[Yoenis Cespedes'] 14 family members who fled from Cuba with him two years ago were all expected to land in Miami on Saturday afternoon on a ship from Turks and Caicos Islands. Céspedes, who had been worried about his relatives' safety in the Dominican Republic in the wake of a legal dispute with a former representative, was so upset that he rarely spoke to the media and spent much of the final few weeks of the A's season sitting at his locker, interacting little with others.
Cespedes, 27, said his mother, aunts and cousins are among those scheduled to arrive. His son Yoenis Jr. remains in Cuba with the boy's mother, but Cespedes is hopeful a recent change to Cuban law will allow the 3-year-old to visit him soon. The outfielder hoped to take a day or two away from the team to travel to Miami to help his family get settled, a request that was relayed to the A's front office, according to A's manager Bob Melvin.
As fans, it's incredibly easy to forget (or just ignore) the human element behind baseball. These players have families and family problems like everyone else, but we often ignore how that impacts things on the field. That Cespedes managed to play as well he did last season -- 23 HR and 16 SB with a 137 OPS+ -- despite being away from his family and having to adjust to a new culture is truly remarkable.
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