The national pastime of the United States, Major League Baseball, experienced a year of 2017 full of historical events, the emergence of a new generation full of talent, which is joined by the Japanese superstar, and the best slugger leaves one from the worst teams in the majors to a surprise transfer to the best franchise of all time.
Once again, the predictions for the start of the season were left invalid after the Houston Astros, after 56 years of history, in their second visit to the World Series, broke them by winning the long-awaited title, by beating the Goliath of the majors, the Los Angeles Dodgers, with a payroll of $ 249 million, the highest in the major leagues.
The impressive and exciting World Series that both teams starred in and ultimately won by the Astros 4-3, best of seven, was the culmination of a special season in which all franchises somehow made progress in their sporting goals and presented a bright future.
But especially the Astros, who bet on a reconstruction based on young talent trained in the quarry with the legendary second baseman, Venezuelan José Altuve, the great figure throughout the season, who earned him the previous Most Valuable Player ( MVP) and was key in the «Fall Classic».
While another player of Puerto Rican origin, outfielder George Springer, who contributed five home runs in the World Series, was chosen as the MVP, after concluding the seventh game with a 5-1 victory for the Astros.
Apart from all the sporting value of being the best team in the Major Leagues, the Astros also symbolized with the victory an entire city that a month earlier had been flooded by the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, which left more than 50 dead, 90,000 million in material losses and thousands of victims.
Houston, more than ever, was a winning city, which overcame all adversities to support its sports teams and ultimately achieve the great victory and build a team for the future.
If the Astros ended the drought of their first “Fall Classic” title, the country that gave birth to the sport of baseball, after having experienced the failures of the first three editions with victories for Japan –the first two–, and of the Dominican Republic, the third, was proclaimed as the new champion.
The setting was Dodger Stadium, the same one where the visiting Astros also managed to win the World Series title.
The 8-0 shutout victory in the grand final against Puerto Rico, which had reached the title game for the second time in a row, left no doubt of the superiority and vindication of American baseball as the best in the world, in which once again the prominence and participation of Latin American players is increasing and more important.
After experiencing the exciting “Fall Classic” of 2016 that starred the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, it was thought that it would be very difficult to overcome and it was the Astros and Dodgers who offered a true masterpiece.
The duel between the Astros and the Dodgers put the finishing touch to an exceptional season that featured the power of the bat of Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Judge, in addition to the dazzling daily performances of Altuve and Canadian Joey Votto, accompanied by the emergence of a young talent like never seen before.
Judge of the New York Yankees, who broke all records in his first season in the majors, and Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers, both Rookie of the Year award winners, confirmed that they have a magical future ahead of them.
But not only them, but other young values such as Corey Seager (Dodgers), Dominicans Gary Sanchez (Yankees), José Ramírez (Indians) and Manny Machado (Orioles), along with Puerto Ricans Carlos Correa (Astros) and Francisco Lindor ( Indians), plus Mike Trout (Angels), Bryce Harper (Nationals) and Mookie Betts (Red Sox), are a guarantee of the glory years for baseball.
As if all of the above weren’t enough, America’s most popular hitter and hitter sensation and superstar Shohei Ohtani, 23, came through the front door of the class by turning down offers. of the most powerful teams and choosing the Los Angeles Angels, with whom he really felt identified.
Ohtani, who pretends to be a right-hand starting pitcher and a left-sided power slugger, signed for six years and a mere $ 2.3 million a year in salary.
The Japanese player will join MVP award-winning players Mike Trout and Albert Pujols in a move that can be of great help to the Angels, who added their second consecutive season with losing numbers and are not in the ranks. playoffs since 2009.
Ohtani’s rejection, who has already begun to be compared with the new Babe Ruth of the 21st century, to the offer made by the powerful Yankees, made it possible for the Bronx Bombers to get from the Miami Marlins, with new owners, and in a rebuilding plan the transfer of Stanton, the best slugger in the majors, MVP of the National League, and leader of home runs (59).
Stanton will now have as a partner Jugde, the best home runner in the American with 52 homers, last season, which allowed him to beat all the records and the pair with Sánchez will be devastating and explosive.
All of them led by the new manager of the Yankees, rookie Aaron Boone, whom they have chosen without having any experience after having fired the winner Joe Girardi and 10 years in the position.
While the Boston Red Sox also fired John Farrell and drafted Latino talent with rookie Puerto Rican Alex Cora, who left the Astros reserve coach position after winning the World Series.
While another Hispanic manager, Dave Martinez, who was coach of the Chicago Cubs reserves, with Joe Maddon, came as a rookie to the Washington Nationals to fill the position of veteran Dusty Baker. EFE