Los Angeles Angels: Cynthia Urias

Jorge Cantu tries to find balance

March, 21, 2012
3/21/12
11:01
AM PT
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Jorge Cantu's career is near -- if not at -- its low point, his chances of making the Angels 50-50 at best. Even if he does latch on, he figures to play about once a week, if that, and for a salary that’s a pittance compared with what he made a couple of years ago.

It's been a fairly dizzying fall for a 30-year old who, not long ago, was one of the steadiest run producers in baseball.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Jorge Cantu is batting .321 with four RBIs in 28 at-bats for the Angels this spring.



So why does Cantu seem like the happiest man in camp this spring?

"You might laugh, but it really doesn’t get to my head," Cantu said. "At the end of the day, it's a game. You can't take this to the house. You have to balance your life, one way or another."

And, right now, Cantu's life is brimming. His girlfriend, Mexican actress and talk-show host Cynthia Urias, is six months pregnant with the couple's first child, a boy. Cantu has an opt-out clause in his contract that he can trigger on May 1 if he’s still at Triple-A. He has even considered taking a couple of months off this summer to be with his newborn child in Mexico City.

In other words, not everything revolves around a revolving little white ball, even for those who make a career of hitting it.

Cantu, one of the finest Mexican hitters of all time, had just finished taping an interview and was walking down a hallway at the offices of Televisa in 2009 when one of the producers asked him to stop and pose for a picture. The two men looked around for someone to snap the photo. Urias heard them talking and popped out of a nearby cubicle.

"I froze, like stage fright," Cantu said. "I couldn’t get a single word out."

Cantu called around and secured Urias' number from a mutual friend and soon the romance was on. It has become fodder for celebrity gossip columns in Mexico ever since. Urias flew to be with Cantu, 30, in Arizona recently, but soon she’ll return to Mexico and won’t be able to fly as her due date approaches.

Meanwhile, at locales around the Cactus League, Cantu is attempting to steer his career back from the brink. It veered oddly off track in what should have been the prime of his career.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Jered Weaver
WINS ERA SO IP
18 3.59 169 213
OTHER LEADERS
BAH. Kendrick .293
HRM. Trout 36
RBIM. Trout 111
RM. Trout 115
OPSM. Trout .939
ERAG. Richards 2.61
SOJ. Weaver 169