The closest Nemesio Porras came to the fighting in Nicaragua was at a baseball stadium three years ago. Beyond the left-field wall, he could see helicopters hovering over the mountains and smoke billowing against the blue sky.
Baseball stops for nothing in Nicaragua, not for civil war or a tumultuous change of government two years ago. After years of turmoil, the sport is flourishing again as President Violeta Chamorro struggles to rebuild the country. It's not unusual to see Chamorro at a stadium in Managua, rooting for her favorite team, the Buffaloes, and former Sandinista President Daniel Ortega on the other side, rooting for the Boer team.
That team, second at the World Championships in 1990, has resumed a full travel schedule. After a U.S. tour, the team will play in a pre-Olympic tournament in the Netherlands, but there is no trip to Barcelona in its future. Nicaragua was eliminated from Olympic contention at last summer's Pan Am Games during a wild loss to the Americans that included the ejection of Nicaragua's manager.