GRANMA, CUBA – Shortly after I posted last week, (but too late to reference), I caught wind of a great scouting tape making the rounds with all the baseball know-it-alls; the way the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special went around Sci-Fi Nerd Conventions in the early 1980s. You may have seen read Kevin Goldstein’s great summation of it – a young man recently defected from Cuba and is now trying to capture American hearts the only way a young Cuban man knows how…with a promotional info-tainment spectacular audition video!
The guy’s name is Yoenis Cespedes, and he’s a monster. He’s 26, has already played professionally for years, was a wrecking crew in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, holds the single season HR record in Cuba, is fast and plays a mean center field. He was probably on teams’ radars before, but after this video dropped last week he’s on damn near all of them now, from the Cubs to the Phillies to the Tigers to the Marlins to the Rangers to the Red Sox to the Dodgers to the Yankees and yes, even to the Mets. Thanks to this video, which was taken down for a short while before re-emerging triumphantly, Yoenis is the second biggest Internet Sensation Of The Year, right behind the Honey Badger.
I understand you don’t have 20 minutes to blow on this guy; I sifted through and pinpointed the highlights so you can cut right to them. The ‘go-to‘ marks come after:
Wait for Yoenis: You quickly realize the producers aren’t exactly into keeping it tight as they spend the first 2:14 with production logos and a bizarre Star Wars–esque scroll of exposition, calling Yoenis a “New Hope” and then detailing Cuba’s fight for independence from the evil overlord Darth Fidel, who nationalized the baseball industry and is building a Death Stadium to squash a group of plucky rebels…or something like that. Like the Star Wars openings I tuned out after the first couple of sentences.
See Yoenis hit: At 2:17 we learn he’s from a hometown called Granma, which I believe translates to “Me-maw” and is renown for its cookies and hard candy factories. We then see some game footage of him hitting, with a cute little “knock” sound effect added to the ball hitting the bat. We notice two things…1) The bat is moving so fast that the camera sees two of them 2) Is that Christopher Cross’ Sailing playing? Is this some kind of strange reference to the Mariel Boatlift? Yoenis has the soul of an artist. At 3:50 we see this artist’s soul stylin’ for an awkwardly long time. Also, judging from some of his uniforms, it’s nice to see that the Montreal Expos may be gone, but their fashion influence lives on.
See Yoenis run: Around the 6:20 mark, opening the part of the video called “In Training,” Yoenis is racing after a man who is trying to capture him on video. It looks little like theopening of the Six Million Dollar Man’s running montage. Maybe they should test him for bionics instead of HGH. After this at 6:50, we see the new home run stylin’ routine he’s practicing, including having one of the ball boys deliver a 45″ step for him to jump on. Some warning signs appear at 8:08 – it appears Cuban coaches have been teaching their outfielders poor technique. This ties in with his ideas, demonstrated at 10:05 to make the game even more difficult by jumping hurdles on the way to first. There’s another version of this video out there, where they took the Lil Wayne out and added some generic infomercial/porn music, which did not go well with the images at 10:48.
See Younis crunch: At the 11:45 mark, Yoenis reveals his plan for conquering America through “Core Strength.” If he doesn’t make it as a baseball player here, I think he can become a trainer on The Biggest Loser. After this, the next few minutes are of him hitting more baseballs, bench pressing a small truck, rescuing babies from a burning building, and racing around the world backwards to turn back time. Actually, according the global map they show at 15:59, he only runs across the Bermuda Triangle and, with apparently only a vague sense of geography, goes directly to the center of the United States. Please welcome your new stud center fielder, Kansas City!
Bonus! See Younis roast a whole pig!: 19:24. This, frankly is what makes the video completely worth watching.
Grote2DMax will be releasing his own promotional video tomorrow.