Puerto Rico Newsbeat
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Yesterday Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Union announced that they will play games in Puerto Rico as part of a plan to develop and support baseball on the island. They likewise pledged $5 million for the creation of development programs in Puerto Rico and plan to stage special events there.
The press release about this made mention of Puerto Rico’s undeniably outstanding baseball tradition. What it did not mention is that, in the view of many, Major League Baseball itself harmed that tradition significantly when it decided to subject Puerto Rican players to the draft in 1990. A move that the MLBPA signed off on too, of course. Indeed, there’s a pretty strong argument that, if it were not for MLB and the MLBPA’s own acts, there would be no need to “develop and support” baseball in Puerto Rico like this at all.
Posted: August 25, 2016 at 09:37 AM | 1 comment(s)
Tuesday, May 03, 2016
Players from the Pirates and Marlins banded together in recent days to let Major League Baseball know they want to move the two-game series at Hiram Bithorn Stadium to Miami instead, sources said, a view shared by some club officials and staff members as well. Despite the widespread implications – including a possible effect on league relations with Puerto Rico as well as opening a Pandora’s box for athletes leading up to the Summer Olympics in Brazil, another Zika-affected country – MLB is not expected to oppose the players’ choice, sources told Yahoo Sports….
It’s a lot to ask, certainly. After the players met with CDC officials in recent days and were told nobody could guarantee they would leave the island Zika-free, the concerns grew. Players answer to their families before anyone else, and the fear of birth defects among babies born to Zika-infected mothers rightfully scares those who plan on getting pregnant in the near future – particularly considering the disease can be transmitted sexually, and doctors believe it stays in men for months at a time. A study from French Polynesia’s outbreak of Zika in 2013 linking the virus to cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disorder in which the immune system attacks the body’s nerves, further clouds a virus still shrouded in mystery.
Thursday, April 21, 2016
The virus, which can be transmitted via mosquitos, has not been transmitted in that fashion in the continental U.S., but there have been nearly 450 confirmed Zika cases contracted in Puerto Rico. The continental U.S. cases — over 350 of them — have all been tied to people traveling to places where there are outbreaks, such as Puerto Rico.
MLB and the union are talking with the players and are looking at Centers for Disease Control guidelines about how to ensure player safety and the prevention of birth defects to any children of players who may become affected. That includes guidelines about abstaining from reproductive sex for up to six months. But that’s obviously not the greatest comfort to some of the players:
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