Dixon Machado luce un beisbol en tiempos de cuarentena

El aficionado extraña disfrutar un juego de beisbol entre Yankees de Nueva York y Medias Rojas de Boston, esos que llena de emoción con cada jugada. El mundo se ha tenido que acostumbrar a que no puede deleitarse con esos encuentros fascinantes. El Covid-19 ha quitado muchas posibilidades de entretenerse y de trabajar. Sin embargo, en algunos rincones del planeta el deporte ha hecho lo posible de seguir vivo y Dixon Machado es uno de esos oportunos peloteros que pueden hacer vida con lo que saben hacer.

Es cierto, que para el ciudadano americano, le es complicado estar pendiente de los juegos que suceden en el otro lado del mundo. Un total de 12 horas de diferencia obligan a quedarse despierto o cambiar la rutina de sueño para disfrutar de un juego de beisbol en la KBO de la Liga de Corea del Sur.

En esta contienda tres venezolanos están haciendo lo posible desde hace al menos un mes. Los lanzadores William Cuevas y Ricardo Pinto han lucido en el morrito. Sin embargo, Dixon Machado ha creado una larga fila de seguidores con sus batazos continuos.

En las Grandes Ligas, el oriundo de Táchira, fue considerado prospecto de la organización de los Tigres de Detroit, equipo con el que debutó en el 2015. Pero sus números y poca presencia en el juego nunca le dio oportunidad de explotar el talento que proyectaba.

Luego, pasó a las menores de los Cachorros de Chicago en busca de un cupo para regresar al “Big Show”, pero nada volvió a ser lo mismo para el delgado campocorto.

Con 28 años de edad firmó contrato para cruzar el Atlántico y llegar a tierras asiaticas. Con los Gigantes de Lotte. Allí la experiencia ganada en las mayores le da un plus en su presencia en la KBO. Quizás no esperaban mucho de él en el conjunto, pero con el destino lo obligó a tener que lucir bajo los ojos del mundo en su espalda.

Salvación del mundo oriental

Al no haber otro beisbol de alto nivel activo, pues en Taiwán se iniciaron los compromisos primero, aunque no con la misma categoría de ranking, Korea aspiraba a más y Machado se encargó de montar el espectáculo.

Comenzó explosivo en mayo, cayó en un slump y actualmente atraviesa por un gran momento ofensivo. Sin duda Dixon Machado supo tomar el ritmo de la KBO rápidamente.

“Debes tomar tiempo para ajustarte. El pitcheo es diferente (con relación al beisbol que se juega en MLB)”, comentó el campocorto, a los periodistas Efraín Zavarce y Oscar Prieto Rojas para el podcast Talk Beisbol, el cual puedes disfrutar aquí abajo.

Entre jonrones y cuarentena

La KBO estaba programada para comenzar el 28 de marzo, pero la crisis mundial generada por la pandemia de la Covid-19 obligó a posponer el Día Inaugural hasta el 5 de mayo.

Sin espectadores y con varias obligaciones por realizar al llegar todos los días al estadio.

“Cuando llegas al estadio tienen que tomarte la temperatura de manera obligatoria. Tienen cámaras térmicas y termómetros normales. Te toman la temperatura todos los días”, explicó Machado, que marcha tercero en jonrones (4) y segundo en empujadas (27), en su equipo. “No dejan que los periodistas se acerquen a menos de seis pies desde donde estás (un metro, 82 centímetros). No hay entrevistas o personas extrañas en el clubhouse que entren o salgan. Sólo los peloteros. Se estableció que, si algún pelotero estaba contaminado, todo el equipo tendría que hacer cuarentena por dos semanas. Al principio en los juegos de spring training había que jugar con tapabocas (…) No puedes utilizar las instalaciones de otros equipos, ni siquiera el batting cage del rival. Ellos crearon un plan eficaz”.

El caso con el público es notable. Al no haber fanáticos en las tribunos, los jonrones caerán sin un receptor que reclame su premio en las gradas. Pero esto es algo común que no solo Dixon Machado cree eso hace mucha falta para el juego.

“Son 20, 30 mil personas. Incluso ahorita, los señores que animan los juegos están dándole a un tambor, y las cheerleaders, todo el juego. Extraño al público porque eso te da más adrenalina”, aseguró.

Evitar las costumbres comunes

Odrisamer Despaigne, quien lanzó en Grandes Ligas por 6 años, forma parte ahora del equipo KT Witz y conversó con El Extrabase hace par de meses sobre cómo ha ido viviendo el plan anti Covid-19 con beisbol activo.

“Algunas reglas pueden ser un poco locas. En el terreno no tenemos que usar las mascarillas, pero en el clubhouse sí. Los umpires deben tenerlas en el campo también. Prohibieron escupir, no sé cómo haremos eso porque es algo que hacemos a cada rato, pero hay que adaptarse”. Comentó el cubano.

De por sí, esto se veía mucho desde el principio de la cuarentena en los países asiáticos. En la pretemporada de la Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) en Japón, Ernesto Mejía le comentó al periodista Andriw Sánchez para el medio Beisbol Play (actualmente America Digital), que no podían dar ni autografos a los aficionados.

La vida cambió mucho en el deporte del bate y pelota, pero al menos Dixon Machado en Corea del Sur, Gerardo Parra, José Celestino López y José Pirela en la Liga Japonesa, han sabido llevar el duro peso del beisbol mundial en sus hombros.

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