Is baseball sending aid to Puerto Rico?
It appears that Major League Baseball is going ahead with a two game series featuring Minnesota and Cleveland on April 17 and 18 in San Juan, Puerto Rico despite the fact that electricity might fully not be restored in the American territory months after a hurricane tore apart the island. Two years ago, Major League Baseball canceled two games between Pittsburgh and Miami in San Juan because the Players Association did not want members exposed to the Zika virus.
Commissioner Rob Manfred decided that the players who objected to the trip because of their specific family situations should not be forced to travel to Puerto Rico. The decision to cancel the games was not a surprise, Puerto Rican officials claimed that the Zika virus was not much of a concern and that cancelling the two games was sending a bad message out to tourists who might want to vacation in the cash strapped American territory. This time it is different. Puerto Rico is in desperate need of assistance and two baseball games might help. Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are struggling with tourism. Cruise ships have been going to the areas devastated by two hurricanes but both territories need help and Major League Baseball is in a position to pitch in if the San Juan stadium which was damaged in the storm is usable. Major League Baseball plans to send some sort of aid package to help local residents. Major League Baseball has a vested interest in Puerto Rico as it is a prime baseball area and players do develop skills that enable them to get into a position where they are scouted and signed. In 2016, Major League Baseball and The Major League Baseball Players Association signed a deal authorizing $5 million to be invested in Puerto Rican baseball programs. Puerto Rico residents need any help they can get even if it is minimal aid from two baseball games.