Yasiel Puig almost single-handedly led his Tiburones (Sharks) de la Guerra with his bat, hitting a two-run home run and going 3-5 in his club’s 7-5 victory in the Venezuelan Professional League final on Thursday night. of. Cardenales de Lara.
The Tiburons club needs one more win in the best-of-seven final to become champions.
But on Thursday night and Friday, everyone on social media was talking about the massive brawl that broke out at Estadio Antonio Herrera Gutiérrez in the western Venezuelan city of Barquisimeto, which also involved Puig, the former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder. His agent, Lisette Carnet, posted several videos on X (formerly Twitter) in which she defended her client as a victim, not an instigator.
“Here you can clearly see how Yasil tried to maintain order, he went with the group to the corner (near home plate) where they poured water on him twice,” Carnett wrote in Spanish in his post. Thrown.” Event. “He hisses to try to get their attention to stop the fighting, and subsequently walks out of the crowd.”
Puig, 33, also defended himself on Twitter, posting in broken English that the melee “had nothing to do with me (because) they did it to me on purpose.” He directed any questions to Carnett.
“I’m still playing and now my only focus is on the last game so I can bring a championship to my team that hasn’t won for 37 years,” Puig wrote.
The Cuban-born Puig last played in the majors in 2019 for both the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Guardians (then Indians). That same year, federal prosecutors claim, Puig placed hundreds of bets on sports through an illegal gambling operation.
Federal authorities interviewed Puig via Zoom in January 2022 in connection with an investigation into the gambling den, which they claim was started by former minor league player Wayne Nix. Later in 2022, the feds charged Puig with lying to federal agents. Puig initially pleaded guilty The charge, which was announced by prosecutors in a November 2022 press release, but the former MLB All-Star recanted and withdrew his guilty plea weeks later.
In 2023, federal prosecutors added a count of obstruction to Puig’s charges. His federal trial has been moved several times over the past year, and the latest delay occurred earlier this month. The federal judge presiding over the case, Judge Dolly Gee of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, last month granted the government’s motion to vacate the trial start date of January 16, 2024. The new start date has not yet been determined.
Both Carnett and Puig’s criminal defense attorney, Kerry Axel, did not respond to requests for comment. But Cornette has said this before Puig’s prosecution is a “witch hunt”.
Game 4 of the Venezuelan league final is Saturday.