Thursday, June 22, 2017

Minnesota in Puerto Rico

The games will be April 17-18 and are offically both home games for the Twins. I had figured that they'd be split as home games for Cleveland and Minnesota, but once again I thought wrong. 

At least it figures to be a bit warmer there in April than at Target Field. (Or at the Cleveland stadium, for that matter.)

The last MLB games in San Juan were in 2010. In the early 2000s there were quite a few games played there; the Expos, as wards of the league, at one point split their home schedule between Montreal and San Juan.

With the island on the verge of bankruptcy, it's highly unlikely MLB is exploring San Juan as a team location. This is more likely about growing the game's appeal among Puerto Rico's youth, which really shouldn't be necessary. Puerto Rico has long produced outstanding talent. But that talent started drying up when MLB subjected the island's residents to the draft. This removed the incentive for MLB teams to invest in developing the kids; why spend the money when somebody else can then benefit from it? 

There are three Puerto Rican natives on the Twins roster: Jose Berrios, Eddie Rosario and Kennys Vargas; Hector Santiago, who is from New Jersey, also played for PR during the World Baseball Classic. Cleveland has the biggest star from the island of the two teams in shortstop Francisco Lindor. 

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