Miami The end of the World Baseball Classic for Puerto Rico is not the end of “Team Rubio.”

The ninth-ranked Puerto Rican left the Miami headquarters this Saturday with mixed feelings after an outstanding performance in the first leg of the event, but with the bad taste of being eliminated in the semifinals game.

Some of its members reflected on their participation in the event and carried out an exercise to project their futures, both personal and professional.

Alexis Diaz said, for example, that he will come out of the Clasico stronger despite not having the best game, and Quique Hernandezwho was shut out in the last match against Mexico, which meant Puerto Rico’s elimination, said a Clasico is in his future.

“We lost again. There is no other way but to target 2026 and see if we can win this year,” Hernandez said. “It was a good tournament, but we lost. The goal was to win, but we didn’t. At the same time, we were able to reunite Puerto Rico. The fact that Puerto Rico has been crime free for several days cannot be stopped. I am proud to be Puerto Rican. It was a tough game that didn’t end well. Sad, but with a high head,” he added.

Quique Hernandez: “It was a tough game that didn’t end well. Sad, but with a high head.” (Carlos Rivera Giusti)

The national team was two steps away from returning to the third consecutive final. After Friday’s game against Mexico, he hit a home run as well as a game-winning run on base. In fact, in the team’s two losses in the event, Puerto Rico won the race in the lap.

It was difficult, but it was fun.

“It was difficult. It’s difficult,” the reliever emphasized Fernando Cruz. “But I’m grateful for what happened. We had a great tournament. We gave everything for everything. We never shoot. Throughout the tournament I was surrounded by wonderful professionals. I am grateful to the group of coaches and the Federation for being selected for this tournament,” he added.

The national team arrived in Miami as one of the favorites for this international competition, along with the Dominican Republic, Japan, the United States and Venezuela. Of these four, three are alive.

The Puerto Ricans advanced to the second round through Group D, which was known as “El de la Muerte” due to the number of strong teams such as the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. There may have been more equal groups like A, but Puerto Rico’s D had the best quality of teams and star players.

And he achieved a personal goal: beating a powerful Dominican team on a magnificent stage, while debuting new players who have risen to the challenge and are already candidates for the next Clasico, such as Emmanuel Rivera, MJ Melendez, Vimael Machin and more. .

Catcher Martin
Catcher Martin “Machete” Maldonado said the team played well despite the negative environment in which the national team was formed in the months leading up to the Clasico and the loss of players. (Carlos Giusti/Staff)

It was a good performance for a project that started with “negatives,” said the recipient Martin “Machete” Maldonado.

The manager cites administrative disputes in the Federation due to the resignation of initial general manager Eduardo Perez before the election of Yadier Molina as leader by federation president Jose Kiles.

Maldonado attributed the loss of players Carlos Correa, Jose Miranda and Edwin “Sugar” Diaz to his opinion.

“After the losses, the negativity because of the coach, against Yadier, against Quiles, against Correa, I think we did a huge job and we have to count on Puerto Rico,” Maldonado said.