Mexicans aren't crazy about baseball, but the mayor of Mexico City is swinging for the fences by converting the capital's central square into the world's biggest temporary baseball stadium to host an international home run derby.
Starting June 12, Mexico City's iconic Zócalo will be turned into a temporary baseball stadium to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Mexico's baseball league, a celebration that otherwise might have passed unnoticed. The stadium will showcase exhibition games for four days and a home run derby that pits Mexican stars against foreign sluggers.
“This is a very important announcement for boys and girls,” Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said in a press bulletin. “This is for the families, so that everyone can be in touch with baseball and embrace this sport.”
Most Mexicans, however, might spend the day at home watching soccer. Many chilangos are complaining that the city is spending valuable resources on an event that no one really cares about, rather than using the money to address more serious matters such as crime, pollution and poverty. Previous administrations have been criticized for adopting similar “populist” initiatives when they transformed the Zócalo into an artificial beach, or a massive ice-skating rink.
“Get to work huevón,” medic Martha Fuentes tweeted at Mancera.
“They are sticking to the ancient Roman form of ruling through bread and circuses,” tweeted Mexico City resident Juseff.
“Is today April Fools Day? Or what’s up with your macro-stupidity? Baseball diamond, money from taxpayers you’re stealing,” tweeted judicial advisor Pablo Gonzalez.
The jeers haven't deterred Mayor Mancera, who is already planning a second project to build a $60 million stadium for the Diablos Rojos team. Mancera also announced the renovation of several baseball fields throughout the city to promote sports and exercise among residents.