MIAMI, FL — Yesterday’s second day of Latino baseball in Miami again provided exciting baseball for all who attended any of the three games that were held yesterday. Three baseball games on a Friday in a city with a majority Latino population would be a baseball delight. However, the attendance for these three games still begs the question as to why so few fans turning out?
The first game between Panama and Curaçao which Panama won by a score of 7 to 3 had a total attendance of just 4,887. The fact is that a 10:30 AM game on a Friday morning is not an ideal time for any baseball fan to attend. From what I saw from the press box and walking around the stadium was that the fans in attendance were basically loyal Panamanian and Curaçao fans that had mostly come from those countries to cheer their teams, family and friends making up most of them. There might have been a sprinkle of Miami residents, but not enough to make a difference in the attendance.
The second game between Dominican Republic and Nicaragua was played at 3:30 PM. This game was exciting to watch as it was a momentum that both teams took into this second day of baseball. Dominican Republic and Nicaragua had both lost their first game. Dominican Republic had lost to Venezuela and Nicaragua had lost to Puerto Rico. One more loss for either team would make it very difficult for them to make it to the finals. Both teams came out to play with a stronger intensity to win. Dominican Republic appeared headed for another loss, but two costly infield errors gave the game away and Dominican Republic won by a score of 5 to 4. This game had a total attendance of 10,710.
The evenings 8:30 PM game between Puerto Rico and Mexico was the highlight of the day as this was the first time since the World Baseball Classic that these two countries would face each other. This game had a special meaning for Puerto Rico’s manager and future HOF player, Yadier Molina who was the manager for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic when they lost a crucial game to Mexico which eliminated Puerto Rico from advancing to the semifinals. Prior to the game Molina was asked about facing Mexico again and he stated that he “had a splinter to remove” referring to that World Classic Game loss to Mexico. Puerto Rico and Mexico played excellent baseball on both pitching and defense. Molina used his knowledge of being a future HOF catcher for 20 years using seven pitchers to keep the Mexican offence dormant while Puerto Rico scored two runs in the 5th inning on a key hit by D-Backs third baseman Emmanuel “El Pulpo” Rivera and win by the score of 2 to 0. The attendance for this game was 11, 816. Molina was asked in the post-game press conference if he had removed the splinter, he laughed and said, “most definitely.”
Tonight, the key game will be between the two sister island nations, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. This will be one game that will probably break the attendance record of these games and perhaps the attendance record of many Miami Marlins game as already they are predicting a sell out crowd. Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic have a long history of competition that brings out the crowds for all their games in every sport.
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