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Yoenis Cespedes: Baseball is the easy part

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Many people might find it strange or unusual, but simply reaching the majors and adjusting to the pitching has been the easiest part of adapting to life in the United States. After all, baseball is the same in every country and category, no matter where it is, but when the game ends that's when the hard part begins.

Text:?

Today, Yoenis Cespedes discusses his tough transition from Cuba to the United States.

Many people might find it strange or unusual, but simply reaching the majors and adjusting to the pitching has been the easiest part of adapting to life in the United States. After all, baseball is the same in every country and category, no matter where it is, but when the game ends that's when the hard part begins.

When I signed my contract with the Oakland Athletics over the winter, I knew I had to work hard. You don't sign someone for so much money just to wait for long-term results. Because of the language barrier, I knew things would be a little bit complicated, but thanks to many people, above all my fellow Cuban Ariel Prieto, the process of adapting has been less traumatic, both on the field as well as in life.

Just like me, Prieto escaped from Cuba to pursue the dream of playing in the majors. He did it in 1995 and has worked with Oakland for a long time. That is why the Athletics chose to remove him as coach so he could be my translator, companion and guide. Thanks to him, things have worked out well for me. We share an apartment in Oakland and we stay in the same hotels during road games. He's always near, and I know I can always count on him for anything. It has been a blessing to have him here.

Getting ready for a game and facing a pitcher who throws at 95 mph is one thing, but facing life outside the stadium is something more complicated. I don't know anyone in the United States. My mother and other close relatives are in Dominican Republic, and I don't even speak English.

Source: Insider.espn.go.com

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[source: http://www.cubaheadlines.com/2012/08/24/35963/yoenis_cespedes_baseball_is_the_easy_part.html]

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