March 16, 2006


’Beisbol’ finds its new heart and soul (Michael Silverman, March 16, 2006, Boston Herald)

There certainly are pockets left in the U.S. where baseball is a way of life. Boston, of course. St. Louis. Certain portions of New York City. But in the Caribbean, baseball is life in so many more important and heartfelt ways.

Passion is one thing, but it’s time to both acknowledge and celebrate who just passed through Hiram Bithorn Stadium, a ballpark that lacks any redeeming architectural feature but reverberates with the horns, cheers, whistles of adoration and sometimes rum-fueled throngs lucky enough to have sneaked a peek at the prodigious talent that just played six games here.

For Puerto Rico, Javier Vazquez, Carlos Beltran, Ivan Rodriguez and Javy Lopez. For Venezuela, Johan Santana, Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Zambrano and Bobby Abreu. For the Dominican Republic, Bartolo Colon, Albert Pujols, David Ortiz and Miguel Tejada.

That’s who was here. Left out is Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Vladimir Guerrero, Felix Hernandez and Pedro Martinez.

And for Cuba, until the political landscape changes there, the motherlode of talent is simply immense and, more importantly, still untapped, guaranteeing the Latin influence in baseball will continue, unabated, for years to come.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 16, 2006 8:04 AM

Your idea of making the DR a state gave me an idea. The individual countries of the West Indies aren't very successful in managing their economies, I wonder if they could get together to form entirely new country, the United Islands of the Caribbean and start to throw off their socialist ways and start a free market economy to give their citizens a chance at a better life.

Puerto Rico would be perfect to spearhead such an endeavor with Haiti and the DR as charter members.

Posted by: erp at March 16, 2006 10:42 AM

Bermuda is a huge success, of course, it was British...:

Posted by: oj at March 16, 2006 10:48 AM

The DR isn't doing too badly for itself, comparatively, and I can't imagine they'd ever want to throw in their lot with Haiti...

Posted by: Timothy at March 16, 2006 11:08 AM

It it weren't for the Beard, the Marlins would be playing in Havana by now.

Did you see where Puerto Rico is trying to get some Marlin games played there the way they did for the Expos? Maybe they should get the Marlins and put the Devil Rays in Havana later. The real stumbling block for MLB expansion into the Caribbean is the wealth differential between them and the mainland. Maybe a AAA league should be established in the area (Monterrey, Mexico City and Caracas, too.) with the hope of replacing the teams with Major League teams eventually.

In 1869, Pres. Grant proposed annexing "Santo Domingo" but Congress refused. The Dominicans had already returned administration to Spain around 1861 for several years. (Sort of like what happened with Newfoundland in the 1930s.) The US had, from the 1840s, eyed a naval base there in a deal similar to what we eventually got with Guantanamo .

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 16, 2006 2:51 PM