Now the Mets are in the World Series. How did this happen to a team that, until July, was just another good team? Any answer to that tricky question has to start with one name: Yoenis Céspedes. The left fielder, also known as La Potencia, came in midseason and gave an already stellar set of starting pitchers the offensive power boost they desperately needed.
It was not an easy ride. It never is for Cuban players. Céspedes came to the MLB after defecting from Cuba in the summer of 2011. He established residency in the Dominican Republic so he could become a free agent – a smart move. Had he come directly to the States, he would have had to enter the draft. He then signed a four-year deal with the Oakland A’s. All of a sudden, he was very rich, but he still had to wait almost two years to be reunited with his family after they endured a long and dangerous journey leaving their home country.
Life has been good ever since, after being traded to the Red Sox and Tigers and this midseason to the Mets. He was greeted by Jerry Seinfeld in a hilarious Twitter exchange.
He took Jay-Z’s words to heart: “There’s nothin’ you can’t do/Now you’re in New York.” He had 17 homers and 44 RBIs in just a little more than 50 games. He also had a record-setting five hit, three HR game that is sure to be one of the best of his life. He already has two bombers this postseason. We knew he could hit, but we didn’t know of his many other talents.
How about a little elbow massage for your best pitcher?
Or paying homage to Citi Field’s yellow bird?
So who should be running your business if you are one of the best players in the city? Who else: Jay-Z. Céspedes is represented by Roc Nation, the entertainment business created by the rapper himself. He shares agents and rubs shoulders with the likes of Miguel Cotto, Dez Bryant, and Kevin Durant.
Now he’s only missing the bling. And nothing shines brighter on your fingers than a World Series ring.