His View: The Road to Success

By Yasiel Puig
Translated by Cristina Molina

Yasiel Puig is a Cuban- born American professional baseball right fielder who is currently a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds, and Cleveland Indians. He goes by the nickname “the Wild Horse”, given to him by former longtime Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully.

We were on a narrow stretch of Cuban road on our way back to the United States from one of our humanitarian trips in 2019. About 20 of our charity supporters, members of my family, and several of my friends who had travelled with us were aboard our bus. About an hour away from the airport,

Cuban military officers who were wearing fatigue uniforms and carrying weapons stopped us and boarded. Our trip was registered with the Cuban government for tourism purposes, but we had taken medicines and medical supplies to several children’s hospitals along our tour, and we knew that could be a problem.

She was already mad and not speaking to me on this portion of the trip because she was discontent with the way I had spoken to her earlier. She had been the Director of my charitable foundation for a couple of years and by then, I was aware of her strong personality, and that she wouldn’t put up with much of my nonsense. No one had pushed back against me like she did since I arrived in the United States, so I kind of enjoyed it.

“Yasiel Puig. Where is Yasiel Puig!”, the officer said as he aggressively entered the bus. I recognized that tone of voice since, before leaving Cuba, I had been arrested 13 times. My brother, my childhood best friend, and a few friends and male sponsors who knew this was not going to end well were looking with their stern expressions as I passed them. There was complete silence as I exited the bus while being taken by the officers to a small nearby cabin.

I started being questioned when I heard a commotion at the door. She told the guard, “I’m coming in, I’m his agent.” I heard her telling the guard, who had no choice but to escort her inside. That woman could talk her way into and out of anything; she was a lion, so I knew right then and there that I was going to be safe. I felt the blood rush back into my face, and that was the first time that I knew. SHE SHOULD BE MY AGENT!

I was raised by a strong Cuban woman alongside a strong Cuban sister, and I have always admired the women in my life. When I met Lisette Carnet, she had that same no-nonsense character that would make you feel safe whether you were a child or the President of the United States. To a man with ADHD (which I didn’t know I had until she came along), she kept things interesting. It was fascinating to see her bravery. I had been suppressing a voice inside of me for a long time, and instinctively I knew I wanted her to help me find that voice.

I am among the most misunderstood players in professional baseball, as many have claimed, and they aren’t wrong. Most others, including myself, were unaware that my monster went by the labels of ADHD and PTSD, but Lisette knew. She managed to get me to the doctors who helped ‘my monster’ make sense. She showed me that accepting and embracing my challenges was a sign of self-love and acceptance rather than weakness. No other agent, in my opinion, would have dared to accomplish for me what she has.

So, when I am asked what I think about Latinas in sports, I can sit down and tell these stories and through them explain the need for more women in MLB and in sports, in general. If I could give my younger self any advice, it would be to look for a woman agent right away. Skip the fast and shady agents who mesmerize young player talent with cars, entertainment, and a fast life. Don’t fall for the yes men. Find the woman agent who will guide you with your best interest at heart, and for the long run. Latinas in sports are life-changers.