Riviera Beach, FL—It’s a lot of fun until someone gets stuck in the eye. Or just plain stuck. As in a “stuck pig.” More on that in a moment. In his quest to ingratiate himself to teammates this Spring, Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes will seemingly stop at nothing.
Cespedes as you know is from Cuba. And in an effort to ramp up his assimilation process to America, he spent his off season immersing himself in American “pop culture.” No, he didn’t study English over the winter. Nor did he visit museums, take classes, tour other parts of the country. What Cespy (and I can call him that ‘cause we’re friends) did immerse himself in was American television. 40 years’ worth since the last “new” programming he watched in Cuba was “Hazel.”
Zeroing in on classic TV Cespy sent for all of the sitcoms that have aired on our shores since the 1960s. This was no doubt the impetus for his spring training traveling show that recently opened to big crowds down in Port St. Lucie.
Welcome back Kotter-in which Cespedes shockingly returns to the Mets to guide his young charges through the perils of puberty and the National League East. John Travolta, fresh off of his stirring portrayal of Robert Shapiro in “The Run of his life”-about the OJ Simpson case-plays Principal Woodman.
Mork & Mindy-from a distant planet where the customs are strange, an alien manages to scale Trump Wall along the Florida keys and take up residence in East Elmhurst, NY. Hilarity ensues when former Nats closer Drew Storen attempts to thrown mediocre fastballs by our hero.
Hello, Larry! Yo bought the rights to this show and immediately renamed it “”Hello, La Potencia!” With McLean Stevenson now gone, Juan Uribe will fill in.
Donny & Marie-yes, Cespy is a little bit country while Matt Harvey is a little bit Rock & roll. They recently brought the Tamarac senior center down when Cespy swiveled his hips while waiting for Matt to make his way through the “tunnel” from the West Village.
The Carol Burnett Show-we are so glad we had this time together crooned Cespedes while tugging on his ear. His supporting cast included David Wright as Harvey Korman and who else but the diminutive Terry Collins as “Dorf” the lovable Tim Conway character.
It is surprising and a bit off-putting that Cespedes has transformed himself seemingly overnight. From the dark, brooding, mysterious slugger from the island of Cuba to Shecky Greene and Buddy Hackett play South Florida. His cars, his horses and yes even his $7,000 pig. He’s trying to win someone over. I’m just not sure whom at the moment. PETA wants Yo stopped. The Mets? They just want their cleanup hitter to be the threat they need him to be.
This has been a Spring Training so far unlike any in recent memory.