Sunday, February 7, 2016

‘Super’ ball game didn’t take place in California stadium named for Levi’s

I’m enough of a baseball fan that I follow the winter leagues in Latin America – and always manage to find the Caribbean Series to be an event worthy of a level of hype that we waste on that other allegedly major sporting event.

A highlight never achieved in U.S.
The one that many people felt compelled to watch on Sunday so they could see the so-called significant television commercials that air during the broadcast.

YES, I’LL CONFESS to not planning to watch the Super Bowl – because I’m all sported-out from having watched the Caribbean Series’ championship game. The one in which the Mazatlan Deer of Mexico’s Pacific League beat the Aragua Tigers of the Venezuelan League to allow them, and Mexico in general, to have bragging rights for this year as the champions of Latin American baseball.

I must admit to seeing Jorge Vazquez hit that 9th inning game-winning home run off Renee Cortez to turn a 4-4 tie into a 5-4 Mexico victory was a jolt that now has me all-the-more worked up over the coming of spring training in just under a couple of weeks.

That’s quite a highlight for Vazquez, whose career in U.S. baseball was little more than a couple of seasons playing for New York Yankees minor league affiliates.

It is a shame, however, that Freddy Garcia didn’t wind up getting the victory for his Venezuela team – since he had already said he is now retired following two decades of playing baseball professionally.

INCLUDING THOSE YEARS with the Chicago White Sox when he was one of the top pitchers on teams worthy of respect and national attention.

A decade after World Series highlight, he's retired
For those curious, it was also humorous (as usual) to listen to former White Sox star shortstop and manager Ozzie Guillen do the color commentary on the Spanish-language broadcast – which is all that ESPN gave to the Caribbean Series this year.

Ozzie’s humor, and ego, manage to come across regardless of the language translation. Although I wonder how Venezuela fanaticos de beisbol will react to Guillen -- a Venezuela native -- saying that the best team (Mexico) won the game.

As for Garcia, I’m sure he would have liked to have ended his career with a victory for his national team.

Ozzie's come a long way!
OH WELL. I guess he’ll just have to settle for a career highlight of being the winning pitcher in Game 4 of the 2005 World Series.

That’s the one where the White Sox beat the Houston Astros 1-0 to give Chicago what remains – no matter what the Chicago Cubs might try to claim – the city’s ONLY World Series title in the past 99 years.

And all of this, I’m sure, will wind up being much more spectacular than anything that happens later Sunday in the allegedly ‘Super’ Bowl.


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