Final Score: Dominican Republic 2, Puerto Rico 0.
World Baseball Conflict of the Game: The tourism battle between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
When you’re thinking of a nice Caribbean vacation, you’d probably consider going to either the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico. Just like baseball. When you’re thinking of good baseball, you’d probably consider either the Dominican Republic or the USA. I mean Puerto Rico, which is kind of the USA anyway.
The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico are the two most visited vacation destinations in the Caribbean. Source: Wikipedia said that in a sentence and fact checking is boring, so lets go with it. Puerto Rico has historically been on top, but the Dominican surely wants to be recognized as number one. I’m surprised they aren’t already, as Jose Lima’s gravesite should be a pilgrimage for any baseball fan from the 90s, much like Mecca.
The World Baseball Classic matchup provided both teams with the chance to boost tourism to their homeland, because what better way to say “come to my country,” than by showing off people who don’t live there anymore because they’re too rich.
I think that many people look at Puerto Rico as a safe route to go in terms of Caribbean vacations. Being a US territory, it’s a familiar land in some ways, that allows for an easy transition. Much like the Puerto Rican baseball team. Lots of familiar faces, like Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina, who make it easy to feel comfortable with watching the team play.
I also think that many people find the Dominican a lot more thrilling and more of a rush than Puerto Rico. It’s a country on its own, with an unfamiliar language. The experiences you could have there might send shivers down your spine with the new alien culture you’re experiencing. Much like the Dominican baseball team. They provide constant excitement, never knowing who will hit the next mammoth home run. They’re a rush of offense that overwhelms you but at the same time excites you. You can never be prepared for it, so just take it as it comes.
After the Dominican Republic won this game, Puerto Rico’s tourism numbers decreased into the negatives. I don’t know how that’s possible but it’s entirely true. The Dominican is surging, much like their tourism will when people realize they can go to Robbie Cano’s old house and drink from the fountain of wonderful that he must frequently have visited as a child.
Puerto Rico might have one final chance to take back the bulk of Caribbean tourism if these two teams meet again in the finals. But I really hope they don’t because it was a stretch to write this story about tourism, and I’m not sure there’s another historic metaphor to use.