This has been one of the best years of my life. This year, I have experienced a lot of emotions and happiness. This year, I've learned a ton, and I've developed as a person and as a professional.
A few days ago, I lived the biggest experience of this year. It was when I made my debut with the White Sox. That was something impressive. I never thought that many people would go to the ballpark to see my debut in Chicago. When I went to home plate for the first time, all the fans stood up and gave me an ovation. That gave me goosebumps. I really appreciate that gesture from the people of Chicago, because that made that special moment even more special and exciting.
:: Chicago White Sox: In My Words ::
In my first at-bat, I was a little nervous because of all the excitement and noise in the ballpark. In my second at-bat, I went to the plate more calm, and I hit the ball hard, but I couldn't get a base hit. In my third at-bat, I also hit the ball hard and again I couldn't get the base hit. But that is how baseball is. In this sport, hitting is the most difficult task.
I felt really special, like a real loved person in Chicago, and it is something that I appreciate very, very much. I hope to keep getting that kind of support, because that boosts my motivation. I'm going to keep playing in the same way that I've been playing: putting on a good show for the fans and people who support the White Sox, because they deserve it. I promise to all of you that I'm going to do my best every day, and I'm going to play hard for this organization and the fans.
I've felt fortunate and blessed since I joined this organization, because I know this team believes in me and is committed to make me the best player that I can be. Here, I also have the opportunity to be with Jose Abreu, who I grew up admiring in Cuba, where we had the opportunity to play together with the Elefantes de Cienfuegos.
In fact, he was one of the first people I spoke with after the trade, on Dec. 6. He called me to welcome me and to tell me about this organization. During Spring Training, we spent a good deal of time together, and when the team called me up to the big leagues, I asked him to pick me up from the airport. He did it, and that meant a lot to me. We are from the same town in Cuba, and playing with him here is like having an older brother.
Being in this organization with Abreu is a motivation for me. That was why I never took the trade in a bad way, although it was something unexpected. Now, I have the certainty that this is the best thing that could have happened to me. I played in the big leagues before with Boston, but this trade was just a better opportunity for me. It was a blessing.
This is a blessing because it is God's will. Here, I'm around very good people, good teammates, and I'm sure that all of them are going to help me have a successful and very long career. Here, I also have a manager who can speak Spanish. That is an advantage because I can understand better and we can communicate with each other one-on-one.
Perhaps because of all those reasons, my debut with the White Sox was as special or even more special than my debut in the big leagues with the Red Sox. When I made my debut with Boston, we were playing in Oakland. Here, I made my debut in Chicago, and there were a lot more excited people waiting to see me play. It wasn't the same in Boston. I truly felt happy during my first at-bat in Chicago.
I believe that I was called up at the right moment because the time that I spent in Triple A benefitted me. I knew that my moment would come, and I knew that I had to work hard to be ready for it. I learned more about how to play second base. My manager down there (Mark Grudzielanek) taught me a ton; he played a lot in the big leagues and has a lot of knowledge.
I'm sure that everything is going to be good with the White Sox, and that I'm going to continue learning and developing to bring happiness and satisfaction to Chicago. This is the perfect time!