Mind Over Sports

Posts Tagged ‘Yoenis Cespedes

There’s no way to know for sure, but it seems odd to me that someone with Yoenis Cespedes’ talent should perform so poorly in the World Series. He got caught off first base on a double play ball to end Game 4. He batted poorly, and accidentally kicked the ball twice in the outfield. Not to mention hitting himself in his kneecap with his final at bat. One has to wonder if he is having problems with his girlfriend (who is also the mother of his young son) both of whom, as far as I know, still live in Cuba. But if my Psycho Self-Imagery theory is correct, that we create what happens to us, both good and bad, based on our own feelings of self-worth, then perhaps what happened to Cespedes was no accident. But I guess we’ll never know.

Yoenis Cespedes is a 6-foot, 215 pound baseball star who led Cuba’s domestic league last season with 33 homers and 99 RBI in 354 at-bats and hit .333. He defected over the summer and is in the process of establishing residency in the Dominican Republic. Cespedes is expected to do well in America but there is one major consideration.

By way of background, a story in USA Today once pointed out that when Cuban baseball players defect from their homeland and come to America, their performance levels drop. One of the reasons (in fact, it could be THE reason) is that many of them leave their families behind and are constantly concerned about their safety.

A good example was Amaury Marti, who was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals and played for one of their farm clubs, The Springfield (Missouri) Cardinals. According to the Springfield News-Leader, Marti “refused to talk about his defection from Cuba where he left his parents, brother and a son behind. The former member of the Cuban National team said he left for the chance to play baseball in the United States and, hopefully, in the majors.” Unless he has received counseling regarding his situation, and didn’t  just keep the issue bottled-up inside himself, it’s doubtful that he is performing in America at the same level he did while on the Cuban National team.

Which brings me to the situation involving Yoenis Cespedes. It’s unknown if he was able to bring his family with him, and if not (unless the Cuban government has softened its policy regarding the treatment of families of athletes who defect) then it’s quite possible that Cespedes will not perform anywhere near the level he did in Cuba. What takes place away from the baseball diamond affects what takes place on the baseball diamond.

Note: Since writing this entry, I found out that Yoenis Cespedes did, in fact, leave some of his family behind:  His two-year old son and his girlfriend, who is the mother of his son.  Whether or not he has been successful in getting them out of Cuba and joining him in Oakland is unknown, but his batting average has jumped considerably in the last month so it’s possible they are now residing in the U.S.


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