Interview: World Series Campeón Javier Báez • Latino Sports

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Interview: World Series Campeón Javier Báez

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FLUSHING – Three years ago, I wrote a piece on Javier Báez and the piece titled Boricua Phenom, Javier Báez Quite Possibly May Be the Answer for the Mets in 2015 reminded me of what I had already predicted.

In 2015, the Mets would finish the season with 90 wins and along with the extraordinary post-season exploits of Yoenis Céspedes and Daniel Murphy, the Amazins’ were headed to their first World Series in 15 years.

Sadly, the Mets would collapse to the Royals in the Fall Classic and regrettably the organization decided to pass on signing Murphy to a long-term deal. Their answer for a replacement at second base would be former Pirates’ second baseman, Neil Walker.

I don’t have to tell you what Daniel Murphy has already done in Washington and the glitzy hardware that Báez and the Chicago Cubs wear on their right hands.

During the 2014 season, Báez showed flashes of offensive brilliance and acrobatic defense in the infield. But, the high strikeouts continued to plague this rookie and the questions remained would he improve offensively.

Two years later, adjustments were made to his swing, a 15 lb. weight loss and good-ole patience proved to be the winning formula. After a 108-year drought, the Cubs won the World Series and Báez played an unbelievable role in that post-season run.

Can we say…2016 NLCS Co-MVP?

In the championship series against the Dodgers, he hit .318 with five RBIs, four doubles, two stolen bases including three hits and three RBIs in Game 5.

Can we also add during Game 1 he stole home in the second inning? He was the first Cub to do this in a playoff game since 1907.

Interestingly, I was able to speak to Cubs’ manager, Joe Maddon and asked him to describe the 2017 version of his amazingly talented infielder.

“He’s constantly improving. He’s made a lot of really good adjustments over the last couple of years. He has a flair for the dramatic but I want him to nail down the routine a little better.”

Prior to the first game of the Mets-Cubs series, I sat down briefly with this Bayamon-native about his recollections of the MLB Draft, the WBC and the impact his family has had on his exciting career.

(Dressing rather quickly while answering my questions, Baez had to rush to a 4:55pm meeting and answered with rather succinct responses).

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About Danny Torres

Bronx native, Danny Torres is a high school teacher, an avid baseball fan and freelance sports journalist. Besides his work with Latinosports.com, he has written for MLB.com, the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y, the N.Y. Mets, the Puerto Rico Daily Sun and Manhattan Times. He was a frequent guest on 'Solamente Pelota', a now-defunct sports program on XM/Sirius satellite radio. In 2010, he contributed to an updated prologue for the re-released book, 'Clemente, the Enduring Legacy' by Kal Wagenheim. In 2011, as part of a series commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month on MLB.com, he contributed to a five-part series saluting the greatest Latino pitchers in baseball. Finally, in December, 2011, he participated in a panel discussion connected with the Smithsonian exhibition, 'Beyond Baseball, The Life of Roberto Clemente' in Baltimore, Maryland. In December, 2012, he appeared on the front page of 'El Diario/La Prensa', a NY Spanish daily newspaper and was featured in a five-part series dedicated to the legendary Puerto Rican baseball player, Roberto Clemente who tragically died 40 years ago.

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