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Yoenis Cespedes thanks Bartolo Colon, Manny Ramirez for helping him adjust

Aug 24, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

Manny Ramirez and Yoenis Cespedes

Buster Olney is on vacation this week and, in his place, various players have been writing guest columns at the beginning of his daily link post.  Today it’s Yoenis Cespedes.  Mostly it’s about adjusting to life in the United States. It’s pretty interesting.

Part of what’s interesting: two of the A’s players he singles out for credit in helping him adjust. On of them is Bartolo Colon, who, along with Jordan Norberto, he calls “my adoptive family,” and says that he doesn’t even want to imagine what would have happened without them.  I guess he’ll have to figure out how to live with Colon now.

But the one to which he gives the most effusive credit? Yup, Manny:

Manny Ramirez provided invaluable support during spring training … During spring training, Manny told me I would hit in the majors and that I only had to work hard every day. Having the opportunity to work closely with someone who has been as extraordinary as Manny is something I will never forget.

I noticed when I was in Phoenix for spring training that the A’s had put Cespedes’ locker right next to Manny’s and that Manny was the only one I saw him talking to apart from his translator, Ariel Prieto.

It’s almost as if the A’s and Cespedes don’t believe all of that “Manny is a clubhouse cancer” stuff that everyone accepts as gospel.

  1. heyblueyoustink - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    Somewhere, Skip Bayless is yelling at himself in the mirror on how this kid mus be using PED’s if he’s giving kudos to Ramirez and Colon.

    After he took his gimp suit and ball gag off, that is.

  2. Cyn - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    Except for his last season in Boston, Manny was never widely considered a clubhouse ‘cancer’ was he? My memories of him could be fading but he was always considered pretty much a lovable goof in Boston until he started pushing around old men and fighting during games in the dugout.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      It was the last few seasons in Boston, but got worse and worse as the years went on. One (in)famous incident is where he “needed” a day off against the Yanks, and was put in as a pinch hitter in the late innings (might have been 9th) and just watched three straight fastballs down the middle and didn’t bother swinging.

      • cosmonautornot - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:47 PM

        That’s a bit of a myth. Yes, he did strike out while taking three straight pitches, but they were not fastballs down the middle. They were nasty cutters by Mo Rivera. Nasty. You cannot blame him for getting locked up during that at bat, rather you should tip your hat to one of the greats for throwing some amazing pitches. Mo only had a 1.40 ERA that year.

        Pitchfx data (July 6, 2008):

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 24, 2012 at 3:33 PM

        Never seen the txbigleaguer ones, is it the same as brooks in that our view is the catcher’s view? If so, the two on the “outside” to Manny weren’t as unhittable as Rivera usually throws.

  3. hushbrother - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    He’s not a clubhouse cancer, he never was. Very much a media driven myth. Even the Red Sox were a harmonious bunch when he was on the team.

  4. sdelmonte - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    So in other words, people are not all good or all bad. You can break the rules – and get the appropriate punishment – and still also be a good teammate.

    Something to ponder as we decide whether the bicyclist who broke the rules is also the role model who founded Livestrong.

  5. Pierre Cruzatte - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Read the title, then followed the link for the PED punchline. You left me hangin’, Calc.

  6. shanabartels - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Boo pay wall. Which other players wrote columns? Anything interesting in there? I guess I’ll never know because I can’t pay for that stuff.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 24, 2012 at 3:36 PM

      Cespedes, Goldschmidt, Pierzynski, Ryan Flaherty and AJ Ellis so far. And get Insider just for K Law and some other writers like Kevin Goldstein. It’s well worth it. Also, Klaw thinks you can give the ESPN the magazine to other people, so maybe you know someone in the armed services who’d appreciate it?

      • shanabartels - Aug 25, 2012 at 3:38 PM

        Thanks. I suppose I can live without reading columns from those guys.

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