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LA Magazine on Yasiel Puig's escape from Cuba

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Steak Snabler, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member


    Fascinating piece, which implies that Puig defected with the help of a Mexican drug cartel and as part of the arrangement has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars out of his signing bonus and salary to those same facilitators. Also implies that one man in that "chain of custody" was murdered for trying to extort more money from Puig.

    Gotta do what you gotta do I guess, but no wonder Puig has always clammed up when asked about his past. I'm sure MLB is thrilled.
  2. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    This story fills in a lot of the gaps and answers a lot of the questions that arise out of the Puig/Coast Guard feature that's among the best of the APSE stories on the other thread.

    It also puts an entirely new spin on Isla Mujeres, one of the most recognizable tourist destinations there is in Cancun. :D
  3. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Newhan: L.A. Times dropped the fking ball on this.

  4. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    I know he's been gone a while, but surely Ross knows the status of the LAT these days in terms of its reporting staff and the fact its parent company is in bankruptcy and the resources -- the money -- just aren't there.

    Sure, it's easy to say it's there for the taking. But who you going to put on this for I believe it was five weeks of just research, then to write it, while neglecting other areas of coverage?
  5. I just read the ESPN piece by Scott Eden (or am in the process of reading it; it's a novel). Didn't realize there were other lengthy and similarly in-depth stories on Puig ... I thought the ESPN one was the first of its kind. Man would that suck to spend so much time and energy writing something this good and this long, only to be beaten to the punch by multiple other outlets.
  6. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    I almost wonder, now, if perhaps someone there, in fact, is or has been working on something more extensive at all.

    Surely, the LAT has seen/known that these stories have been out there, and, although I agree with the sentiment that MileHigh expresses, the fact is that the Times still has people who could/should handle an assignment such as this.

    (Lance Pugmire and Kevin Baxter in sports come to mind right off, and I'm sure there are some news-side reporters of the types who would generate Column One stories, too).

    Sure, it's easy just to sit back and blog something when you're retired and no longer have to chase it, but Newhan's overall point is right. There are some things that a quality major paper that still holds sway in a metro area should still do, regardless of cutbacks in staff or other resources.

    And if you give it a read, I think we can still agree that the LAT remains a good paper with plenty of top-notch reporting and writing still going on. Not as much as before, maybe, but still, there's a lot.

    This story needed to be made a priority.
  7. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    And to add to it, the Times' main Dodgers beat writer, Dylan Hernandez, speaks Spanish --- his stories often include attributions such as "Puig (or whomever) said in Spanish." So you'd think he might have been able to get Puig or those around him to open up by now.
  8. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Baxter also speaks Spanish.

    And look, maybe the LAT was working on it, but I look at its site daily. But at least from a sports standpoint, it doesn't seem any of the LAT writers were working on this because it would have taken weeks to travel/research/report and then to write. Agree, it probably should have been a priority. But the fact remains the resources today to do this kind of work just aren't there more than likely.

    And, yes, the L.A. Magazine piece by Katz was first, with the ESPN story coming a few days later.
  9. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    MileHigh, you're likely right about the probability of someone working on that story. I just wondered about the possibility, given that it has been out there, at least somewhat, for some time now.

    The Yahoo! story by Jeff Passan that's among that best-of-APSE features thread made references to at least some of the harder-hitting stuff, and certainly raised questions about other stuff that other media representatives could have tackled if they were following up or looking for another angle, and that story came out in July of 2013.

    That Passan/Coast Guard story was a feature, yes, but it definitely had some newsy-element possibilities and alluded to some darker stuff that could have, and as I mentioned in my posts on that thread, maybe even should have, been addressed.

    It's disappointing, and too bad for the LAT, that's all. I don't think Hernandez should have been pulled off the daily Dodgers beat to work on it (other than to help if needed and where possible), but Pugmire and Baxter are both good reporters who might have thrived on such a story, and Baxter not only speaks Spanish but has written plenty of expansive news-feature type stories on Cuban/Dominican Republic baseball in the past and probably has the starter contacts, at least, for it in those places as well as Miami.

    Ross Newhan, I'm sure, knows this. Hence, the opinion expressed in his blog. It's also why I wondered whether something might have been in the works.
  10. Screwball

    Screwball Member

    The LA Times published this last month: http://graphics.latimes.com/flight-from-rage/

    It had the resources to go after the Puig story.
  11. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Maybe the reporter had family living in the Central African Republic and could stay for free without expensing a hotel room.
  12. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Haven't some of the Cuban ballplayers gotten out of Cuba under much less harrowing circumstances than originally reported? I'm thinking of Orlando Hernandez, but I'm not sure.
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