PORT ST. LUCIE — The number of the day is 12.
When Yoenis Cespedes was asked Sunday morning on a scale of one to 10 how motivated he was this season to come back from his strange injuries, Cespedes did not wait for the question to be translated.
He quickly answered in English “12.’’
The best Cespedes is a motivated Cespedes.
Remember 2015 when he was traded to the Mets from the Tigers during a contract year? Cespedes was money for his 57 games after the deal as he produced 17 home runs, 44 RBIs, a .942 OPS and helped carry the Mets to the World Series.
That was a lot of injuries ago. That was before double-heel surgeries and his showdown with a wild boar. Cespedes, 34, is five years older now and has yet to run the bases in his rehab, but he says he will be back playing in games next month.
Perhaps the blessing in the wild boar incident is that Cespedes has once again realized the importance of baseball. His ability to punish a baseball made him a star and about $138 million over his career. Baseball allowed him to purchase all those fancy vehicles through the years.
Yet Cespedes preferred to play the part of a rancher, but baseball…