Last updateFri, 22 Feb 2019 1pm

Restaurant tip ‘fake news’ overshadows tournament

The 2018 Serie del Caribe (Caribbean Series), the international baseball tourney which brings together winners of leagues in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, is being held this week at the Charros Stadium in Zapopan.

Games started Friday, February 2, with Mexico – represented by the Tomateros de Culiacan – being eliminated early on.

More compelling, though, for fans of scintillating society gossip, are the many different ways the cult of celebrity managed to insert itself into and outshine the sportive proceedings.

For instance, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, the famed red-headed Tapatio boxing star, threw the series’ opening pitch with none other than President Bill Clinton and Mexican telecoms billionaire Carlos Slim looking on.

Canelo, Clinton and Slim were later seen dining out at a Monterrey, Nuevo Leon restaurant. A photo uploaded to Twitter showed the famous men-about-town and several others arrayed at a long table looking jolly and well-fed.

Another photo which set Twitter ablaze for a few fleeting moments purported to show the bill ran up by the party of well-heeled revelers. Along the bottom of the slip was the tally: 334,392 pesos, plus a 50,158-peso tip, for a total of 384,550 pesos.

The online populace, ever fascinated with the lavish lifestyles of the rich and famous, was agog over this massive sum paid during one night’s divertissement, especially where it concerned the tip. However, it appears one of our age’s most pernicious bugaboos had reared its ugly head, i.e., fake news: the Mexican desk of the Huffington Post reported the next day that the amounts were doctored with electric ink. (In reality, the group spent 16,320 and tipped 3,264 for a total of 19,584.)

However, for all the fuss made over the size of the fake gratuity, the actual tip amounted to 20 percent, while the digitally doctored one, so admired by the hoi-polloi with slavish awe, came to 15, considered the bare minimum required by moral decency north-of-the-border.

This may seem like a trivial, banal matter (it is, in fact).  But the incident’s very banality highlights a tragic fact: an international, million-dollar baseball event was nearly upstaged by a cluster of arabic numerals printed on a scrap of white paper.

Stay tuned for more insightful sports coverage within these pages, told from a fresh perspective.

Thursday’s final, which had not finished by press time, saw the Criollos de Caguas from Puerto Rico play the Águilas Cibaeñas from the Dominican Republic.

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