
It was then that El Rubio hatched an audacious plan -- a caper. In the plan's first stage, El Rubio made use of an unlikely emissary in Pacheco, whose own options for keeping Puig to himself were rapidly expiring, and who could now stay in the game by teaming up with this group of buyers. Acting under instructions from El Rubio, Pacheco told Tomasito that the 25 percent up-front fee he required would soon be ready; they were merely waiting for a check to clear. According to a person close to Pacheco, Pacheco confirms the details of El Rubio's scheme but denies his involvement, saying he met El Rubio for the first time only after it was executed.
This bought them time. El Rubio used the delay to contact a Cuban expatriate in Mexico, a man with connections in the Cancun police department. He had a shaved head, thick arms and a burly stomach. El Rubio called him El Comando de Cancun. One day over Skype -- which they made sure to use when Tomasito wasn't around -- Pacheco told Puig and Despaigne to expect a knock on their door in the middle of the night at their Isla Mujeres room. If the four didn't want to die at the hands of Tomasito, they ought to be prepared to leave. Sometime after 1 in the morning, the knock came.
Somehow, there were no guards that night. Despaigne is at a loss to say why. Regardless, Tomasito had chosen an inopportune moment to relax his grip on his captives. Following the two men in black, Despaigne, Puig, his girlfriend and the padrino crept out of the hotel and down a few dark streets and into a marina and onto a waiting boat that ferried them across the water to Cancun. No violence, no Tomasito, no Leo, no guards. The heist had worked. But the Rubio group had also just ripped off a criminal gang whose highly lucrative underworld ventures required the sanction of Los Zetas. They had now motivated some darkly uncompromising individuals. In plotting the heist, they hadn't really even discussed the dangers; they were just that obvious.
But so too were the rewards, and they'd come to an unstated consensus: For a chance to get Yasiel Puig, they were willing to risk their lives. Despite the fact that none of the four had passports or visas, they had flown to Mexico City on a commercial flight. El Comando had somehow facilitated the trip, likely through bribery. It was part of a package of services, including the wee-hours snatching of Puig, that El Comando provided, price tag: In addition to El Comando's fee, the Rubio group's costs included the two rooms at the airport hotel, future travel costs and, of course, security, one person close to the Rubio group says.
Two and sometimes three large armed men, Despaigne recalls, accompanied the four at all times -- not to prevent Puig and the rest from leaving but to protect them against some kind of reprisal from the inevitably now-livid Tomasito. Capital was also needed for another important expenditure. Before any American company can hire a Cuban national, an obscure sub-bureau of the U. The process was fairly straightforward: OFAC would rubber-stamp the employer's decision. Interestingly, as of lateall Cuban defectors must now submit their paperwork directly to OFAC. To become a permanent resident of Mexico, according to Mexican law, applicants must be able to prove that they have been temporary residents for four years or two years if legally married to a Mexican spousehave family connections, or apply on humanitarian grounds.
Regardless, it's a lengthy process. He became a resident, all his documents real and in order and ready for perusal by Major League Baseball, less than 15 days later. They ordered plates of lobster, a rare treat for the newly defected Cubans. In Cuba, it is against the law to fish for the crustacean; all specimens alive in Cuban waters are reserved by the government for the kinds of restaurants far out of reach for the average Cuban citizen.
Yasiel Puig’s Girlfriend
Gorging on claw meat, Despaigne listened to the conversation between Puig and El Rubio. Negotiations had already grown Who is yasiel puig dating. Yasiel Puigs Girlfriend and heavy with a handful of major league teams. The day El Who is yasiel puig dating. Yasiel Puigs Girlfriend had arrived in Mexico City around the same time as Jaime Torreshe'd had a suit and tie ready for Puig to wear in face-to-face meetings with team representatives. Also there, according to Brito's recollection, were his counterparts from at least four other teams: Torres wouldn't let Puig run or throw during these showcase sessions -- he didn't want to risk injuring the prospect, who'd fallen out of peak physical condition since he'd been kicked off the national team -- so the scouts watched in silence as Puig snapped his hips and launched balls with diverse arcs -- line drives, majestic soarers -- into the empty outfield bleachers, like Roy Hobbs in that scene from "The Natural.
Now, during dinner at the hotel, El Rubio received a call on his cellphone. He spoke English into the phone. After he hung up, he said that the person on the line had been a representative of a major league franchise. Despaigne recalls El Rubio mentioning the names of several teams he'd been personally communicating with, but only the Phillies and the Dodgers have stuck in his memory. Various abstractly gigantic sums were Who is yasiel puig dating. Yasiel Puigs Girlfriend about by El Rubio during the dinner: Puig and the Dodgers had struck a deal. They had their major league score: It would take some time before Puig would leave Mexico City for good.
When he did, El Rubio arranged for him to enter the United States in the same way as any regular Cuban migrant on the Isla Mujeres route. Puig had no passport; it was in the possession of the Cuban government. So instead of trying to secure a U. Chapter 5 Everybody Knows. An ongoing lawsuit in U. Alexander Wells Though the specifics and logistics are not common knowledge, the notion that ballplayers are brought out of Cuba by clandestine means is as open a secret as there is in sports. In the words of Mike Brito, the legendary Dodgers scout, born in Cuba inhe of the perpetual Panama hat and pencil-thin Mambo-King mustache, who played a key role in landing Puig for L.
I don't wanna find out either. I never ask any Cuban player that. And even if I knew, I wouldn't tell you. Only thing we care about is when a guy is in a territory where we can sign him. Sign players and keep my mouth shut. The less you talk, the less you get in trouble. Their reluctance is easy to understand. They don't want to get family and friends -- who may very well be attempting to escape the island at any moment -- in trouble with the Cuban government. They don't want to destroy the chances of other ballplayers -- or friends and relatives -- making it out by saying too much about the smuggling networks and how they operate.
They fear reprisals from the smugglers. When Cuban players in the U. For years, Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez, now a kind of elder statesman of the Cuban ballplayer-defector fraternity, allowed any number of fictions to propagate about his escape inthough they all had the same basic plotline: In fact, as is fairly well-known by now, he worked with Miami-based lancheros to get off the island. Even today, despite the fact that the real story has mostly come out, El Duque would not elaborate to me on how he escaped; he's saving the tale, he says, for his memoirs. If Cuban ballplayers are reluctant to discuss all this, U. Two separate federal criminal investigations into two separate and sometimes competitive alleged smuggling rings are now underway, one led by the FBI, the other by the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, or ICE.
The second investigation, the one led by ICE, has yet to result in charges. According to people familiar with that probe, it has been ongoing since at least last summer, and its targets include El Rubio and his partners. Raul Pacheco has lawyered up. Puig himself has been interviewed. In fact, only one baseball-player-smuggling case has ever been successfully prosecuted in U. InBen Daniel, a former federal prosecutor and a specialist in alien trafficking, won a five-year conviction against a Cuban-American agent who had paid smugglers to extract a handful of players. It seems, after all, a victimless crime. If the rates charged by the smugglers appear extortionate, consider the risks they're running in driving boats right up to the coast of Cuba in order to snatch highly prized talent from an authoritarian regime.
To some in Miami, the smugglers and the agents who work with them are heroes of the Cuban counterrevolution. What are the smugglers doing, after all, but liberating human potential from an unjust communist state so that it might find its true value on the free and open market? In certain quarters in Miami, the smugglers are viewed almost as political activists -- anti-Castro, pro-freedom -- and each player they help defect as another score against a despised regime. Basically, the value of Yasiel Puig outweighs the Cuban embargo. He trumps the embargo. He's bigger than life, and he trumps it all. A phone call to Yunior Despaigne's mother in Cuba. A call to Yunior Despaigne's new American cellphone with the Miami area code.
Calls to Pacheco and to El Rubio and his partners -- so many calls that El Rubio was forced to change his number. Calls, even, according to Despaigne, to Yasiel Puig. The messages left had a common theme: Give us our money or we're going to kill you. And so too, by extension, did Tomasito's underworld tax man, Los Zetas. Yasiel Puig sat in the passenger seat, Despaigne in the back, El Rubio driving. The car was a Maserati. It was late in the summer of They'd arranged this in-car meeting to discuss the escalating threats from Tomasito and his crew.
Despaigne recalls El Rubio, hands on the wheel as the car blazed across western Miami, saying something close to "Don't worry about these people. We're not going to pay them. He'd been shot to death.
El Rubio directed Puig and Despaigne and Puiggs smuggling partners to the Yasirl Cancun news coverage of the murder. Within a few months, though, the threats began anew. During Pigs spring training camp inWho is yasiel puig dating. Yasiel Puigs Girlfriend to a Gorlfriend close to Raul Pacheco, at least one man representing Tomasito's ring showed up in Arizona, found the rookie's hotel room, knocked on his door, and told Yasiel Puig the boss wanted his money. By this point too, Despaigne was harried. Meanwhile, Pacheco, then living in Puig's Miami house Yasil serving as a kind of all-around gofer and confidant for the Dodger, refused to make good on what Despaigne says he was promised as compensation.
Puig stepped toward Greinke and was restrained by reliever J. Passan also reports that a Dodgers player who asked to remain unnamed said trading Puig would be "addition by subtraction. I guess the silver lining is that it's nice Ramirez owns who he once was now that he's Puig is only 24 years old, and he's a career. The Dodgers have made the playoffs in each of his first two years and appear headed that way again. Puig has the tools to be an all-around superstar for more than a decade. And yet, it sounds like many of his teammates want him gone. The hunch is this front office continues to stick with Puig, so long as the Dodgers are winning, in hopes that as he ages he straightens things out.
In the meantime, it's a situation worth monitoring. Please check the opt-in box to acknowledge that you would like to subscribe.