Mexico made history by qualifying for the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic and words seem to fall short to describe what players like Randy Arozarena. The Green Ninth starred in a cardiac comeback against Puerto Rico and filled millions with emotion.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a baseball fan or not. What has been done by the roster commanded by Benjamín Gil is unprecedented and the manager himself knows it; however, there was a moment in the game that kept the victory of the Mexican National Team and it took from applause to ovations.
It’s no secret that Randy Arozarena is one of the most important players for Mexico in the tournament. On defense, he takes care of center field and on offense he is usually a guarantee of hits (with everything and the cabal of power boots). An authentic jewel was sent against Puerto Rico and the whole world recognized it.
Despite the comeback, the Puerto Ricans maintained a powerful offense. Mexico had to get out of several problems to reach the ninth inning and Randy Arozarena shined in the top of the eighth. However, there was much more than just a catch.
“They just told me that no Mexican team from any sport at the highest level had reached the semifinal of a World Cup. Outside of a boxer who has won world championships, in teamwork, it has to be the most important play in the history of sports in Mexico. Not anything more than baseball“Benji Gil explained at a press conference about the great moment of Randy Arozarena… and company.
Why was the play key beyond Randy Arozarena’s catch?
Although we might think that Randy Arozarena avoided a brace from Sánchez, we have to consider that Puerto Rico had a man at first base. The catch was the second out of the inning, but that was a detail to worry about.
Beyond keeping the ball, Arozarena reacted immediately with a spectacular launch. This caused the runner not to continue on his way to second base; instead, he had to return to first under the care of Joey Meneses.
Randy Arozarena himself is aware of what he did and the impact it had. Therefore, he placed that moment above any other that has lived in the MLB.
“That was better than any home run he’s hit in the majors. It was better than the home run I hit in the World Series. that play was the best. He was able to help the game stay in our favor and he was a great catch“, confessed the gardener.
Now, Mexico will face Japan with a roster more inspired than ever and with more desire to continue making history.