Puerto Rico to Play Shortened Schedule

Because all of the five ballparks have been damaged by Hurricane Maria and the priority is to fix the infrastructure and not the ball parks the Puerto Rican season has been delayed. Power is still a prized commodity so playing day games may be the preferred route when the season begins. When the power in the area is not capable to operate traffic lights on the street it would be difficult for that power to light up a ballpark for night play.

The Roberto Clemente Baseball League is hoping to play an abbreviated 21 game schedule running from January 6 -21. By playing baseball again it would be establish normalcy to Puerto Rico, a condition that many would like to see come to pass. Some in the island have not seen power since Hurricane Irma smashed through the island in September.

The four teams that plan to participate in this abbreviated season are the Santurce Crabbers, Caguas Creoles, Carolina Giants and the Mayaguez Indians. Financial restraints have forced the Aguadilla Sharks to merge with the team from Mayaguez.

Play will occur at two ballparks, Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan and the Isidoro “Cholo” Garcia Stadium in Mayaguez. Games will be played from Thursday to Sunday at 1 or 1:30 PM with doubleheaders involved. Admission to the games will be free.

When the 21 game regular season is over the top three teams will advance to the playoffs. The top team will get a bye while the second and third place team battle in a one game playoff. The winner will then play the first place team in a five game playoff. The winner of that playoff game will go to Mexico to represent Puerto Rico in the Caribbean World Series. Puerto Rico and the Caguas Creoles are the defending champions.

Because of salary restrictions no imported players will be allowed to play. It will be an all Puerto Rican league, though many of their players have already scattered to the other winter leagues in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

Information for this piece was acquired from lavidabaseball.com.

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