It has been a couple weeks since I’ve made my presence felt here on Swingin’ A’s. I have good reason though. I have met my soul mate, the one for me, the love of my life, the one who completes me. Of course those in the know would assume I was referring to my recent marriage to the lovely Tamara (known to many as @Tamara_Harumi), but those people would be wrong. Not to worry, she understands I have a wandering eye for baseball players, and she’s guilty of it too. We encourage each other to explore the objects of our affection on the diamond. For years I’ve held a select few players from around the league as my official man crushes, David Wright has consistently topped that list. But a new man has entered my life, he hails from the island nation of Cuba, his name is Yoenis Cespedes.
I first laid eyes on him the morning news broke that the A’s had swooped in out of nowhere and signed him to the 4 year/$36M contract. I had heard about the now legendary YouTube video Cespedes released as an advertisement of his athletic ability, but I had never seen it before. I watched a few snippets throughout the video, the equivalent of skimming through chapters in your text book. I was immediately intrigued. The feats of athleticism and strength displayed by Cespedes were quite impressive to say the least, although I have yet to see how leg pressing 1300 LBS translates to the diamond. Like everyone else, I couldn’t wait to see this guy hit the field.
Opening Night in Oakland rolled around and that was the moment Cespedes truly announced his presence with authority. Everyone knows about the absolute mammoth home run Cespedes hit off the facade above the outfield luxury boxes, it still runs through my head, watching the ball reach warp speed as it hurtled towards Mt. Davis from behind home plate, it is an image I will never forget. That right there was the moment the man crush was born.
Cespedes continued to put on a show, displaying power we haven’t seen in far too many years. He has reached the status where his at bats are appointment viewing. If you’re at the game, you don’t dare head for the bathroom or the concession stands if there’s a chance he’ll come up to bat. If you’re at home watching on TV, you sit down on the edge of your couch and drop everything and watch. If you’re listening on the radio, you turn up the volume so as not to miss a single sound of the atmosphere while he steps up to the plate. I try to keep myself from hugging my TV every time he’s up to bat.
The best part about having a man crush like this, is sometimes when the skies are darkest, a laser shot from his bat can light up the sky. Take his game tying 2 run home run last week. I was at lunch with my wife down in Anaheim, taking a break from the happiest place on earth, we were following the game on the MLB At Bat app, Cespedes came up with a runner on. I said something to the effect of how amazing it would be if he took White Sox closer Hector Santiago deep, and we all know how that turned out. A clutch 2 run homer tied the game, leading to Kila Ka’aihue’s walk off single, and a series win for the A’s. I could only assume that in this moment, myself and Yoenis Cespedes were telepathically connected, I made a request, he fulfilled that request.
I fully expect moments like this to take place over and over again. There is no limit to the potential he possesses, and we are all lucky to be able to see him in action. I for one am proud to be the owner of a spiffy new Cespedes 52 “shirsey” and will show it off as much as possible. Besides, isn’t that what a man crush relationship is all about?