While the feel-good story of the inconvenient season opener surrounds Ichiro Suzuki’s return home, the story I’m most interested in is that of outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who has already been named the A’s Opening Day centerfielder.
After defecting from Cuba to the Dominican Republic in January, Cespedes and the Oakland Athletics agreed to a four-year, $36 million contract nearly a month later.
His blinding bat speed and superhero-like physical strength produces 70-grade power to all fields. Although he occasionally gets too pull-happy, Cespedes’ swing is consistently balanced with a powerful weight transfer; he knows how to drive pitches throughout the strike zone.
But before he even steps foot in a batter’s box, Cespedes—who was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as himself in the stunning short-film The Showcase—must know about the reputation that precedes him.
He’s the guy who once leg-pressed three vagrant friends out of sheer boredom.
He’s the guy who takes more pride in his dismount following a home run than the actual home run itself.
He’s the guy who runs track meets against himself.
He’s the guy who let his friends talk him into using a Star Wars-esque introduction.
He’s the guy with more explosiveness than Joey Gathright.
He’s the guy who roasted a pig in the final scene of his baseball highlight reel (if you choose to call it that)
He’s the guy with enough core power to make even his closest friends a bit skittish...