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Puerto Rico Series Comes With Added Importance

When the Twins head to Puerto Rico at the beginning of this week, there will be added importance for players like Eddie Rosario and Jose Berrios. Not only will they be able to play in front of friends and family, but they will be able to bring something to a country still trying to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria last September.

It will be the first official game in Puerto Rico since the Mets and Marlins played in 2010. Two baseball games will be played but turning the spotlight to this small island country is much more important.
Image courtesy of Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Work To Be Done
For many, it’s hard to believe that Puerto Rico is still trying to dig out from Hurricane Maria. Most major cities are closer to being back to normal but the mountainous regions are still dealing with the long-term effects. Players and coaches with connections to Puerto Rico are hoping the mountain regions get more focus during this two game series.

“We still have work to do,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “People don’t realize there are people in the mountains that have no water, no power. It’s been six or seven months. That’s tough. We complain we don’t have power for three days and we’re going nuts, so imagine not having that. Our population is an older one. There are a lot of people in need in the mountains. It’s a struggle for them.”

Eddie Rosario and Francisco Lindor will be looking to help out the community in other ways. As part of the “Players Going Home” program, both players will welcome roughly 250 youth to a special baseball clinic. The students will come from the elementary school Lindor attended as a child.

Other fundraising events will be happening throughout the coming days. According to MLB.com, there will be a charity golf event to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico and Habitat for Humanity, a PLAY BALL event and a Puerto Rico R.B.I. (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) game.

Ceremonial Events
The importance of this event hasn’t been lost on Rosario. “I’m happy because we will be able to bring happiness to my island after Hurricane Maria. These two days will be unforgettable for me and the island of Puerto Rico. People are extremely excited and happy to be able to witness Major League Baseball.”

Some of the excitement will be built on the field before the games, where there will be other important Puero Ricans in attendance. Former big leaguer Bernie Williams will sing the Star-Spangled Banner and recently retired Carlos Beltran will throw out the first pitch. Before the first game, there will also be a ceremony honoring residents who helped in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

“These two regular season games will show the world that we are open for business,” said Anaymir Munoz Grajales, Vice President of MB Sports. “Puerto Rico is ready to receive fans from all over to enjoy our hospitality and all that the island has to offer.”

What Can You Do?

As events get underway, you might be asking how you can help the situation in Puerto Rico. There are plenty of opportunities this week.

Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr. and Roberto Alomar are hosting an online auction with proceeds going to the Habitat for Humanity and Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico. The auction items include autographs and experiences from multiple sports. Auction items will end on Thursday, April 19 at 7 pm.

Here are some other options for assisting those in need (some of the list compiled by PBS.org):
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico is one of the organizations that MLB has identified for multiple events this week. Before hurricanes Irma and Maria, 58% of Puerto Rican children lived in poverty. One has to believe that number increased with the devastation caused by the storm.
  • Habitat for Humanity of Puerto Rico is another organization supported by Major League Baseball as part of their relief efforts. Habitat is responding to the hurricane by preparing to help families to rebuild and repair their homes.
  • ConPRmetidos, a nonprofit based in San Juan, and Foundation for Puerto Rico are trying to raise $10 million to finance long-term relief efforts. Donations to their Puerto Rico Real-Time Recovery Fund will be used to help restore power, fund structural repairs in the most marginalized communities and improve needs assessment efforts to identify and support unattended areas.
  • Unidos Por Puerto Rico was created through a partnership between the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló, and the private sector. The initiative is focused on helping individuals and small businesses on the island recover by offering support for housing, food and health needs.
  • The Hurricane Maria Community Relief & Recovery Fund is supporting immediate and long-term rebuilding of Puerto Rico by awarding grants to local initiatives and low-income communities hardest hit by the hurricane.
  • The Center for Disaster Philanthropy is addressing medium and long-term recovery needs, including mental health treatment and the rebuilding of infrastructure, homes and businesses. Along with helping Puerto Rico, donations to the fund will provide relief to other areas in the U.S. mainland and the Caribbean ravaged by the 2017 hurricane season.
  • Other national and global humanitarian organizations, such as Oxfam, American Red Cross, International Medical Corps, Americares, Save the Children and The Salvation Army are collecting donations to mobilize supplies and volunteers on the island.

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17 Comments

Wonderful report.It is terrible how we have turned our backs on this island and its suffering.If baseball can raise their spirits and draw attention to the needs of the people it will be a wonderful story and a credit to the sport. 

    • Carole Keller, gunnarthor, CUtomorrownight and 1 other like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Apr 15 2018 01:00 PM

I am proud that the Twins are able to bring awareness to the USA of the needs of our friends and neighbors in Puerto Rico.  

    • Carole Keller, PseudoSABR, TheLeviathan and 1 other like this

Is Berrios still going to pitch this series?

 

Is Berrios still going to pitch this series?

 

Thought I read somewhere he was game 2?

You know, this had the bones for a really good, compassionate article, other than it's beginning:

 

 


 Not only will they be able to play in front of friends and family, but they will be able to bring something to a country still trying to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria last September.

 

Sorry, but unless you give the proper respect to Puerto Rico and treat it as part of the United States, as it is, whatever else cannot sound anything but forced and patronizing... 

 

It ain't another country. It is a US Territory.

    • jokin and rdehring like this

 

You know, this has the bones for a really good, compassionate article, other than it's beginning:

 

 

 

Sorry, but unless you give the proper respect to Puerto Rico and treat it as part of the United States, as it is, whatever else cannot sound anything but forced and patronizing... 

 

It ain't another country. It is a US Territory.

 

Yep. Noticed that immediately- the dangers of writing articles beyond one's scope or depth. 

 

US Unincorporated Territory and officially referred to as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (from English Law?). Puerto Ricans are US citizens. Past referenda have shown overwhelming public support for either statehood or maintaining the status quo- as opposed to very tiny support for independence.

    • Thrylos likes this
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ashburyjohn
Apr 15 2018 07:45 PM

It ain't another country. It is a US Territory.

It's also an island, and that word would have fit perfectly, finessing the entire question. [/editor's hat].

    • Thrylos likes this

Got to have an open mind...

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OldManWinter
Apr 15 2018 09:09 PM
Not to split hairs, but if it was Country, perhaps it is not correct, but country should be.

If we speak of Montana, we can say it is a country of big skies.

Yep. Noticed that immediately- the dangers of writing articles beyond one's scope or depth.

US Unincorporated Territory and officially referred to as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (from English Law?). Puerto Ricans are US citizens. Past referenda have shown overwhelming public support for either statehood or maintaining the status quo- as opposed to very tiny support for independence.


Wikipedia. Nice.
    • CUtomorrownight likes this

 

Wikipedia. Nice.

 

My nephew's college teammate is from Puerto Rico and I had the good fortune to be able to travel there to see them play in San Juan a couple years ago. Both my nephew's teammate and the people I met there are very proud of both their island home and their American citizenship. And curiously enough, they share the same distrust and cynicism we statesiders have of political corruption and hypocrisy that have benefitted the few at expense of the many.

 

Because of the pervasive corruption and imminent and looming bankruptcy of the local government, Puerto Ricans have been fleeing the island and heading to the US mainland in great numbers, long before the recent weather disaster- of which has only served to make a very bad situation even worse.

 

Through all of this, support for statehood has grown from about equal to status quo in referenda 30-50 years ago, to now slightly above 50%. Meanwhile, support for independence has steadily shrunk over this same timeframe, also to the benefit of statehood support numbers.

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Carole Keller
Apr 15 2018 10:42 PM

You know, this had the bones for a really good, compassionate article, other than it's beginning:
 
 

 
Sorry, but unless you give the proper respect to Puerto Rico and treat it as part of the United States, as it is, whatever else cannot sound anything but forced and patronizing... 
 
It ain't another country. It is a US Territory.


Yep, it’s part of the U.S. And the U.S. as a whole has pretty much given far less attention to their needs post Maria, which makes it even worse, imo. They are part of the U.S. yet we as a whole seemed less concerned and vigilant toward their reparations and basic needs than other parts of the U.S. also hit by hurricanes this past season. Still, technicalities aside, it’s good that MLB can bring attention to the devastation that was and still affects PR.

    • Thrylos likes this
Hopefully these games aren’t snowed out too. Does anybody know if these games will be broadcast on the normal radio frequencies?
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Buddy Holly
Apr 16 2018 01:35 PM

Ignored NO! It takes time to rebuild a whole power grid, when everything has to be shipped to the island. They had no people to rebuild it themselves. They are broke 75 billion in debt before the hurricane. Economy went bad when tax laws changed years ago. Young people are leaving and Puerto Rico has an aging work force, without a plan. 

    • gil4 and jokin like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Apr 17 2018 06:39 PM

 

Not to split hairs, but if it was Country, perhaps it is not correct, but country should be.

If we speak of Montana, we can say it is a country of big skies.

Either way, the word country is not a proper noun or title and because we don't live in the Victorian era, we don't capitalize things because we want to make them more important and/or interesting.

 

 

Sorry, but unless you give the proper respect to Puerto Rico and treat it as part of the United States, as it is, whatever else cannot sound anything but forced and patronizing... 

 

pu2r4sm.png

 

Super happy we were all able to trivialize the point over pedantry. Let me guess, you are intimately familiar with all overseas territories, dependent territories, crown colonies, and disputed provinces?

 

Was there anything substantive that was problematic about the article? 

 

No? Okay then.

 

Ignored NO! It takes time to rebuild a whole power grid, when everything has to be shipped to the island. They had no people to rebuild it themselves. They are broke 75 billion in debt before the hurricane. Economy went bad when tax laws changed years ago. Young people are leaving and Puerto Rico has an aging work force, without a plan. 

 

Nailed it. Add a corrupt and incentive-stifling political economy and it means many who want opportunity in life are forced to emigrate. The island was already subject to scattered blackouts before the hurricane.


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