Whether it was heartfelt or merely PR damage control remains to be seen but Dodgers superstar outfielder Yasiel Puig publicly apologized for his recent arrest to thousands of Dodger fans attending Saturday’s FanFest event at Dodger Stadium.
Puig, who was arrest on December 28, 2013 for driving 110 MPH on Interstate 75 near Naples, Florida – a 75 MPH zone, told fans (through host and interpreter Alanna Rizzo) that he is sorry for his actions.
“I was driving fast. It was my fault. I’m not ever going to drive fast… or slow (again) – I now have a driver,” said Puig. “I want to apologize to the city of Los Angeles and to the fans here (at FanFest). I’m done with speeding.”
Puig’s public apology came one day after his one-on-one apology to L.A. Times reporter Bill Plaschke during a Dodgers Caravan event at Homeboy Industries in East L.A. During that more personal apology Puig assured fans that he has learned from his mistakes.
“I’m here to say I’m sorry to all of Los Angeles, to all the children who look up to me, to everyone who has supported me,” Puig told Plaschke through an interpreter. “I’m so grateful for everyone’s love, I’m so sorry to let them down, and it will never happen again.”
Puig’s charismatic nature and his overwhelming affection towards youngsters and the less fortunate makes it a lot easier for fans to forgive the 23-year-old Cuban defector. While leaving Dodger Stadium last October, Puig spotted a group of kids playing baseball at a neighborhood Little League field, pulled to the curb and joined them. Who does that? And then there was the severely handicapped Dodger fan at last year’s Fan Photo Day who Puig gave the jersey off his back to without a single word being spoken.
There is little doubt that Dodger fans will forgive Yasiel for his immature actions but such forgiveness comes with a caveat – Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me a third time and all bets are off.