Final Score: Puerto Rico 4, USA 3.
World Baseball Conflict of the Game: The Puerto Rican Campaign of the Spanish American War.
Americans always look good early on. However whether it’s because of a breakdown in strategy in some sort of competition, or because your metabolism slows down as you age and obesity finally kicks in, the USA tends to look a lot worse in the end. Take the Puerto Rican Campaign of the Spanish American War. America looked dominant early on, taking victories with ease against the Puerto Ricans. But at the very end they floundered, leading to an exit in a region where they could have done a lot more.
Then we look at the WBC. America looked dominant early on, taking victories with ease against the Puerto Ricans. But then in their second game the Americans floundered, leading to an exit in a region where they also could have done a lot more. Friday’s game was strangely similar to the events of the late 1800s for these reasons, and also because a couple fans were taken as POWs. Loria wanted to make sure the stadium was filled next season and had no other options.
In August of 1898, American troops pursued opposing Puerto Rican forces who seemed to be on the retreat. In fact, they were met with return fire, a reinvigorated effort, and a general sense of confusion as to what exactly was happening, which seemed like the framework for the Puerto Rican rebuttal during Friday’s matchup. The Puerto Ricans surprised the Americans with competence, resisting successfully for one of the first times and actually causing damage.
The Americans took a minor number of casualties during the resistance effort, but weren’t overwhelmed with a sense of defeat. More confusion ultimately replaced by telling themselves, “whatever, we’re still America.” Much like in the WBC. Sure Puerto Rico won, but do they have two McDonald’s restaurants on Main Street? I think not. Losers.
The result of the Puerto Rican Campaign actually got America what they wanted, as Spain relinquished control over a few territories including Puerto Rico. So while that might seem like a win for the USA as opposed to this WBC loss, both events were similar in giving Puerto Rico a chance at redemption and future success. Finally having overcome their powerful oppressor, the Puerto Ricans could move on and establish a new empire, where they can succeed as a proud people!
Or they can fall back into a routine of answering to and being dominated by the USA, just like they did historically. Probably gonna have that happen.