Surprise and sadness lasted only a while, and no hard feelings linger for slugger Yoenis Cespedes now that nearly three weeks have passed since he was traded to the Boston Red Sox. He won't be part of a World Series winner this season in Boston, which is unlikely to finish with a .500 record, but that doesn't mean Cespedes can't pick a team to root for this October.
Speaking through a Spanish translator via an interview with reporter Jane Lee of MLB.com, Cespedes said he'll be rooting for the Oakland Athletics, who have a chance without him:
Cespedes will miss "everything" about Oakland, he says, "from the guys in the clubhouse to the coaching staff to the fans, who always treated me extraordinary, to the friends I made there," and counts the final day of the 2012 season, when the Cinderella A's claimed the American League West title, as his favorite memory in green and gold.
"I don't hold any hard feelings or resentment toward them," Cespedes said. "Apart from the game being fun, it's also a business, and I understand that side of it, so I don't harbor any negative feelings toward them. On the contrary, I wish them nothing but the best. I hope that they keep fighting, and I hope they win the World Series."
The entire interview, in which Cespedes relays all of the emotions about being traded, is a must read. Not only gracious, Cespedes sounds like one of the more thoughtful players in the majors. Aside from a language barrier, being from Cuba must have added another layer of emotional difficulty to getting traded, considering Cespedes comes from a culture that has been isolated from this one. Luckily for us, Cespedes let us into his world a little bit so that we might understand where he's coming from.
Lee also notes that the A's were 65-35 with Cespedes in the starting lineup this season, and were nearly 100 games over .500 since he came to Oakland in 2012. Both sides have struggled since the trade, with Cespedes batting .216 with a .231 on-base percentage and five extra-base hits in 65 plate appearances. Meanwhile, the A's have dropped out of first place in the AL West during their first rough stretch of the season. For Cespedes's World Series wish to come true, Oakland's going to have to learn to play better without him.
And they won't Cespedes being "the new guy" in Boston for very long.
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