Putting pedal to medal ends in arrest for Puig

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Yasiel Puig's need for speed landed him in handcuffs.

The young and erratic Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig caught the attention of Florida State Police at the weekend when he was clocked driving his Mercedes at 177kph, nearly 60kph over the legal limit, on a stretch of road known as “Alligator Alley”.

Puig was behind the steering wheel and had three passengers with him.

Lt Greg Bueno of the Florida State police told the Naples News that Alligator Alley is “a rural road that is more wide open than other places. We do tend to see higher excessive speed amounts out there”.

Puig, a 23-year-old Cuban who lives in Miami, had another run-in with the law in April, while playing for a minor-league team in Tennessee. He was stopped for driving 157kph in a 80kph zone. In both stops, the outfielder also was cited for driving without insurance.

Over the weekend, he was handcuffed, driven to prison to be booked, and his photo was taken. He then was released on a US$500 (Dh1,840) bond.

Puig, who signed a seven-year, $42 million contract with the Dodgers after defecting from Cuba, joined the Major League Baseball team in June and was a sensation. He showed speed, power and a reckless approach to the game that helped the Dodgers surge to the National League West championship.

However, he was equally as renown for mental lapses – poor base-running decisions, misdirected throws and unnecessarily antagonising opponents with his exuberant style.

The Los Angeles Times wrote: “This is the same guy who has shown a knack for repeating violations of simple baseball fundamentals, which is troubling for the team but does not put anyone’s life in danger.”

* The National Staff