On Saturday, December 29th, at 9:30 am, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was arrested for reckless driving in Greater Miami after being caught driving 110 miles per hour. Puig’s mother and sister were also in the car. This was the second time Puig was caught going over forty miles over the speed limit. In April, Tennessee police clocked him driving 97 miles per hour in a 50 m.p.h. zone.
The Florida state police deserve credit for not allowing the glare of celebrity to blind justice. They charged Puig with reckless driving, took him to Collier County Jail for processing, and blasted him in a statement for his dangerous behavior.
The officer writes in the report, “By driving in this manner Mr. Puig showed willful and a total disregard for the safety of his mother and the other two passengers and any vehicles on the roadway and placed the life’s [sic] of everyone in his vehicle and every vehicle that he was passing on the roadway in danger.”
The officer goes on to say that if a crash had occurred, “His mother and the two passengers would not [have] survived as resulted [sic] of his action.”
Now that Puig has been caught not once, but twice, engaging in behavior that literally puts everyone near him in danger, it’s past time for the Dodgers to respond and take control of the situation. Respond they did, in a statement so weak that even the Los Angeles Times’ baseball columnist and Dodgers cheerleader Bill Platschke recognized it as woefully insufficient.
It goes without saying that if Puig were wandering the streets waiving a loaded gun around the Dodgers would do more than call him to ask him to behave nicely or commenting that they’re “very disappointed.” But when it comes to putting people’s lives in danger, Puig is basically doing the same thing. No amount of dramatic home runs or diving catches excuses that behavior.
Except of course, in modern America it does.
Los Angeles has been experiencing what happens when a young man is given nearly unlimited wealth, fast cars, and notice that there are zero consequences to driving dangerously with Justin Bieber. They will continue to violate the law, receive gentle touches on the wrist (or in Bieber’s case the system may make excuses for their poor choices…the Paparazzi made him do it!), and break the law again. So far neither Bieber nor Puig has seriously hurt anyone.
But even Platschke knows that the clock is ticking on Puig who he refers to as “an accident waiting to happen.” As long as nobody steps up and takes away the car keys, it’s also ticking for those unfortunate enough to share the road with them.