Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mets-Marlins in Puerto Rico

As I write this, Chris Volstad is throwing the first pitch of game 3 of the series in San Juan, Puerto Rico between the Mets and the Marlins. It is the first time a regular season game has been played outside of the United States or Canada since 2004, when the Montreal Expos played 22 "home games" as part of their schedule, due to poor attendance at Olympic Stadium and as part of Puerto Rico's bid have the team move there. Crowds have been well over capacity for this series at historic Hiram Bithorn Stadium, which opened for business in 1962. This series is part of an ongoing effort by MLB to expand baseball's world impact and to play to the increasing international popularity of the sport. Every major league team now has scouting camps, winter leagues, and training facilities in some Latino/Carribbean nation, and it is only a matter of time before MLB is playing in a 3rd country on a more permanent basis. Just watching even one inning of this Marlins-Mets series, one can see how enthusiastic and devoted some foreign countries are to the game, and are not just having our American sport crammed down their throat like the NFL or NBA. Continuing to develop international talent and spread baseball acadamies across the globe is the next big step in MLB's life cycle (now that the Steroid Era is more or less over) and events like this series in Puerto Rico, Japanese barnstorming tours in Spring Training, and the World Baseball Classic are all big steps in the right direction. Erik and I are eager to someday visit an international league and to witness the passion and excitement firsthand.

Brewers 35-43, -8.5 (4 @ Cardinals, 4 v. Giants, 3 v. Pirates)
Reds 44-35, +0.5 (4 @ Cubs, 3 @ Mets, 4 @ Phillies)
Twins 43-35,
+1.5 (4 v. Rays, 3 @ Blue Jays, 3 @ Tigers)

Erik - 14
Peter - 27

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