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Must-Click Link: The story of Yasiel Puig’s failed defection

Jul 2, 2013, 11:06 AM EDT

San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers Getty Images

Yasiel Puig defected from Cuba last year. Earlier, however, he had made a failed attempt. Jeff Passan spoke with the Coast Guard crew which intercepted the boat in which he tried to reach the United States in April 2012 and it’s a great story.

While the Coast Guard declined to release specific information about the interdiction of Puig’s boat, conversations with six men aboard the Vigilant at the time gave Yahoo! Sports an in-depth look into a nearly two-week sliver of Puig’s life. Though this was not his final voyage, it offers the greatest insight yet of his tortuous journey to Dodger Stadium.

“He stood out from the group,” Hoschak said. “The conditions he was in on that boat were terrible. He’s got his stuff in a garbage bag. Not really enough food. You can tell.”

From that to Puig Mania in just over a year.

  1. jcmeyer10 - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    And to think we have people taking this country for granted…

    • yahmule - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      People like you.

  2. wonkypenguin - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    I think you forgot to add the link to this? If you could add that, it’d be great or else I’d be forced to find it myself and my god would that be terrible. :-)

    • kopy - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      I also whined about it, but let this be the official link:

      • wonkypenguin - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        Thanks. I’m still working on my degree from Google University. That was helpful.

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:35 AM

        You could always try alternative school, Bing U.

      • Jeremy T - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:46 AM

        Yeah, but that’s like going to a community college when you have a scholarship to Yale…

        Oh and also Yale goes through your mail and stuff… The analogy doesn’t really hold up.

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM

        It’s all meta data in the end.

  3. goskinsvt - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    People really don’t understand how little most people in Cuba actually have and how oppressive the regime there has been for the last 50 years (although it’s getting *slightly* better). As a 2nd generation Cuban, here’s to hoping that in our lifetime Cubans who haven’t left will be able to join their family members who have made the perilous trip to the USA.

    • hojo20 - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      And hopefully when they come to the US, they learn to speak English.

      • wonkypenguin - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:31 AM

        So it makes their arduous journey and survival of oppression easier for you?

      • Liam - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:47 AM

        America was settled somewhere around 40,000 years ago. English has been the primary language for about 400 of those.

      • Reflex - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:18 PM

        Not even 400. At various times Dutch, German and Spanish were spoken by more Americans than English. It really depends on the year and the region. English as the most common overall language has been a relatively recent phenomenon, even post Revolution.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:26 PM

        English has been the primary language in SOME parts of America, that is.

      • Liam - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:29 PM

        Yeah, I knew it wasn’t actual 400, but for the sake of the brevity I just went back to Jamestown and put the word “about” in front of it. My overall point still stands.

  4. kopy - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    There is no link for me to must-click, except for Puig’s Rotoworld bio. D:

    • number42is1 - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:28 AM

      man… You Americans just expect everything to be served on a silver platter, don’t ya?

      • kopy - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:31 AM

        To the victor goes the spoils!

  5. specialkindofstupid - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    Impressive, but I’m pretty sure Manny Ramirez traveled all the way from Neptune to get here. Hard to top that.

  6. flyinhighwithvick - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    Would you look at that? Mr. Burns actually managed to write an article that doesn’t have to do with the Phillies or their fans. Didn’t think you had it in you.

    • number42is1 - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      It’s full of WHAT???

  7. jm91rs - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    I wonder how many more stars like Puig are stuck in Cuba? How many could have been stars but have withered away in Cuba?

  8. youngwomanscreek - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    Cheers to the Coasties for doing their job, but still glad he got here somehow.

  9. leerosenthall - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    The Marlins’ Jose Fernandez (see the previous story here on HBT) has a similarly inspiring story of defecting from Cuba:

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