Reunion with son left Jose Abreu speechless
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Stranger things have happened, so maybe there is a connection between Jose Abreu’s anticipated reunion with his only son, Dariel, this week, and his rediscovered power stroke.
Abreu was a happy man Tuesday, a day after he flew to his home in Miami to see his 5-year-old son on the White Sox’ off day. This weekend, Dariel will see his father play in person for the first time when the Sox play at the Miami Marlins.
“I’m very happy,’’ Abreu said through translator Billy Russo. “I’m very happy to have my son with me here. I want to thank everybody involved in that process to help him to be with me right now. It was a long process but finally we did it. And we are together again.’’
Abreu was with his son, who will be in the U.S for about a month before he has to return to Cuba, at his home Monday and for part of Tuesday. He had seen him last during Major League Baseball’s goodwill tour in Cuba in December.
“I couldn’t say anything,’’ Abreu said. “I just started crying. I couldn’t say anything to him in that moment.’’
After going 32 consecutive games without a homer – a serious drought considering he had clubbed 36 and 30 home runs during his first two seasons after coming to the major leagues from Cuba – Abreu hit three in four games going into Tuesday’s game.
“You can tell he’s got a little bounce in his step,’’ Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He has been dreaming for this a long time. You can tell it picked up his spirits of late knowing this was going to happen.’’
Ventura, a father of four, added, “I can’t imagine that, what that is. He’s a great guy and I know he always wants to do the right thing, so this is pretty important to him.’’
Abreu had no choice but to leave his son behind with his mother when he defected from Cuba to sign a $68 million contract with the Sox. Dariel, who turns 6 next month, now has a five-year visa that will reduce the separation time and ease the hurt.
“Everything in that process has been difficult for us,’’ Abreu said.
And then there are moments like these, which balance out the difficulty.
“He’s excited just to be with me,’’ Abreu said. “He wants to see me play, but he’s more excited to be with me.’’
Dariel did not accompany him to Kansas City, instead staying with Abreu’s parents in Miami.
“I’m very grateful and thankful to my agents,’’ Abreu said. “They put it all together to make this happen. I couldn’t believe it until yesterday when I finally saw him. That was a very special moment. I’m very thankful to all the people who were involved in this.’’