Jose Abreu credits his mother, continues to show strong signs at plate
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter April 9, 2014 10:51PM
DENVER — If you want to call Jose Abreu a mama’s boy, go ahead. The 6-3, 245-pound slugger won’t mind.
Abreu’s not afraid to share just how much Daisys Correa means to him. The unconventional No. 79 he wears was her suggestion for originality’s sake, and Abreu can’t wait to bring her to the United States and show her a special room he has planned for a home he wants to build for her. The room will showcase his growing collection of baseball keepsakes from the World Baseball Classic and who knows what he amasses as a major-league player.
One important collectible was gathered Tuesday at Coors Field, where Abreu hit the first and second home runs of his career.
“Just for her,’’ Abreu said before the Sox’ 10-4 loss to the Rockies on Wednesday. “But I want to make sure I’m there when she sees it because I don’t want her to have a heart attack or something.’’
Speaking through a translator, Abreu giggled at the idea of how flabbergasted she would be.
“I speak with her every day,’’ he said. “She said, ‘Congratulations on your performance last night.’ I said, ‘No, thank you for allowing me to be here.’
“It is a beautiful thing. It is a beautiful relationship. I do have a beautiful relationship with my dad [Jose Oriol Abreu] as well. Sometimes he does get jealous [that I always talk about my mother]. I can always talk to her and tell her how I feel, whether it’s good or bad. She’s always there for me. That’s the part that really makes it special for me.’’
Abreu is intensely devoted to all things family and has a son, Dariel Eduardo, who’s still in Cuba. While details about his departure from Cuba and his family’s whereabouts are kept somewhat private for security and safety reasons, it’s known that he and wife Yusmary left for Haiti in the middle of the night last summer to start the process of becoming eligible to sign with a big-league team.
His mother, father, sister and brother-in-law, who are in transit from Cuba, are believed to be somewhere safe.
“Right now I don’t really know exactly when she’ll be coming,’’ Abreu said. “I’ll leave that in God’s hands. But the day she is here will be an unbelievable day and one we will share together.’’
If Abreu’s early performances are a hint of things to come, he’s going to need a spacious room for his memorabilia. He has 11 RBI, which rank him among the American League leaders.
Abreu has big power but also figures to hit for average and drive in a lot of runs. He had a double and a single Wednesday, raising his average to .278.
“He can do some things when he hits it a lot of people can’t do,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. “He’s got power the other way that a lot of guys don’t have. When he puts it on the barrel, it gets through the infield pretty quick.’’
Abreu’s second homer Tuesday, a rocket to right-center, made a sound like none of the Sox’ other five homers (including his first) made. Ventura heard it early in spring training and knew the front office had made a sound decision in giving him a six-year, $68 million deal.
“You just hear it, the sound that comes off his bat when he hits it, especially going the other way,’’ Ventura said. “You don’t [always] hear it. There are few guys that have it, and he’s one that has it.’’
Seeing the ball come off his bat with that kind of velocity, “you take a second look real quick, making sure you’re seeing the right thing. It’s a gift,’’ Ventura said.