Turn Off Ads?
Page 1 of 7 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 105

Thread: Chapman Pines For Cuban Life-ESPN Magazine

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Flipadelphia
    Posts
    3,767

    Chapman Pines For Cuban Life-ESPN Magazine

    A fantastic read into the life of Chapman.


    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/10...-espn-magazine


    A world of his own
    Aroldis Chapman lives the American dream, but pines for the life he left in Cuba

    IT IS WELL past noon in the mansion they call the American Dream House, and the owner has yet to wake up. Half a dozen friends and relatives sit under an imported Italian chandelier in the living room, watching the hours pass on a silver-plated clock, waiting for Aroldis Chapman to come downstairs. House rules dictate that nobody disturbs him; it is Chapman's $30 million contract that paid for this house, and it is his singular left arm that brought his family from a coastal province in Cuba to the manicured suburbs of Florida's gold coast, where nothing is quite as they expected.

    Every new immigrant in this household has developed an antidote to boredom, and for Aroldis, it is sleep. Midday gives way to early afternoon. Early afternoon turns toward dusk. His parents move outside to sit by the swimming pool, where they study the ornate drapes of his second-story bedroom for any sign of movement. Some days during the offseason, the Reds' 25-year-old closer stays in his room until sunset, sleeping, watching movies or just throwing a racquetball against his bedroom wall.

    Finally, a few minutes before 4 p.m., the curtains lift and Chapman descends the spiral staircase to the pool deck. He wears sandals, sunglasses and a tank top obscured by heavy gold chains. He lights a Marlboro Red cigarette and flops down onto an all-weather mattress near the pool.

    "Why so late like this?" Maria Caridad asks. "Why all this sleeping?"

    "There's nothing else to do," he says.

    Sometimes Chapman walks through the quiet halls of his five-bedroom, six-bath mansion and finds himself missing the humble three-room house, with its leaky ceiling and cracked walls, where he grew up -- missing the living room crowded with relatives, the friends, noise, gossip, chaos and uncertainty. "There is my life in Cuba and my life in America, the old life and the new life, and almost nothing about them is the same," he says.

    Even his relationship with baseball, the game that brought him here, has begun to change since he abandoned his Cuban national team at a tournament in the Netherlands, walking out of his hotel with nothing but a passport and a pack of cigarettes to begin his slow escape to the United States. "I get bored of watching baseball on TV," he says. "It's repetitive to me." So instead of practicing his pitching during the offseason, he spends time in the batting cages at a nearby school. The man who threw the fastest recorded pitch in major league history -- clocked at 105 mph in a 2010 game -- now imagines what it would be like to play first base.

    "Life here is easy," he says. "This is fat living, and that's nice. But sometimes I miss the craziness. That's the problem I'm trying to solve."

    HE HAS DECIDED part of the solution is rooted not in his new life but in his old one; not in baseball but boxing.
    A few years ago, Chapman and fellow Cuban pitcher Livan Hernandez began reconnecting with boxers from their homeland, offering to sponsor them once they reached the U.S. Chapman says his motivation was simple: Here was a chance to retrace his own journey, to support fellow Cuban athletes still trying to earn their way. Maybe he could vicariously experience some of the scrappiness and uncertainty that defined his life before his defection

    He had watched only a few major league games on TV when he arrived in the U.S., and he could name no more than a handful of players. He signed a long-term contract with the Reds, a team he knew nothing about, with teammates whose names he couldn't pronounce, in a city he couldn't place on a map. He rented a Cincinnati mansion from a former Reds pitcher because at least the Cuban flag near the entrance reminded him of home. He bought Rosetta Stone tapes to help him learn English but made little progress, so a minor league assistant coach taught him how to order food at restaurants. Chapman -- whose only mode of transportation in Cuba had been a friend's broken-down bike -- bought a Lamborghini with $40,000 of custom work. His new teammates chuckled while watching him spend 15 minutes trying to maneuver the car into a parking space at the stadium.
    After a lifetime in communist Cuba, he behaved with a freedom that felt to him entirely American and with the flashiness to which he believed American stars were entitled. Hire a personal bodyguard? Absolutely. Pose for pictures with a lingerie-wearing waitress? Sure. Arrange for a stripper to meet him at hotel rooms on the road? Why not?

    While the case is pending in U.S. District Court, Chapman -- who has denied through his lawyer that he did anything improper -- stays home and sleeps. "I don't know who I can trust and who is using me for who I am," he says. Out of an abundance of caution, he has decided to trust nobody. Teammates regard him as cordial but distant. "Sometimes, when he's not here mentally, you don't know where he is," then-Reds manager Dusty Baker said in 2011.

    "It's so much success happening so fast," he says. "You spend your whole life trying to make it, and then you wake up with everything. It's confusing."

    Chapman has a small circle of confidants, including his parents, who arrived in January 2013. His daughter, Ashanti Brianna, now 4, and her mother, Raidelmis Mendosa Santiestelas, finally joined him in the U.S. in January. He won't talk about the details of how they left Cuba, but he clearly values their presence. "I'm either by myself or with them," he says, "because they understand life before and life now."

    When their company isn't enough to bridge the divide, Chapman goes alone to the top floor of his house in Davie, walking past the plastic pears in the kitchen and the hollow books in the library. He goes into his gym and puts on a pair of boxing gloves. Then he steps up to the punching bag and hits something solid.

    Chapman rarely offers any of his boxers advice -- "They are professionals," he says -- and he rarely talks to them about his own career. Instead, he shares details about his early life in Cuba: the steel bars that guarded the windows of his childhood bedroom from the neighborhood gang violence, or the way he learned to pitch by throwing a rock wrapped inside a sock.

    Chapman had to leave for Cincinnati to attend a mandatory fan appreciation day, where he would serve as a public ambassador for a city he hardly knows. That was the irony of the immigrant life at the highest ends of American baseball: He still felt like a foreigner, but thousands of fans had committed the details of his life to memory and purchased an imitation version of his jersey. Chapman's autograph line in Cincinnati would be staffed by a translator. He would visit hospitals and hug sick strangers. "My day job," he says.

  2. Turn Off Ads?
  3. #2
    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Charlotte, Nc
    Posts
    15,065

    Re: Chapman Pines For Cuban Life-ESPN Magazine

    I've got a bad feeling about this.

    -Han Solo
    "But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."

  4. Likes:

    cincinnati chili (02-08-2014), RedTeamGo! (02-07-2014), TSJ55 (02-09-2014)

  5. #3
    Member NebraskaRed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Lincoln, NE
    Posts
    1,306

    Re: Chapman Pines For Cuban Life-ESPN Magazine

    So, when anyone argues that they should have transitioned Chapman into becoming a starter, let's just direct them to this article.

    I have nothing against the way Chapman wants to live his life, if he's bored by baseball, if he's bored by his "day job." That's his prerogative. However, he clearly isn't interested enough, or disciplined enough to be a starter.

    Also, the armchair psychologist would read this article and point out that Chapman seems to be suffering from severe depression.

  6. Likes:

    Bob Borkowski (02-07-2014), Caveman Techie (02-08-2014), Crumbley (02-07-2014), Donder (02-08-2014), George Anderson (02-07-2014), jimbo (02-07-2014), joshua (02-08-2014), Tony Cloninger (02-08-2014), TSJ55 (02-09-2014), Wonderful Monds (02-07-2014)

  7. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    13,168

    Re: Chapman Pines For Cuban Life-ESPN Magazine

    Quote Originally Posted by NebraskaRed View Post
    So, when anyone argues that they should have transitioned Chapman into becoming a starter, let's just direct them to this article.

    I have nothing against the way Chapman wants to live his life, if he's bored by baseball, if he's bored by his "day job." That's his prerogative. However, he clearly isn't interested enough, or disciplined enough to be a starter.

    Also, the armchair psychologist would read this article and point out that Chapman seems to be suffering from severe depression.
    There are probably a lot of major league players who hang out a lot and don't do much in the off-season.

    Much ado about nothing IMO.

  8. Likes:

    MillerTime58 (02-08-2014), westofyou (02-08-2014)

  9. #5
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    7,794

    Re: Chapman Pines For Cuban Life-ESPN Magazine

    Is it too late to call him "The Marlboro Man"?

  10. Likes:

    cincinnati chili (02-08-2014)

  11. #6
    Member Wonderful Monds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    2,683

    Re: Chapman Pines For Cuban Life-ESPN Magazine

    Quote Originally Posted by NebraskaRed View Post
    So, when anyone argues that they should have transitioned Chapman into becoming a starter, let's just direct them to this article.

    I have nothing against the way Chapman wants to live his life, if he's bored by baseball, if he's bored by his "day job." That's his prerogative. However, he clearly isn't interested enough, or disciplined enough to be a starter.

    Also, the armchair psychologist would read this article and point out that Chapman seems to be suffering from severe depression.
    Yeeeeeah. Waking up at 4 in the afternoon because you aren't interested enough in life to wake up? Big red flag.
    They don't think it be like it is, but it do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Schuler View Post
    He has also taught me that even when the Reds win it is important to focus on the fact that they could have lost.

  12. #7
    Member NebraskaRed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Lincoln, NE
    Posts
    1,306

    Re: Chapman Pines For Cuban Life-ESPN Magazine

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    There are probably a lot of major league players who hang out a lot and don't do much in the off-season.
    I agree. And none of them should be a starting pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds.

  13. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    837

    Re: Chapman Pines For Cuban Life-ESPN Magazine

    I get the feeling The Aroldis Chapman story isn't going to have a fun ending.

  14. Likes:

    Ghosts of 1990 (02-08-2014), Old NDN (02-09-2014), WVRedsFan (02-08-2014)

  15. #9
    Member Wonderful Monds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    2,683

    Re: Chapman Pines For Cuban Life-ESPN Magazine

    Quote Originally Posted by NebraskaRed View Post
    I agree. And none of them should be a starting pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds.
    I agree with you mostly, but to continue the armchair psychology, maybe a new challenge in his career would be enough to spark some rekindled interest.
    They don't think it be like it is, but it do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Schuler View Post
    He has also taught me that even when the Reds win it is important to focus on the fact that they could have lost.

  16. Likes:

    TOBTTReds (02-08-2014)

  17. #10
    Your killin' me Smalls! StillFunkyB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Florence, KY
    Posts
    3,118

    Re: Chapman Pines For Cuban Life-ESPN Magazine

    Yikes.
    "And the fact that watching him pitch is like having someone poop on your soul." FCB on Gary Majewski

  18. Likes:

    Tom Servo (02-07-2014)

  19. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    The Bush Leagues
    Posts
    9,033

    Re: Chapman Pines For Cuban Life-ESPN Magazine

    SUSAN
    (with a sigh)
    What time is it?

    There is no answer.

    SUSAN
    Charlie! I said, what time is it?

    KANE
    (looks up - consults
    his watch)
    Half past eleven.

    SUSAN
    I mean in New York.

    KANE
    Half past eleven.

    SUSAN
    At night?

    KANE
    Yes. The bulldog's just gone to
    press.

    SUSAN
    (sarcastically)
    Hurray for the bulldog!
    (sighs)
    Half past eleven! The shows have
    just let out. People are going to
    night clubs and restaurants. Of
    course, we're different. We live
    in a palace - at the end of the
    world.

    KANE
    You always said you wanted to live
    in a palace.

    SUSAN
    Can't we go back, Charlie?
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

  20. Likes:

    Big Klu (02-08-2014), cincinnati chili (02-08-2014), Redsfaithful (02-07-2014), westofyou (02-08-2014)

  21. #12
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Mason, OH
    Posts
    11,987

    Re: Chapman Pines For Cuban Life-ESPN Magazine

    Reads like something from a Hemingway novel.

    I'd like to see him a little more engaged in .... something ... anything.

    Pay attention to the open sky

  22. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    The Bush Leagues
    Posts
    9,033

    Re: Chapman Pines For Cuban Life-ESPN Magazine

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Tucker View Post
    Reads like something from a Hemingway novel.

    I'd like to see him a little more engaged in .... something ... anything.
    Hasn't he seen the back of baseball card? Every ballplayer's hobbies are hunting and fishing.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

  23. Likes:

    cincinnati chili (02-08-2014)

  24. #14
    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    7,127

    Re: Chapman Pines For Cuban Life-ESPN Magazine

    Well...this ain't good.
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

  25. #15
    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Lexington
    Posts
    4,890

    Re: Chapman Pines For Cuban Life-ESPN Magazine

    I agree that this story seems destined for a sad ending.
    "Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY


Turn Off Ads?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Board Moderators may, at their discretion and judgment, delete and/or edit any messages that violate any of the following guidelines: 1. Explicit references to alleged illegal or unlawful acts. 2. Graphic sexual descriptions. 3. Racial or ethnic slurs. 4. Use of edgy language (including masked profanity). 5. Direct personal attacks, flames, fights, trolling, baiting, name-calling, general nuisance, excessive player criticism or anything along those lines. 6. Posting spam. 7. Each person may have only one user account. It is fine to be critical here - that's what this board is for. But let's not beat a subject or a player to death, please.

Thank you, and most importantly, enjoy yourselves!


RedsZone.com is a privately owned website and is not affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds or Major League Baseball


Contact us: Boss | GIK | BCubb2003 | dabvu2498 | Gallen5862 | LexRedsFan | Plus Plus | RedlegJake | redsfan1995 | The Operator | Tommyjohn25