No one in Los Angeles can be described as "up in the air" about Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig’s potential plan for cutting down on the number of times he punches in late at the clubhouse.
From the Federal Aviation Administration on down, the idea of letting Puig fly a helicopter to games at Dodger Stadium isn’t taking flight — not that the team hasn’t looked into the idea from time to time on behalf of its executives.
The Los Angeles Times reports Puig has suggested helicopter commutes before, and his Instagram account contains pictures and videos of him in flight.
Alex Vega, who customizes cars in Miami for athletes including Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval, told the paper Puig sought out advice on how to trick out a helicopter he’s interested in buying. Assuming he does follow through with the purchase, here’s hoping he’s a more persistent negotiator than Harrison Ford in "Clear and Present Danger" as the heroic Jack Ryan:
One obvious issue surrounding ‘copter commuting would be that Dodger Stadium lacks a landing pad — which makes sense since the FAA prohibits flights near stadiums holding MLB, NFL, NCAA or NASCAR events.
Curiously, the law does not ban activity near NBA arenas, which the paper reports is why Kobe Bryant has chartered helicopters to Lakers games in past years.
Dodgers marketing official Lon Rosen broke the bad news about the FAA ban to Puig, who continued to joke about trying it anyway.
"It’s now turning into a comedy routine," Rosen said.
Given his issues in the past, anything that keeps the talented Cuban smiling for a prolonged period has to be chalked up as a plus as spring training activity ramps up.
On a more serious note, Puig’s status with MLB entering the 2016 season is not yet clear because of his alleged role in an offseason incident at a Miami bar. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has yet to levy any punishment.