NEW YORK, NY – America’s pastime is Puerto Rico’s passion. When shortstop Jeremy Rivera of the Mayagüez Indios drove in the winning run with one out in the bottom of the ninth the stadium exploded. The walk-off forced a game 7 vs the Carolina Gigantes in the Puerto Rico’s Winter League Championship Series.
The noise in the stands was non-stop as screaming fans along with the ringing of the cow-bells were enough to puncture anyone’s eardrums. Players from both teams fed off the energy, as their body language reacted to their performance.
The league has six teams representing each town. Most of the players are minor leaguers who are affiliated with an #MLB team. Some names are actual MLB players like pitcher Derrick Rodriguez, from the Minnesota Twins, and infielder Richie Palacios of the Cleveland Indians, and his brother Josh who played with the Washington Nationals. MLB needs to take notes and see for themselves how they can rejuvenate their game in the United States.
Commissioner Rob Manfred has to hop on the next flight down and witness for himself how the game works without any pitch counts and defensive shifts. What you’ll see is pure baseball that’s been played the same way since 1903. He’ll be amazed how the fans are into every pitch as the game simply flows.
With attendance usually at 5,000, the vibe can easily be mistaken for 50,000. It’s a total celebration, all for a cost of around ten bucks. Even concessions are affordable and fans leaving the park can’t wait to come back for more. It’s a total experience that has not been felt in the big leagues for a while.
The plane ride is only two and a half hours long and I can guarantee you that Mr.Manfred’s outlook will change. He’ll hop on the next flight back to his midtown office and order the removal of the ANALytics dept. and get rid of every geek that doesn’t have a pulse of this once great game.
Game 7 was at Roberto Clemente Stadium in Carolina and the hometown Gigantes couldn’t produce enough offense as the Mayagüez Indios were crowned champs in a 2-1 thriller. The fans of the Indios jumped right into the field to celebrate with their team. Something that was banned from the states back in the 90s.
There’s only one way to fix your legacy, Mr.Manfred. Go back to school and Make Baseball Great Again!
P.s… For all NFL fans: The Bengals and Eagles will be in the Super Bowl.