You pack your bags, you say goodbye, and you look back at that place you loved knowing you would eventually be back someday. On February 13, 2018, I started a 33-hour, 4-day road trip from Fort Lauderdale to Phoenix leaving not only the life I knew and my family behind, but also my passion of covering sports for ESPN Deportes to become an Interpreter for the Arizona Diamondbacks. That road trip took me to Gainesville, Mardi Gras and a close call in Texas, but that’s a story for another time, Five Reasons Sports fans.
Fast forward to June 18, 2020. I’m back to covering South Florida sports, this time for Five Reasons Sports, and damn if it doesn’t feel good to be reunited.
A little bit about myself: My name doesn’t sound very Hispanic, but I was born and raised in Argentina before moving to Miami in 2002. People say Andy Murray and Benedict Cumberbatch are my dopplegangers (thanks?), and I love going to Graziano’s in Coral Gables for a tasty Milanesa with French fries.
Fútbol is my religion, but I also am an unconditional basketball, baseball and football fan. I arrived in South Florida just in time for the Heat to steal my heart and for the Dolphins to break it.
Yup, I missed the entire Dan Marino era and the first NFL game I ever saw was Tom Brady’s Super Bowl upset against Kurt Warner’s Rams. I didn’t imagine that would be the first chapter of the next 18 years of my football fandom. On the bright side, I got started with the Marlins winning the World Series and I had the privilege of witnessing the Dwyane Wade era in its entirety. The Panthers? I do hope that this new decade and the brand-new opportunity that they are about to have in the playoffs show me what I missed back in 1996.
I’m convinced about certain things in sports, and one of them is that the Designated Hitter doesn’t belong in the National League. I spent two seasons having a great time with the Diamondbacks as the team’s Interpreter before they made their COVID-19 related employee cuts last month, and I had the privilege of seeing Zack Greinke dissect the craft of hitting in Arizona. Greinke isn’t just a great pitcher capable of owning the moment in Game 7 of the World Series, but a legitimately great hitter as well.
We are talking about a guy who called his first career home run and is fifth among active pitchers in career homers. I remember a night in April 2 of last year in San Diego when Greinke struck out 10 in six innings while also going 2-for-4 with 2 home runs, the first one traveling 413 feet to center field at one of the hardest parks to hit in the Majors. Then he left on a trade to the Astros and I got to see Madison Bumgarner (you know, the only pitcher to ever hit two homers on Opening Day) in action every day.
I can tell you with 100% certainty that Greinke’s and Bumgarner’s passion for hitting rubbed off on the rest of the staff. Robbie Ray, former Marlin Zac Gallen and Luke Weaver all pride themselves on being able to drive in a runner from second as well. And we want to take that away from them and others out of fear of injury or because we want more offense? What you are doing is making the game more predictable and less strategic.
You can also expect my takes on how Inter Miami will be the first to win a championship for South Florida this decade, why Maradona > Messi and Pelé, and witness me hopping on the already crowded Tua bandwagon.
My main goal will be to make you forget all the B.S. the world seems determined to throw at us on a daily basis right now with fun interviews and opinions you can love or hate me for. I will welcome your comments and I look forward to getting on this ride with you.
Five Reasons Sports brought me back home, and I am elated to be here.