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Baseball Dead in Puerto Rico?

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  • Baseball Dead in Puerto Rico?

    I've come across a couple comments recently indicating that baseball is dead in Puerto Rico. I understand that there was a court case a couple years back in which the draft was extended to Puerto Rico and that this adversely affected participation in the sport. Yet it seems that quite a few Puerto Ricans continue to be drafted every year and the current world cup team is stocked with professional players and many young. So, I wonder, is baseball in irreversible decline in Puerto Rico?

  • #2
    P.R. players have been subject to the draft since the late '80s.

    I don't know if baseball is in an "irreversible decline" in P.R., but it's been a massive decline. Just compare the studs that came out of P.R. in the '80s and early '90s with the players from P.R. from the last 10-15 years. It's like night and day.

    The draft aside, P.R. has gotten so Americanized -- video games, cars, other sports, etc. -- that it's no wonder there's been such a substantial decline.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by NattyBaller View Post
      I've come across a couple comments recently indicating that baseball is dead in Puerto Rico. I understand that there was a court case a couple years back in which the draft was extended to Puerto Rico and that this adversely affected participation in the sport.
      I've heard that claim before and don't buy it. Canadian baseball has improved since it became included in the amateur draft.

      Yet it seems that quite a few Puerto Ricans continue to be drafted every year and the current world cup team is stocked with professional players and many young. So, I wonder, is baseball in irreversible decline in Puerto Rico?
      The 1990s were the peak of Puerto Rican baseball with guys like Pudge, Delgado, the Alomars, Juan Gonzalez, Carlos Baerga and so on. I think we're in a similar state to the 1970s and 1980s, where Puerto Rico is a good but not great baseball country.

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      • #4
        Hey guys I'm new here and yes, PR Baseball has been in a brutal decline the past decade or so. Mostly because of the draft. I want to make something clear, PR's quantity of players has been down but there are a couple of good prospects out there that have a lot of quality. We are still alive, this can be turned around.

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        • #5
          I had a question about Efrain Nieves of Puerto Rico's 2009 World Cup team. Is he related to the Efrain Nieves of Puerto Rico's 1992 Olympic team?

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          • #6
            Yeah, he is his son.

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            • #7
              Interesting. I see PR has not won the Caribbean Series since 2000, either. On a side note, why aren't Nicaragua or Panama in that series?

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              • #8
                Some people say those countries don't have baseball tradition. I even heard a guy from the Dominican Republic say that they didn't have the talent to compete. Personally I would like to se a Caribbean Series with Panama, Nicaragua and other countries that have winter leagues. A 6 or 8 team tournament would be great in my opinion.
                Last edited by Ricardo Emanuel; 09-08-2009, 03:54 PM.

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                • #9
                  I still wonder why Cuba competes in every tournament except the Caribbean World Series. Colombia might start competing in 2011. Puerto Rico still has 28-30 major leaguers on MLB rosters at any one time. Not bad for a country of less than four million. They did very well in the WBC in 2009.

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                  • #10
                    Nicaragua and Panama do not have professional winter leagues which I think is mandatory nor the infrastructure, therefore that disqualifies those countries from competing in the Carib World Series. I think they have semi-pro leagues. Correct me if I am wrong.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by NattyBaller View Post
                      Interesting. I see PR has not won the Caribbean Series since 2000, either. On a side note, why aren't Nicaragua or Panama in that series?
                      The Caribbean Series has been for countries with professional leagues. Nicaragua and Panama have had a difficult time sustaining leagues, for various reasons (mostly economic, especially in Nicaragua's case).

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                      • #12
                        Panama has an open national championship, which means that mostly locals play, many of them pros, and very few imports. Not enough for Caribbean Series compertition.
                        Nicaragua has a Pro Winter League that suspended play in 2008-2009; it is preparing for next season but only three imports per team will be allowed. With few Major Leaguers, Nicaragua nevertheless could compete successfully with a few imports in the Series, but the executives are the weak link. Colombia should already be in the Series, they have a well organized league (but, like Nicaragua, they have too many Indy imports; only four imports for the nica league have reached the Majors, almost none or none for Colombia).

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                        • #13
                          The demise of baseball in Puerto Rico was greatly exaggerated. Carlos Correa, Lindor, Baez, Steven Moya, JO Berrios, Kennys Vargas, Christian Vazquez, Edwin Diaz, Enrique Hernandez and AJ Jimenez. And there is more help on the way.
                          Last edited by Richard; 08-02-2014, 04:29 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Richard View Post
                            The demise of baseball in Puerto Rico was greatly exaggerated. Carlos Correa, Lindor, Baez, Steven Moya, JO Berrios, Kennys Vargas, Christian Vazquez, Edwin Diaz, Enrique Hernandez and AJ Jimenez. And there is more help on the way.
                            Also, Jorge Lopez, Eddie Rosario, Jesmuel Valentin and Victor Caratini could be major leaguers soon.

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                            • #15
                              The success or failure of winter leagues is almost always a matter of finances, rarely is it due to a lack of on-field talent.
                              Clyde's Stale Cards - A blog about the international world of baseball cards.

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