Thursday, March 23, 2017

USA Defeats Puerto Rico at World Baseball Classic

After much hype and anticipation, the championship game at the World Baseball Classic was just played. Many expected team Puerto Rico to come out on top. However, the opposite happened. Team USA obliterated the Puerto Rico team 8 to 0.

The start pitcher Marcus Stroman for team USA, a Puerto Rican hybrid himself, held back the Puerto Rican team. They just could not get any hit against him. Retired MLB manager Jim Leyland led the USA team to victory stating, “We’re trying to make America great again."  Puerto Rican starter, Seth Lugo did not have any great pitches.  The Americans kept scoring against him.  Moreover, the Puerto Rican team looked nervous, making mistakes such as Lindor throwing to first instead of home where he could have prevented a score.

The game was not without controversy.  Marcus Stroman was criticized for not playing for team Puerto Rico. His mother is Puerto Rican. During the game, Stroman seemed to have shouted obscenities against the Puerto Rican team which prompted former Blue Jays player and a Puerto Rican himself, Alex Rios to tweet this:

Ian Kinsler also made some comments about the Dominican and Puerto Rican teams which were seen as racist. He said, “I hope kids watching the WBC can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game, as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican [Republic] plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.”

Moreover, despite winning a trophy, the USA's victory was pretty much ignored. In a twist of fate, Puerto Rico received their team with a parade as if they were the champions.

Puerto Rican fans clearly are upset with Stroman.  They are still behind their team and say that team Puerto Rico united the island which is suffering economic problems due to bad government. As to why their team failed to win, there has been no comment. The team did stick around and congratulated team USA on their win. When questioned as to how the underdog team USA got the motivation to win, Adam Jones said that he heard that Puerto Rico was making plans for a parade and that this gave team USA more drive to win the World Baseball Classic. If true, then it seems Puerto Rico counted their chickens before they hatched.

In any event, America and Puerto Rico still won. Puerto Ricans are Americans and Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of Puerto Rico.  We should all celebrate both teams!  They made this WBC one of the best ever!


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