dodgers cuban

Some of the wilder rumors about enigmatic Cuban-expat and budding Los Angeles Dodger-superstar Yasiel Puig appear to be ringing true today, as a big feature by Los Angeles Magazine’s Jesse Katz puts forth that Puig had been initially smuggled out of Cuba to Playa Del Carmen in the Yucatan by members of the Los Zetas drug cartel (the ruthless, Nuevo Laredo-based former Mexican Army commandoes now likely moving into the #1 Mexican cartel slot with the capture of kingpin “El Chapo” from their Sinaloan rivals).

But the story doesn’t stop there.

Puig’s escape was apparently funded with $250,000 by one Miami resident Raúl Pacheco, a “small-time crook…air-conditioning repairman and recycler,” to whom Puig in return would owe 20% of ALL his future earnings. Problems immediately arose upon Puig’s arrival in Mexico, with the cartel and Pacheco apparently engaging in a game of bargaining chicken with Puig held in a life (or at least livelihood)-threatening limbo motel.

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Finally, as the smugglers began contacting U.S. sports agents directly in an attempt to get their money up front for what was an obvious athletic asset, Pacheco and ‘other Miami financiers’ put together their own ‘team of fixers’ and pirated-out Puig from the pirates. Within no time, Puig was eating American junk food, watching the Three Stooges, learning how to drive and earning multi-millions with the Dodgers – but the demands for money still would continue, leading to more fall-out and alleged murder, and now with Katz’ scoop, writers like the LA Times Bill Plaschke are wasting no time with taking things to the next step: will the innocent season ticket holders at Chavez Ravine be taking their lives in their hands at every home game?

“We don’t discuss out security details relative to individuals,” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said. “But, we will take whatever steps necessary.”

Katz says that, while he believes the idea that risks to fans at Dodger Stadium are minimal, he considers it a possibility.

“The idea that Dodger fans, or Dodger teammates, would be in any kind of imminent harm, I find that as a little bit farfetched. But, you know, he did do business with some really unsavory characters, and one of them is dead.”

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This incredible scenario is worthy of the climaxes of Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, or Robert De Niro’s The Fan. However, there is a movie on FilmOn’s free VoD  service that is just as worthy to illuminate many elements and /or scenarios of this story. Bail Out, aka W.B., Blue and the Bean (1989) features none other than post-Knight Rider, pre-Baywatch David Hasselhoff as “White Bread,” his smirk in full flower as a tennis-playing L.A. bail-bonds dandy (who drives a late ’80s Mercury (K)ougar).

With his buddies ‘Blue,’ a Raiders-loving boxing trainer involved with a shady promoter, and immigrant ‘The Bean’ (actually top stunt men Tony Brubaker and Thomas Rosales, Jr., getting in a little extra acting), White Bread is given an assignment by his want-away to Miami boss Alan (Charlie Brill, ‘Arne Darvin’ from Star Trek’s ‘Trouble With Tribbles’ episode) to look after a rich heiress ‘Nettie Ridgeway’ (The Exorcist’s Linda Blair), who along with her father (John Vernon, Animal House’s Dean Wormer) had gotten caught up with an international drug cartel involving Mexicans and Colombians. Numerous chases and gun battles (such as around the arch bridges over the L.A. River not far from Dodger Stadium) lead to an somewhat whimsical raid south of the border in Baja to rescue the kidnapped Nettie, where an already-wizened but young Danny Trejo gets in a scene. Stunts in a film directed by stuntmen can’t fail to deliver up to a certain point, but what happens when the stunts falter? This is, of course, what everyone’s wondering about this Cuban stunt-puller with a bat.

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