Friday, February 7, 2014

Piece by 'ESPN The Magazine' offers glimpse into Aroldis Chapman's life off the field

It's goes without question that Aroldis Chapman is one of the more intriguing and mysterious players on the Reds roster, maybe even all of Major League Baseball. After all, he is among a handful of pitchers who routinely throw the red-stitched cowhide in excess of 100 MPH.

However, there's more than meets the eye with the Cuban defector. It goes well beyond a triple digit fastball, fancy cars, speeding tickets, hotel strippers, and celebratory tumbles from the mound. And Eli Saslow of ESPN The Magazine attempted to give us a glimpse into Chapman's life off the diamond in a piece to appear in the Feb. 17 "Cuba Issue" of the magazine.

It's a compelling article which reveals the ups and downs that come along with being a highly paid athlete in the United States. Namely, a man that made his way into the culture from a foreign country.

Here are a few things from the article I found to be extra noteworthy...

+ Chapman's household is far from a non-stop party. In fact, it seems as though boredom is a constant struggle for family and friends who live with the Reds closer. Saslow writes that Chapman copes with this boredom by sleeping well into the afternoon, watching movies, and generally being reclusive in his room.

+ Chapman helps pay the expenses incurred by amateur boxers from Cuba as a way to retrace the journey he took to realize the American dream. 

+ Perhaps the most telling part of the article, from a Reds perspective, is the fact that Chapman signed a long-term deal with a club he knew nothing about, in a city he couldn't place on a map, with teammates whose names he couldn't even pronounce. 

Anyways, go check out the article in its entirety. It really is a good read. 

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