Home Editions Japan destroys Mexico’s dream in World Baseball Classic

Japan destroys Mexico’s dream in World Baseball Classic

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Mexican pitcher Patrick Sandoval in a game against Japan in the World Baseball Classic.
Mexican pitcher Patrick Sandoval in a game against Japan in the World Baseball Classic.Wilfredo Lee (AP)

Mexico touched the feat in baseball’s highest performance. The Mexican team reached the historic semifinals in the World Baseball Classic only to overcome Japan to face the king of the game, the United States, in the final. It was the dream game for the World Championship. However, the Japanese were the favourites. Throughout the game, which lasted more than three hours, the Mexicans were ahead on the scoreboard until the ninth inning when the Japanese dealt a hard blow (6–5) to the Mexicans.

The ninth Mexican delivered a solid game. The pitcher who was in unstoppable mode was Patrick Sandoval. The baseball trio’s ability to defend against the Japanese was crucial to keeping the score clean. Luis Urias made a huge connect Home Run Mexico go up 3-0 in the game. Randy Arrozarena, a Cuban who decided to represent Mexico, took the night by catching the ball at the perfect moment, such as in the sixth inning when the Japanese had an opportunity to level the score and caught the ball before it left the park. took. Arojrena celebrated as if nothing had happened.

In the seventh inning, Mexican Jojo Romero could not avoid Shohei Ohtani’s drive. Arozarena, in a quick reply, hit a fierce whip that confused the Japanese outfielders. This started another Mexican run for a partial 4–3. El Tri had a chance to open the distance, but he only added one more run after the out (5-3). The Asians closed the gap and, in the bottom of the eighth inning, Gerardo Reyes homered to make the night bitter for Kensuke Kondoh. It was all in the ninth inning. There the Mexicans failed to extend the advantage. Serious mistake to leave some Japanese who have built their sporting success on the bat, badly injured. The Japanese, in the ninth inning, took the deck and forfeited the game. Hard dart for the Mexican who can do nothing now (6-5). The Mexican fans who packed Londepot Park in Miami surrendered to themselves.

The Mexican team caused a great shock to the world of baseball when it came back from a losing game against Puerto Rico, one of the powers in the semi-finals (5-4). Prior to this, they had already surprised the United States (11–5) by defeating Cuba to reach the final. Mexico’s road, however, started with a shock against Colombia (5-4). They also ousted the United Kingdom (2–1) and Canada (10–3) in the first round.

The Mexican baseball team has found great cohesion among its players thanks to the fact that more than 90% belong to the Major Leagues in America, with one Dodgers player, Julio Urías, as a great figure. The Mexicans also witnessed the birth of a star. Randy Arrojarena was born in Pinar del Río, Cuba, he represented the island on the lower baseball and soccer teams until he left on a raft to Mexico. He was signed to a youth baseball academy in Tijuana and there he began his journey through various teams in the Mexican Pacific League. In 2016, the Cardinals signed him to make the jump to the United States. It took three years for him to make his major league debut, and a year later, he landed with the Tampa Bay Rays. He played in the World Series against the Dodgers, which they lost.

Arojana set up a broadcast in 2021 with her Instagram followers. There he sent an unusual message: “I only ask for one favor, my people. Send a message to the President (Andrés Manuel López Obrador) for him to give me nationality and do me a favor to represent Mexico in the World Classic, that’s all I want.” The President assured a conference that his case would be referred to the Director of Immigration. Received naturalization papers that recognized him as Mexican. López Obrador, a self-confessed fan of bats and mitts, has made baseball his biggest sports bet. In 2019 he created the Office of the Presidency for the Promotion and Development of Baseball in Mexico (Probeis), which received 1,054 million pesos.

Mexico views baseball with nostalgia. It is one of those sports that has great legends around the world such as Fernando Valenzuela, Adrián González or Esteban Loaiza (who served a sentence for cocaine distribution). Baseball enjoyed great success with two competing leagues in Latin America and the US, but its biggest problem with television was the length of games and the impossibility of a tie there. Mexican television stations preferred the soccer business model. The biggest influence for Mexicans has been, above all, Major League Baseball (MLB).

The World Classic is viewed as the largest baseball tournament for the countries. It began in 2006 thanks to the impetus of leagues from MLB, Japan and South Korea. Of the four editions played, Japan won in 2006 and 2009. The Dominican Republic was crowned in 2013 and in 2017, the closest edition, the USA overtook Puerto Rico. The Mexicans had never reached the semi-final round until the ninth, led by Benjamin Gil, did so this year. Mexico, despite losing against Japan, was upbeat and showed its best face in decades. As a crop, he is left with an illustrious generation of baseball players, with Arrojarena as a new Mexican idol.

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