The league’s struggles are merely the most vivid manifestation of a more profound, and surprising, phenomenon playing out here: the general decline of baseball in a place where it was long considered the national pastime, if not a religion. After decades of populating major league rosters with All-Star players at every position, Puerto Rico had only 20 players on Major League Baseball rosters on opening day last season. Only two of them made the All-Star team. (By contrast, the 1997 All-Star Game included eight Puerto Ricans.)
“From a socioeconomic standpoint, things have changed quite a bit in Puerto Rico,” Alderson said. “There are lots of other ways to spend your time. In the Dominican Republic, on the other hand, unfortunately, poor kids who are playing ball and who are from the lowest economic strata in that country, baseball is a way to escape, so there’s a greater concentration of players and effort. I think they’re just very different dynamics than Puerto Rico.”
Obvious solution: expansion of poverty! Why are you guys making this so hard?
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