Why Cubs’ Marcus Stroman Decided to Represent Puerto Rico in WBC – NBC Chicago

Why Stroman decided to represent Puerto Rico in WBC originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Marcus Stroman is switching to play for Team Puerto Rico in this upcoming World Baseball Classic (WBC).

The Cubs starting pitcher played for Team USA in the last WBC in 2017, but now he’s switching over to Puerto Rico. In a long-winded answer, Stroman explained his mother and his heritage as a Puerto Rican were the major influences on his decision to switch. 

“To go out there and represent her culture. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico till she was eight years old. So I just feel like it’s an unbelievable story to be able to go out there,” Stroman said. “Shows you that I’m multicultural. Shows you that I have the American side, but I also have ties. I’m 50 percent Puerto Rican as well at the end of the day. And that comes from my mother. And that’s a huge point. My flare, my swag, my charisma. I truly feel like that all comes from that Puerto Rican side.”

RELATED: Stroman gets spring opener start for Cubs

Stroman will join the likes of Javier Báez, Francisco Lindor, Kiké Hernández, José Berríos and plenty of other notable names with Team Puerto Rico. 

In a touching statement about his decision to play for Puerto Rico, he mentioned his close relationship with his mother, who he helped retire in Palm Beach, and now serves as his assistant and financial manager. 

Stroman said he has a “very, very small circle” with a “very small family” and “very, very few friends.” His mother is his “best friend” and his “rock.” Stroman says he talks to her every day and more than anyone else he associates with. 

And despite the noise about his switch from Team USA to Team Puerto Rico, Stroman doesn’t care. 

“I don’t care about noise, you know. I see it. But it doesn’t penetrate my aura at all anymore. I’m able to be okay with everyone saying, ‘Oh, you can’t come play with us.’ Or the people from USA saying, ‘Oh, why are you switching?’ It really doesn’t matter what anybody says. That’s what I’ve started to learn. It’s all small talk from small minds. So at the end of the day, if I’m happy, I’m going to do whatever I wanted to do. Everybody around me is happy. And that’s kind of the mindset that I have taken to life.

“If I were to allow social media or things that people say to get to me daily, there’s no way I’d be able to walk through life as I do and everything would slow down. I wouldn’t be able to have success on the mound. I wouldn’t be able to have good relationships off the field. I wouldn’t be able to push it in my businesses. So everything’s in tune. I truly believe that.

“So I’m here. I’m going to be here for a long time. There’s not anything anybody can do about it at this point. You’re just going to have to sit back and watch.”

Stroman will take the mound first in spring training to help him get his repetitions before taking off for the WBC in early March. 

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