Although it won’t be for Team USA this time around, Marcus Stroman will officially pitch in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, repping Puerto Rico on his jersey, as he announced about a month ago.
Of course, that’s funny because in the last World Baseball Classic back in 2017, Stroman was the MVP of the USA championship squad that took down Team Puerto Rico.
Stroman is eligible to play for two teams because his mom, Adlin Auffant, is Puerto Rican. And apparently, fans of the Puerto Rican team have been lobbying to get him to play on his mother’s side dating back to 2013. Unfortunately, his decision to play for Team USA in 2017 instigated some unnecessary and ugly backlash for both Stroman and his Mom: “She was so upset because they’d just been harassing her on social [media], calling her all type of names,” Stroman said. Perhaps that’s why he chose Team Puerto Rico this time around.
“I talked to my mom about it,” Stroman said via the Chicago Sun Times. “Initially, she was very hesitant, resistant. And then we had another few talks, and she ended up being happy that I was going to go out there and represent her. My mom is [my] heart. So as long as Mom is happy, that’s all that matters, to be honest with you.”
Personally, I think it’s very cool to have the opportunity to play for two different teams, representing different sides of your heritage, and I’m glad we’ll get to watch Stroman this way on an international stage.
And, hey … maybe he can talk to his future WBC teammate over the offseason about joining the Cubs for 2023.