Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Yoenis Cespedes, Oakland Athletics, Wins Baseball Home Run Derby Two Years After Defecting from Cuba

America is the land of opportunity for all, let's make sure it stays that way.

As I was watching the Baseball All-Star Game Home Run hitting contest, I was struck  by the fact a player I had not really heard of was crushing these home runs.  To make it more amazing, it turned out he had defected from Cuba two years ago to come play professional baseball in the United States.  While struggling at times with the Athletics, last night proved he has what it takes to be a major leaguer.

Here is a man that risked everything to come to the United States to play baseball.  Last night his whole family was there to watch him win the competition.   As they spoke to him in Spanish and he replied in Spanish, it was then translated for us, I was struck by the look on his face of almost disblief that he was hand picked for the Home Run Derby and won it.  It made your heart feel good when he hit the home run to win it and his teammates come running to congratulate him.
Cespedes steps up to national stage 
Home Run Derby champion shows he has the power to make him a star
Originally Published: July 15, 2013 By Jayson Stark | ESPN.com

NEW YORK -- It is possible for a man who wasn't even an All-Star to upstage an entire All-Star Game?

Well, it is now. It is, thanks to Yoenis Cespedes, a man who jetted into Flushing, N.Y., on a sweltering Monday evening in July and became an All-Star phenomenon unto himself.

He won himself a Home Run Derby he wasn't even supposed to compete in.

He pounded 32 home runs into the New York night, tied for the third-most anyone has ever hit in one of these mash-fests.

He put a dent in a truck that was hanging out 455 seemingly safe feet from home plate.

He propelled three balls into the never-reached third deck in left, clanked two home runs off the windows of the Acela Club restaurant in the second deck, whomped three more space shots off the batters-eye background in center. 
He became the first player ever to win a Derby who won't even be sticking around for the All-Star Game itself.

And yet, somehow, that doesn't even begin to describe what happened here. Before Yoenis Cespedes stepped to home plate in this Derby, he was barely a blip on America's radar screen. And now?

Now, he's a real-life fairy tale, a man who fled his homeland in Cuba just two years ago to begin his life and career anew -- and now, after this night, neither that life nor that career will ever be the same again.

"I'll tell you what," said A's coach Mike Gallego, the pitcher who served up those 32 home runs on this night. "This might just be the stepping stone that he's been looking for, that we've been looking for. We're all aware of the extreme talent that he has. But for him to produce like that, on this stage, was just tremendous."

This would have been an epic show whether it was staged in Kansas City, Bismarck or downtown Havana. But because Cespedes performed this magic act at Citi Field, in only the second Home Run Derby ever held in New York's epicenter, it felt just a little bigger, a little more powerful, a little more earth-rattling.

"It seems like stuff like this happens in New York," the Mets' David Wright said. "You've got Josh Hamilton at Yankee Stadium [in 2008]. And now you've got Cespedes here."

OK, so this wasn't quite the seismic equal of Hamilton's memorable Derby show in the old Yankee Stadium, when 28 majestic bombs danced with the ghosts of Ruth and Mantle in the first round alone. But in its own way, this was comparable -- because this, too, was a man of semi-mystery and intense fascination, hitting baseballs where baseballs had never traveled before, on the only baseball stage that mattered, and opening the eyes of pretty much an entire nation with every rocket he launched.

"It was amazing," Wright said, "It really was. I remember we all went out one time and watched [Albert] Pujols take batting practice here. But [where Cespedes hit them], I've never seen or heard of that. It was quite the impressive feat. It goes to show that I don't belong in the Home Run Derby. That's for sure."
Read More at ESPN 
Cespedes to me represents the face of immigration -- people who want a better life for themselves and their families.  He left an oppressive country of Cuba for a better life just like millions have done crossing the border for years.  America is still that beacon of hope to people who want their children to grow up and have the opportunities they didn't have.

Why can't House Republicans get it through their head that immigrants are what made this Country and pass the Immigration bill which is not perfect but better then what we have now.  The fence idea is a waste of taxpayer dollars and not necessary.  For years I have asked what others would do if they had children and saw a better life for them across the border - usually I got cussed out but frankly I feel that the immigrants want a better life and now some of them are into the 3rd generation and still have to hide.  That's wrong.

Time for action on the Immigration Bill and get the immigrants out of the shadows and into the open so they don't have to be afraid to look over their shoulder.  We should be welcoming people to our shores not trying to keep them out because some hard right jerks don't like the color of their skin.  I am tired of the racism seen in the GOP for people who don't look like them as many in the Party today want an all white Party.  All these immigrants are asking for is a chance to contribute to their new Country.  Surely we can make it happen for them.

There is no place for racism in the United States Congress, SCOTUS, State Legislatures, Judicial system, or for any elected official down to the township level.  I go back to a song we used to sing as a child in my church:
Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Black and yellow, red and white
They're all precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world 
Whether you're rich or whether you're poor
It matters not to Him
He remembers where you're going
Not where you've been
The so-called Christians of the hard right have lost their way when they forget as Christians we are supposed to follow the teachings of Christ and help those poor and less fortunate especially the children.
Helping the Poor 
Christians are commanded to help one another but we are also called to help those who are less fortunate than we are.  Proverbs 21:13 is among the most powerful calls from God to help those who are hungry because “If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.”  First John 3:17 states that, If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?”  Job wrote, “I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist them (Job 29:12). 
God asked, Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood” (Isaiah 58:7)? We also need to “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Prov 31:8-9).   In fact, “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern (Prov 29:7).
Jesus Warns of Those Who Ignore the Poor 
Jesus gave a startling wake up call to all who would profess their belief in Him in.  When Jesus comes to the earth and judges between the sheep and the goats, “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least among you, you did not do for me‘“ (Matthew 25:41-45).
Read more: What Christians Want to Know 
It is time to take this Country back to caring about others and willing to extend a helping hand to those that need it most.  When you realize what people will do to come to this Country, then if you are a true Christian, you are going to be there to welcome them to come on in and make themselves at home.  This Country has been known as a melting pot for years so why now are some in Congress turning their back on immigrants?  What are they afraid of? 

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