BIRMINGHAM, AL—Saying the current experience was not what he bargained for, Cuban immigrant Jorge Fernandez, 24, told reporters Tuesday that he cannot believe he risked his life coming to America to play second base for the AA Birmingham Barons. “Jesus Christ, I spent six days floating across the ocean in a cramped, rusted-out fishing boat just so I could end up playing in front of 40 people in the middle of Alabama,” said a visibly frustrated Fernandez, adding that after leaving behind his entire family, hitchhiking across Cuba to rendezvous with smugglers, and nearly capsizing at sea, he is now paid $2,000 a month to play at some stadium called Regions Field. “It’s a good thing there isn’t anything to do in this hick shithole, because I’m still paying 30 percent of every paycheck to my smugglers for getting me here. I watched two of my friends drown during the crossing, but if I’m lucky I might eventually get invited to play in the Arizona Fall League for the goddamn Glendale Desert Dogs. Give me a fucking break.” At press time, the man who survived on crackers for nearly a week at sea was reluctantly boarding a bus for a five-hour drive to an away game in Biloxi, Mississippi.
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