Did Reds closer Aroldis Chapman blow save because he ate 18 pastries?
On Sunday, Philadelphia Phillies closer Aroldis Chapman entered the bottom of the ninth inning with his squad clinging to a one-run lead over the Cincinnati Reds. Chapman promptly blew the save, his second of the season, surrendering two runs on back-to-back homers by Erik Kratz and Freddy Galvis in a 3-2 walkoff loss.
So, was this simply the case of a bad outing by Chapman, or was there a more nefarious cause behind him giving up back-to-back long balls, perhaps something related to a careless overindulgence that occurred during the pitcher’s pregame caloric intake?
At least one person believes that Chapman did not set himself up for success on Sunday by what he chose to feast upon before the game. And not only the “what” as it relates to what he ate, but the “how much” as well.
According to a report from CBS Philly, Phillies broadcaster Rickie Ricardo claims that Aroldis Chapman consumed a whopping 18 pastelitos de guayaba, a baked Cuban pastry stuffed with cream cheese and guava. And who would create a scenario where Chapman would have the opportunity to eat an absurd amount of pastries? A man employed by the very team Chapman’s squad was facing that day, Rickie Ricardo.
Ricardo said that he has developed a friendship with Chapman and that he gave the Reds closer a bunch of the pastries on Sunday as a gift.
“Aroldis Chapman, since he arrived in the U.S. and on a major league team, he has become a friend of mine, and as I do for many Cuban players they always ask me—there is a little Cuban bakery up near where I live in the Cuban strong hold of Union City, New Jersey,” Ricardo told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Monday. “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. 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.”
“Could you imagine cream cheese and guava on a baked pastry? Well Chapman asked me for a box of 100, two boxes of 50. 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.”
It seems like a fairly egregious example of organizational sabotage, does it not? To create the environment where the opposing team’s closer can be teased into feasting upon a tantalizing amount of pastry goodness?
Of course, if Ricardo’s claims are true, Chapman only has himself to blame for his extreme lack of discipline and self-control, not to mention an inability to curb his gluttonous appetites.
But then again, those pastelitos de guayaba certainly sound delicious. Once you start popping those bad boys, apparently, you can’t stop. At least that appears to be the case for Chapman.
[H/T For the Win]