Archer Gets A “W” In Havana

March 23rd, 2016

archerrays2Chris Archer didn’t pitch Tuesday, but Joe considers the right-hander a big winner of the Rays’ Havana trip.

If you consumed pregame coverage, there’s a strong chance you saw something involving No. 22.

There he was playing catch at Estadio Latinoamericano with a Cuban boy and signing a baseball for the youngster that read, “Follow your dreams.” There he was among the masses at La Esquina Caliente in Parque Central, swarmed by localsĀ on the sidewalk, playing Pied Piper as fans gawked at his presence. There he was touring the city for an ESPN segment, speaking about the visit’s meaning. There he was behind the SportsCenter set, grinning alongside Hannah Storm.

Heck, he even scored quality face time with Barack and Michelle Obama, gifting both with Matt Moore’s glove. Archer was Tampa Bay’s Forrest Gump.

Clearly, Archer made an impression in front of powerful eyes. He relayed as much to ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian during an in-game interview, as transcribed by The Sporting News:

“[President Obama] told me he appreciated how thoughtful I was in my interviews. … I shook the first lady’s hand as well and he was educating her on who I was, so hopefully there’s some potential there, even if they’re not in office, to get together and do some things,” Archer said. “They’re great in the community, they’re really about impacting the youth of this world and that’s one of my missions in life as well.”

Joe has seen Archer grow up over time. It’s cool that he seems to understand baseball can be a springboard toward larger missions. He’s savvy enough to know that if he comes across well in public, then that will lead to opportunities inside and outside the game. It doesn’t hurt he has branded himself as thoughtful, well-read and introspective.

Who says you must appear in the box score to win the day?

Archer earned a “W” before an international audience without throwing a pitch.

2 Responses to “Archer Gets A “W” In Havana”

  1. D-Rome Says:

    Hey Joe, I forgot you had this Rays site as well. You should promote it more. You (both) have a great talent for writing.

  2. Miguel Grande Says:

    I agree, Joe, Archer was great.

    What was up with Derek Jeter? Should Michelle be jealous?


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