A wild horse with nowhere to run… Puig, the KBO League is a farewell stage |

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▲ Yasiel Puig, who still cannot make a success ⓒReporter Kwak Hye-mi

[스포티비뉴스=김태우 기자] Yasiel Puig (33), who once became an icon of energy representing the major leagues and became a ‘falling bronco’ due to frequent gossip and failure to control his body, could not play in the major leagues after the 2019 season. After that , he toured the outside world, including the Mexican League, and highlighted the KBO League as his breakthrough last year.

It wasn’t an immediate return to the major leagues situation. However, many clubs gave him low marks for his fitness and personal life. If so, playing in the KBO League was a more stable condition than playing in the Mexican League or the Dominican Winter League. You can play a lot of games and make more money than Mexico or Dominica. It was also considered that if you do well in the KBO League, you can get into the eyes of the league’s top scouts.

Little by little the dream seemed to become reality. He was sluggish at the start of the season, but after regaining his physical condition, he made great progress. In the second half, he was one of the best hitters in the league and also played an active role in the postseason. In 126 games, he recorded a .277 batting average, 21 home runs, 73 RBIs, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of .841, which signals a comeback.

But here, too, personal problems ended up. Perjury charges were brought in connection with illegal sports betting, and if you were wrong, you could have been sentenced to prison. He is trying to turn the court case in the best possible way in consultation with the lawyers, but he is still tied up in the court room. No team can take a player in this position easily, no matter how good his skills. Moreover, he is a faded star in his mid-30s, which is no small age. It’s sure to be more cold food.

Puig appeared at the winter meeting held last December and actively sold himself, but that was the end. Now, even though the opening of spring training for major league clubs is just 10 days away, he hasn’t even signed a minor league contract. There are prospects that legal issues will continue to hold back although the outlook is not good already. If this happens, it is not easy to play in other professional leagues.

As the start of spring training approaches, most clubs are hastily finalizing their contracts, and most of the list of players to invite to spring training has been drawn up. Under these conditions, it seems unlikely that Puig will make a dramatic breakthrough. If it goes wrong, the 2022 KBO League will be the farewell game for Puig’s very professional career. Is it possible to write a dramatic play?

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