By Jon Weisman
Yasiel Puig, Clayton Kershaw and the rest of MLB’s goodwill tour to Cuba landed today. Michael Weissenstein of The Associated Press has more:
Puig, who fled to Mexico in a smuggler’s fast-boat in 2012 and then crossed the border to Texas, wrapped his childhood coach Juan Arechavaleta in a bear-hug, resting the side of his face atop the smaller man’s head.
“I’m very happy to be here,” said Puig, who had been barred from returning to Cuba until he was granted special permission for this week’s trip.
The players have arrived in Havana, Cuba. They were greeted at the bus by media, fans and family members @MLB pic.twitter.com/YEoQLBWSIX
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) December 15, 2015
Still more on the trip can be found from Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com and Kevin Baxter of the Times. In addition, The Players’ Tribune passed along this happy video of Kershaw.
.@ClaytonKersh22 having a sunset catch along el Malecón in Havana. #TPTCuba https://t.co/5xlzBG1uIS
— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) December 15, 2015
Update: Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com has a feature focusing on Puig, including this quote from Kershaw:
“I know I’m probably not going to be able to go to Cienfuegos, where he’s from,” Kershaw said of Puig, “but just being here, seeing the culture and being here, it can only help me understand him a little bit more as a person, and maybe give me a little bit more credibility with him. It’s important.”
Said Puig: “I’m very emotional about going back to my country, to spend some time with the kids over there. … It’s going to feel very good.”
They should make them room together. That will solve everything! (or not).
Maybe getting this trip home to Cuba is all Puig needed. Maybe he’ll be happier now and perform better. Maybe, I hope so.