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Aroldis Chapman almost partnered with 50 Cent to promote boxers

Aroldis Chapman50 Cent recently started a boxing promotion company, and Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman nearly partnered with him on the venture, a profile on the closer revealed.

Chapman was profiled by ESPN The Magazine as part of their Feb. 17 Cuba Issue. Chapman is portrayed in the profile as someone who had a difficult life in Cuba, but defected to the US where he is now a millionaire and seemingly has everything. But despite having enough money for all the material possessions, Chapman misses a lot about the drama and chaos of his past life. One way he is able to connect to his old life is by supporting struggling Cuban boxers who are in the US.

Chapman’s father was a boxing trainer and Aroldis boxed when he was younger. Though he gave up the sport at age 11 because his mother thought his temperament was better suited for baseball, Chapman still relates well with boxers and has an affinity toward the sport. He and fellow Cuban pitcher Livan Hernandez even began sponsoring boxers who escaped Cuba.

According to writer Eli Saslow, Chapman was so serious about boxing he almost went into business with 50 Cent.

For a while, Chapman says, he considered partnering with the rapper 50 Cent and starting a formal boxing promotion company, but those plans dissolved within a few months. “I don’t want it to be so complicated — promoters, a business plan, none of that,” Chapman says. So instead, he offers informal help to half a dozen Cuban boxers who are now training in New York and Miami. He helps cover their travel costs, rent and training supplies. “An investor” is how the boxers describe Chapman’s role, but Chapman doesn’t care whether they pay him back, and no one does. “This is as much for me as it is for them,” he says. “They get some money. I get some of the old excitement.”

That is a pretty cool arrangement, and certainly a generous move by Chapman to help them out since he has already made it in terms of athletic and financial success.

That was one of the many good details revealed about Chapman in the profile. It’s actually somewhat sad to read it. You learn about a guy who seems to have lost some motivation and is lacking satisfaction in life, mostly because he is in a different country that really does not feel like home for him. Another funny detail is that the Reds pitcher smokes Reds — Marlboro Reds. In fact, when Chapman left his baseball team in the Netherlands to escape, he left with just a passport and pack of cigarettes. Priorities people, priorities.

Aroldis Chapman angers Nick Swisher with 100-mph pitch at head

Nick Swisher was upset with Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman for seemingly throwing at him on Monday afternoon in the Reds’ 4-2 win over the Cleveland Indians.

Chapman struck out Asdrubal Cabrera on a 3-2 pitch to begin the ninth. He proceeded to uncork two wild ones in a row against Swisher. The first pitch was so high it sailed over the catcher’s head and went straight to the backstop (video here). It was so far out of the zone it led to Swisher staring out at Chapman, who had his head turned to Swisher as he walked back to the mound.

The next one from Chapman was a 100-mph fastball at Swisher’s head. Swisher ducked out the way, but he was clearly upset. He could be saying “don’t do that” to Chapman several times after the pitch to his head.

Swisher then took a 2-0 100-mph fastball for a called strike. He drove a 2-1 99-mph fastball to left field that was caught for the second out of the inning. Swisher and Chapman exchanged words as Swisher jogged off the field.

Swisher said after the game that he didn’t remember what was said between the two, while Chapman told reporters that he doesn’t speak English, per the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Paul Hoynes.

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Aroldis Chapman slowed by Cuban guava and cream cheese pastries?

Aroldis-Chapman-hotel-room-robberyAroldis Chapman uncharacteristically blew a save against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday by allowing two home runs in the ninth inning. The Cuban fireballer walked Delmon Young to start the inning, was gifted an out when Cliff Lee, who was pinch-running for Young, made a mistake on the bases, and then gave up back-to-back home runs to Erik Kratz and Freddy Galvis to lose the game 3-2.

Chapman is normally automatic as a closer, so seeing him allow two home runs in the same game was unusual considering he’d only allowed seven in his entire career prior to Sunday. But our friend Spike Eskin at CBS Philly shared a theory about what may have slowed down the Cuban Missile on Sunday.

Phillies Spanish language broadcaster Rickie Ricardo told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Monday that Chapman may have been undone by an extra helping (or two, or three) of a special pastry he ate before the game.

Ricardo explained that there is a special Cuban bakery nearby where he lives in Union City, N.J., and that Cuban ballplayers will often ask him to bring them a special bakery item.

“They cook this little Cuban pastry, which is a flaky-crust pasty with cream cheese and guava and it’s baked, and it’s absolutely delicious,” Ricardo told WIP. “Now, if you eat more than two of these you’re clogging up your arteries—you’re a stroke waiting to happen!

“Well, Chapman asked me on Friday night after the game to stop by the bakery and pick up a box of 50. For example, Livan Hernandez, guys like that—even Chooch, guys on our team, they’ll put 10-15 of these things away with a couple of glasses of milk. It’s equivalent of the Krispy Kreme donuts when they come right out of the oven, it’s that kind of a thing.”

Ricardo told WIP that Chapman asked him for 100 of the pastelitos de guayaba — two boxes of 50 — and that the Reds closer was about five fist-fulls deep into the box before Sunday’s game.

“When I saw him on Sunday morning before the game, he was in the club house, he had just eaten about 18 of them. He couldn’t breathe! I looked at my partner, I said, ‘he’s ripe for the taking today.’”

Sure enough, Ricardo was right. Chapman has now blown back-to-back saves, giving him 10 blown saves for his career. Eskin says Chapman was mostly around 95 mph during the appearance. So, was he slowed by the pastries? If so, it wouldn’t be the first time someone was ruined by the food they ate before a game. You make the call.

Aroldis Chapman somersaults twice after converting save (Video)

Aroldis Chapman celebrated a save on Tuesday night in a bizarre way. The Cuban reliever busted out a double-somersault after striking out pinch-hitter Martin Maldonado for the final out of the Reds’ 4-3 win over the Brewers. Chapman must have felt pretty good about converting the save after blowing his previous two chances, so that’s probably why he busted out the double rolls. It probably didn’t hurt that he recorded strikeouts for all three of his outs. That certainly was weird, but cool. Let’s hope he makes it just a one-time deal.

The Reds apparently weren’t pleased with Chapman’s celebration and addressed it with him after the game.

Woman who said she was robbed in Aroldis Chapman’s hotel room charged with filing a false police report

If the story we shared with you last month about a woman getting robbed in the Pittsburgh hotel room of Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman seemed like a bizarre account with a number of holes in it, that’s because it was. Claudia Manrique, a 26-year-old, told police back in May that she was alone in Chapman’s hotel room while he was still at the ballpark. Manrique said she was attacked by a man posing as a maintenance worker for the Omni William Penn hotel, who she claimed tied her up when she refused to give him a bag that contained $200,000 worth of Chapman’s jewlery. Now, the young lady has been charged with filing a false police report.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, police say Manrique changed her story during 12 hours of questioning. After initially saying the man attacked her disguised as a hotel employee, she later told officers that she encountered the assailant earlier that day at a CVS store and he stole her wallet. She also says he threatened to hurt her friend if she did not tell him her room number at the hotel.

Obviously, her changed story raises a number of questions. First of all, how did he come to find out that she was staying at the Omni William Penn? Assuming Manrique told the alleged assailant out of fear or he discovered a room card on her, how did he know he could hit the jackpot with jewelry by going to that particular room? Did he intend to rob her regardless and happened to be lucky enough to show up at the hotel room of a baseball player who had $200,000 worth of jewelry lying around?

Chapman says he met Manrique in April while he was in Washington, D.C. and that she has traveled to different cities to meet him ever since. From the sound of it, she may also have come up with a complicated scheme to rob him of $200,000 worth of possessions.

Photo credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

Bronson Arroyo and Aroldis Chapman cover Adam Sandler song (Video)

It’s good to be in first place. The Cincinnati Reds are sitting atop the NL Central and seem to be enjoying it, as pitchers Bronson Arroyo and Aroldis Chapman showed us when they recreated some old school Adam Sandler magic (before Adam Sandler sucked). Arroyo made decent work of “The Red Headed Sweatshirt Song“, but Chapman deserves an Oscar for his effort. Shamalama ding-dong, indeed, Aroldis.

But again, it’s nice to do this kind of lighthearted stuff when you’re in first place. Maybe the Cubs, who are already 20 games under and in last place, can do a cover of Sandler’s “The Turkey Song”.

Aroldis Chapman’s hotel room reportedly robbed, woman left tied up

Talk about bizarre news. Pittsburgh police are currently investigating a robbery that took place inside the hotel room of Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, officers were dispatched to Chapman’s Omni William Penn hotel room at 10:12 p.m. Tuesday night while he was still at the ballpark for the Reds-Pirates game. Upon arrival, they discovered a 26-year-old woman tied up and crying.

Hotel security said that two guests alerted them of the woman screaming for help, which is why they called the police. According to the police report, the woman was “the hotel guest of a male who attended the Pirates baseball game and who was not present at the time of the incident.”

The woman said she heard a knock at the door and the person on the other side claimed to be from hotel maintenance and said he needed to fix the toilet. When she let him in, she says he tied her up and took her jewelry, clothing, credit card, ID card, and a computer.

Maybe I’m missing something, but what was the hotel guest of a man who attended the Pirates-Reds game doing in Chapman’s hotel room. If she wasn’t Chapman’s guest, whose guest was she? I suppose that is all part of the investigation.

H/T Hardball Talk