8.21.2007

Puerto Rico's Winter Baseball League Cancelled

After 69 years in existence, the Puerto Rico Winter League cancelled its upcoming season because of financial problems.

Fortunately, Major League Baseball may step in and salvage part of Puerto Rico's sports heritage by sponsoring an alternative winter season league.

"I'm very concerned there is no baseball in Puerto Rico. I'm disappointed, because Puerto Rico has a culture and a history of playing the game. Second, we use the league as a developmental tool, and that will not be available now. We are not happy about it. The fans are not very happy about it. We have to put our heads together, between MLB and Puerto Rico and the Players Association, and keep baseball alive in some shape or form."

Lou Melendez, MLB VP-International Baseball Operations.

Sadly, Winter league's demise is in keeping with the sad state-of-affairs in Puerto Rico.

On the one hand, Puerto Rico has been eclipsed by the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Mexico as Meccas of Latin baseball--each sponsoring very popular Winter leagues of their own.

On the other hand, island leaders failed in their duties to market Puerto Rico as a quality venue for a sport that generates billions of dollars and has a huge Latin, North American and international fan base.

As in so many other examples, island leaders continue to fail Puerto Rico.

More