On April 17, 2014 ESPN Magazine published “No One Walks Off the Island” written by Scott Eden. It explains how “Two years ago, Yasiel Puig fled Cuba in the hands of black-market smugglers. This is the story of how the cost of the defection journey – in money and human lives – shadows him still.”
The story is a detailed account about Yasiel Puig’s escape from Cuba, and the threats he has received from the human traffickers who organized the smuggling in 2012. The online piece is also an insight into the trafficking industry that centers around smuggling Major League Baseball prospects from Cuba and into the United States. Puig eventually made it to Mexico, then to the United States, and soon became a baseball phenom for the LA Dodgers with a contract worth millions of dollars.
According to ESPN, the story took 5 months to compile, including legal research into Puig’s pending and current court cases, and over 80 interviews of sources close to the story.
In response to the media attention the story received, Puig said:
I’m aware of the recent articles and news accounts. I understand that people are curious and have questions, but I will have no comment on this subject. I’m represented on this matter, and I’m only focused on being a productive teammate and helping the Dodgers win games. – Yasiel Puig
As the story began to wind down in late April 2014, Yasiel Puig went to Instagram to post a photo of himself relaxing at Echo Park Lake on April 24, 2014. The picture shows a calm-looking Puig enjoying the blue skies and fountains of the urban lake.
Perhaps driving through Echo Park and seeing Echo Park Lake helps Puig have some moments of peace amidst his current lawsuits, media scrutiny, and an on-going baseball season where the Dodgers find themselves with a 14-12 record in the American League West.