Back in April, before Puigmania had hit Los Angeles, Yasiel Puig was cited for reckless driving in Chattanooga, Tenn.
He was playing for the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts when he was clocked driving 97 mph at 1 a.m. on a highway where the speed limit is 50 mph. Once Puig was called up, became an MLB leading man and eventual Rookie of the Year finalist, the traffic case was a distant memory.
Until now, that is. His offseason schedule — which includes hanging out at Los Angeles Lakers games — freed Puig up to travel back to Chattanooga for a hearing that had been postponed "several times," according to The Chattanoogan.
At said hearing on Wednesday, Puig got the result he was hoping for. Charges dismissed. Oh, but there's a twist, and maybe some backspin too.
"After taking everything into consideration, Judge [David] Bales decided to dismiss the case against Puig. His reasons were Puig's lack of prior record, the fact that he currently lives out of state, and Puig's active participation in community service activities."
One thing that helped Puig's cause was a letter from Lon Rosen, the Dodgers' executive vice president and chief marketing officer. It detailed Puig's "community service activities" including his attendance at charity fundraisers for an orphanage in Zambia.
The L.A. Times connected on the dots on this and Rosen is referring to an August fundraiser put on by teammate Clayton Kershaw (whose charitable arm is building that orphanage in Zambia). That fundraiser Puig attended was a ping-pong party.
We know what you're going to ask and, no, you won't get a judge to dismiss your case next time you get caught speeding if you bring a ping-pong paddle to court.
But if you get a high-ranking Dodgers official to write letter saying how great of a person you are, then maybe. (Puig did also spend a half-hour with some local Little Leaguers recently, which was cool of him.)
Before any of us to get too upset about another star gaming the system, let's remember that online traffic school is a total joke too. So let he/she who has not zoomed their way through that multiple-choice sham cast the first stone.
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