ESPN the Magazine's Eli Saslow wrote a must-read profile of Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman, who is struggling to adjust to life in the United States despite having advantages other Cuban defectors do not. Chapman has money, he has fame, he has his career — he even has family with him. Chapman also has freedom he didn't in Cuba. But does he have happiness? Not yet, not entirely.
The entire post should be consumed, but here are 10 details you might not have known about Chapman:
1. On some days during the offseason, Chapman "stays in his room until sunset, sleeping, watching movies or just throwing a racquetball against his bedroom wall."
2. Chapman bought his house in Davie, Fla. "because it reminded him of American mansions he had seen on TV shows like 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.' "
3. "The books in his personal library are not only titled in unfamiliar English but are hollowed and fake, bought by his home designer at World Market for $5.99 each."
4. He began his defection from Cuba in the Netherlands by "walking out of his hotel with nothing but a passport and a pack of cigarettes."
5. Chapman smokes Marlboro Reds.
6. Chapman gets "bored of watching baseball on TV" because it's too "repetitive."
7. Chapman wanted to be a boxer when he was a boy.
8. Chapman taught himself how to pitch by throwing "a rock wrapped inside of a sock."
9. The custom license plate on his Lamborghini reads "mph 105."
10. Chapman has been ticketed for speeding six times.
- - - - - - -