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#pounditFriday, June 2, 2023

Yoenis Cespedes: MLB would grow if they played with Latin culture

Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes has a message for American baseball players and fans.

The New York Mets outfielder recorded a video shared by “We are Mitu” on Facebook in which he explained the difference between the Latin and American cultures of baseball. He said that Latin players celebrate because it’s part of the culture and not a sign of disrespect. He also said he thinks MLB would grow in popularity if they started playing with some Latin flair.

“Baseball players in the U.S. need to understand that we are not doing this out of disrespect. It’s just how we play,” Cespedes says in the video. “Baseball in the U.S. is the best baseball in the world. We Latinos play baseball because it’s a passion. That is the difference to why we play baseball with more love. In my country, Cuba, the game is played with music. If in the U.S., we would introduce more of the Latin culture, I think that baseball would grow,” says Cespedes.

“There would be more fans at the game because they wouldn’t just be there to see a game. It would be more like a party and something to enjoy.”

The culture clash in baseball has been magnified due to the World Baseball Classic. You had teams like Puerto Rico dyeing their hair, and more music for many of the Latin teams. But now there are younger American players like Bryce Harper trying to usher in a new era of baseball where celebrations are welcomed and encouraged. Cespedes is probably right that players having more fun would increase the game’s appeal.

H/T CBS Sports


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