By Migue Guerra
We can go on for hours debating the legacy of those athletes considered “phenoms” in their sports, whether by years of consistency, awards and sacrifices, or by reaching unmatched records.
In baseball, we are grateful that one of the current Major League Baseball phenoms is Cuban. Born on February 28, 1988 in the province ofHolguín, Albertin Aroldis Chapman holds the record for the fastest ever recorded pitch in history, with 105.1 miles per hour.
Among his many accomplishments, we have seven All-Star games, the Mariano Rivera Award for the best American League reliever in 2019, 300 saves and a World Series title with the 2016 Chicago Cubs.
In the Show de Swing Completo held on March 23, 2021, we had the privilege of having the New York Yankees closer with us. The interview was loaded with interesting questions and unexpected answers. One of the questions was asked by a fan in the show’s public chat, making reference to one time when Chapman got upset with the pitching coach because he was being pulled from the game in Estadio Capitán San Luis of Pinar del Río.
How was Chapman’s temperament with the coaches?
“(Chuckles) Back then I was a little bit of a rebel, seriously, I was a problem. I remember that when I got pulled, the manager was Héctor Hernández, with whom we had our ‘things’.”
“I think I had a runner on third, and their second baseman was up, I don’t remember his name. He tried a squeeze bunt and missed. Then I looked at the dugout, a little upset, because I didn’t like being bunted against.”
“In their dugout,” he went on. “I saw Yunieski Maya and Pedro Luis Lazo, and they started yelling ‘This is baseball. Throw the ball! This is baseball!’.”
“Then, I pitched again and the batter hit a foul ball. I looked at the dugout, and they yell me the same thing.”
“Then, I plunked the batter and plunked the next batter too. The manager came (to the mound) to get me out and says: ‘That is disrespectful. You can’t do that with me!’.”
Than, the flamethrower added:
“This was a one-day thing. I was not throwing beanballs left and right. I was out of control that day. I am not the kind of pitcher that throws at a batter.”