Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dominican Alfonso Soriano goes on disabled list, Dominicano Alfonso Soriano va a DL

The Dominican Baseball Guy loves Alfonso Soriano.  He was great with the Dominican Baseball Guy's home state Rangers.  And he has been great since moving over to the NL.

The Dominican Baseball Guy last mentioned him in April as the best paid Dominican athlete.  And the Dominican Baseball Guy mentioned him earlier this month: Alfonso Soriano honors mother on mother's day.

Well, unfortunately the Dominican Baseball Guy has to report bad news about a Dominicano player.  Soriano has gone to the 15-day disabled list.  He had been having another productive year for the Cubs, leading the team with 12 home runs and 29 RBI before he got hurt Monday.

Here's hoping he makes a quick recovery.  Soriano is from San Pedro de Macoris, the town with the most MLB players per capita in the world.
Cool custom shot of Alfosno Soriano with the Cubs, by Guano on Flickr

Friday, May 27, 2011

Felipe Alou one of MLB's best dads

A recent list from a Yahoo contributor just named Dominican Felipe Alou as one of the top five role models in MLB history.  Felipe played with his two brothers throughout his 17 year MLB career.  He went on to manage for the Expos and Giants.

Felipe was one of the first Dominicans to play in the big leagues and can be seen as a role model for later Dominican players.  He was also certainly a role model for his son, Moises Alou, who also had a long and prosperous MLB career.

Felipe is from Haina, DR.
Felipe Alou manages with the Giants, by Andrew Lynch on Flickr

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nationals Dominican prospect dies in Dominican Republic, Pelotero Dominicano de los Nationals muerte

Washington Nationals Dominican prospect Yewri Guillen died April 14th.  He was living and practicing at the Nationals Dominican academy in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic. It was originally thought that he died of a bacterial meningitis infection, but it has since been shown that the cause of death was a brain infection.

Meningitis can be a major problem for people living in close quarters, such as at a Dominican baseball academy where players and staff live in a dorm type setting.  The Dominican Baseball Guy recalls when he entered college and had to get the meningitis vaccine.

Major League Baseball has determined that the Nationals medical staff took all the necessary steps to prevent the spread of meningitis, even though it turns out that was not the cause.  Always sad to lose such a young man.   Guillen was scheduled to be placed in one of the Nationals minor league teams this summer.

But hopefully something good comes of his death.  The Major League Baseball medical advisory committee recommended that all Dominican Republic academy staff and players receive a meningitis vaccine, a step that frankly should have been taken much sooner.

RIP Yewri Guillen.  The photo really brings home what a sad story this is: a very young man so full of hope.  He was from Nigua, Republica Dominicana.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dominican pitcher Bartolo Colon has stem cell surgery on elbow. Is this surgery a Performance Enhancing Drug?

Earlier this May, the Dominican Baseball Guy blogged that Dominican pitcher Bartolo Colon had off-season regenerative surgery using stem cells on his elbow.  Do you think this is in the same class as performance enhancing drugs?

Well, first off the Dominican Baseball Guy would say yes.  This surgery is not offered in the United States.  This type of surgery normally uses human growth hormones, but since MLB outlaws these hormones, the doctors used Colon's own stem cells from his back.  Sounds pretty similar to PED to the Dominican Baseball Guy.

But, the procedure is not illegal, under MLB rules.  So, the Dominican Baseball Guy cannot chide Colon for breaking MLB rules.  Much like in the pre-steroid era, Colon is playing within the rules, even though it may not be in the spirit of the game.

And most recently, the doctor who performed the surgery has said that up to ten pitchers have inquired about the surgery.  It is obviously against the spirit of "no PEDs."  Let's get this figured out and into the next MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement please, before we have a post-stem cell era.

Colon is from Altamira, DR.  He is in his 14th big league season this year with the Yankees.
Dominican pitcher Bartolo Colon has stem cell surgery on elbow.  Is this surgery a Performance Enhancing Drug?
 Colon with the White Sox in 2009, by Keith Allison on Flickr

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dominican Republic hopes to host World Baseball Classic

Héctor Pereyra, the president of the Federación Dominicana de Béisbol (Fedobe) said that the Dominican national baseball team has put in a request with World Baseball Classic, Inc. to host an opening round of the next World Baseball Classic. The next classic is scheduled to take place in 2013.

The letter was signed by Pereya, Leonardo Matos Berrido (the president of the Dominican League of Winter Baseball), Juan Francisco Puello (president of the Confederación de Béisbol del Caribe), Mario Soto (president of the Federación Dominicana de Peloteros Profesionales), and former players Stanley Javier and Juan Marichal. This is a who's who list of people in charge of domestic baseball in the Dominican Republic.

Needless to say, the whole country is surely behind this effort. And it would be a disaster if they were to host the opening round and put up a performance like the Dominicans did in 2009 when they were ousted in the first round. And that was a team filled almost entirely with big league players.

The Dominican Baseball Guy cannot wait for the next one...still two years away.
Hanley Ramirez in the World Baseball Classic, by Rabbethan

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cleveland Indians open Dominican training academy

The Cleveland Indians increased their presence in the Dominican Republic this week by opening a brand new $2.6 million facility in the country.  The team of course already had a team in the Dominican Summer League and a small complex, but the new facility features brand new baseball facilities as well as dorm and living quarters to house 72 players.

The Indians are just keeping up with the curve here.  Every single Major League Baseball team now has facilities in the Dominican Republic and a team in the Dominican Summer League.  In fact, the Mets, Yankees, and Cubs all have two teams in the vaunted summer league.

The facilities and teams host mainly Dominican players between the ages of 16 and 20, but also hosts players from other Latin American countries.  If the players show good enough stuff in the Dominican academies or the summer league, then they get a shot at the low-A ball in the states.

The Indians new facility is in San Antonio de Guerra which is just outside the capital of Santo Domingo.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dominican baseball player Placido Polanco overlooked player? Pelotero Dominicano Placido Polanco lo pasó por alto?

A recent article talked about Dominican baseball player Placido Polanco, and says that Polanco is as an overlooked player.  The Dominican Baseball Guy is embarrassed to admit that even he has overlooked this great Dominican talent.

Long time statistician Scott Russell makes a convincing case for Polanco being overlooked.  He has a career .304 average and won a Silver Slugger award in 2007.  He also has three Gold Glove awards and is the only MLB player to own a Gold Glove at two different positions.  Polanco also won the 2006 ALCS MVP while he was with the Tigers.

The Dominican Baseball Guy agrees, he is certainly a great addition for any team, and the Dominican Baseball Guy will no longer overlook him.  Polanco is in his second stint with the Phillies, and is overlooked on a team full of superstars.  He is from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Dominican baseball player Placido Polanco with the Phillies, by Matthew Straubmuller on Flickr

Friday, May 13, 2011

Former big leaguer Willy Aybar plays in Canada after arrest for wife beating

Willy Aybar recently signed with the Edmonton Capitals of the independent North American League.  He played in 100 games with the Rays last year, and has had a nice career as a utility infielder since breaking into the bigs in 2005.  In 408 major league games he has a .258 lifetime average.

Well, apparently one reason no big league team took a chance on him is because he was arrested for beating his wife in January in the Dominican Republic.  See the original story from the Dominican daily here.  His wife was in intensive care  for several days, before returning to her home.  This after he already had a restraining order that forbid him from seeing his wife because he was arrested for domestic violence in 2008.  And after all this his wife did not want to make comments to damage his reputation.

The Dominican Baseball Guy would not want a wife beater involved in his organization in any way.  Pretty pathetic that the Rays would keep a wife beater on their team, but if his wife did not have anything bad to say about him then who are we to say?  It shows the desperation of the poverty in the Dominican Republic that his wife and family did not want to damage his reputation.  They still need the money his skills bring.

In any case this guy is a dirt bag, and was probably denied a US Visa even if a big league team tried to pick him up.  The Dominican Baseball Guy would put all the women beaters in the world on an island and leave them there forever.  He is from Bani, DR.
Willy Aybar with the Rays, by Keith Allison on Flickr

Thursday, May 12, 2011

MLB investigating Bartolo Colon off season surgery

Bartolo Colon is off to a good start this season.  The Yankees signed him to a one year contract in the off season after he was out of the big leagues in 2010.  Thus far, he is 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA in four starts.

His off season surgery which took place in the Dominican Republic has come under scrutiny by MLB.  Dr. Joseph R. Purita flew to the Dominican Republic from Miami to assist a team of doctors in the elbow surgery.  The team apparently injected stem cells from Colon's back into his elbow to repair ligament damage.  Purita normally uses Human Growth Hormones to perform such surgeries, but in this case used Colon's own stem cells due to MLB rules.

Yankee GM Brian Cashman heard about the procedure through Colon's agent, and reported it to MLB.  The procedure is now under investigation by the league because it could be an offense warranting suspension if Human Growth Hormones were in fact used.  For now, the procedure seems to be a perfectly legal aid in Colon's bounce back year, but it could lead to a suspension if it violated MLB rules.

Colon is from Altamira, DR.
Colon with the White Sox in 2009, by Keith Allison on Flickr

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dan Rather Reports on Dominican Baseball

This is an older story that the Dominican Baseball Guy just came across.  Dan Rather has a new show on HDNet, and he covered Dominican baseball in one episode last year.  It is a weekly show that covers one topic each episode and delves deeply into whatever topic is under discussion.

Rather presented "Field of Broken Dreams" on 10/19/2010.  In the episode he investigates everything about Dominican baseball, from steroids to bonus money to age fraud and visa fraud.  It is an hour long show with a number of interviews and he does a fair job in addresses a number of issues in the short time frame.  The show includes interviews and archival footage, as well as commentary.  It is a good watch if anything for the video footage of Dominican baseball.  See another review of the episode here.

You can download the episode through itunes where it is the 33rd episode of season 5:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Astros next owner looks to increase team's presence in Dominican Republic

Astros ownership could change hands as soon as next week, and the new owner should continue to increase the team's presence in the Dominican Republic.  General Manager Ed Wade has made inroads in the country and convinced current owner to make some big deals regarding Dominican players.

They currently have five pitchers on the big league roster that come from the country, most notably Wandy Rodriguez.  The Dominican Baseball Guy recently blogged about the rest of the pitchers and some minor leaguers in the Astros system that are Dominican, so you can see that here.

Recently, the Astros gave 16-year-old  Ariel Ovando a $2.6 million signing bonus, which was the second highest signing bonus handed to a Dominican prospect last year.  They expect to see him in the big leagues as soon as 2015.

So, regarding the Astros presence in the Dominican Republic, Ed Wade seems to have done a good job.  Other insiders say he has done a decent job of rebuilding the club in other areas.  Probable owner Jim Crane will have to decide if Wade has done well enough to keep his job.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dominican baseball player Robinson Cano on cover of Sporting News, Yankee and Dominicano Robinson Cano esta en la portada de Sporting News


The Dominican Baseball Guy just picked up this copy of the Sporting News Magazine with Dominican baseball player Robinson Cano on the cover.  The story touts Cano as the best Yankee at the moment, saying "move over Jeter and ARod."

The Dominican Baseball Guy tends to agree, and actually has Cano pegged as the MVP leader out of the box.  He has made the all-star game twice before, and also has two Silver Sluggers and one Gold Glove to his credit.

It will be interesting to see what the Sporting News has to say about the Yankees, and about Cano's transition from the Dominican Republic to the Yankees farm system and eventually to Major League Baseball.

Cano is one of the most loved players from the incredibly talent laden baseball town of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day, feliz Dia del Madre, Alfonso Soriano honors mother

The Dominican Baseball Guy wants to wish his mother, Lorry Winters, a happy Mother's Day.  The Dominican Baseball Guy had a great lunch in Austin, Texas with his mother and family.

Alfonso Soriano honored his mother by wearing pink shoes on Mother's Day.  His mother Andrea died last year, but she remains a major influence on his life:
“She’s everything for me,” Soriano said. “I think of my mom every day. What she did for me, I can never forget.”
Soriano created a benefit foundation in honor of his mother after she died.  The Alfonso Soriano Family Foundation provides donations to families of children with disabilities and special health needs in both the Dominican Republic and the United States.

A number of other Cubs honored their mothers on this day as well.

Alfonso is from San Pedro de Macoris.  Please visit the website of his foundation and provide a donation if possible:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dominican Republic baseball player Alfonso Soriano to honor late mother on Mother's Day, Dominicano Alfonso Soriano va a dar honor a su madre

Alfonso Soriano was very close to his mother who recently passed away, and he plans to honor her on Sunday, Mother's Day. The Alfonso Soriano Family Foundation is teaming with the Cubs to have a day of honor in her memory at the Mirqueya's Day Care in the Dominican Republic.

Soriano and his family have donated presents to the daycare for the past five years, and his mother was very close to the project, so it is a great way to honor her on Mother's Day.  Soriano has been active with his
foundation and in charitable contributions in recent years. According to Alfonso Soriano:
"God blessed me with my talent, so why not give something back to the kids?" Soriano said Tuesday. "They need it. I grew up in that town and it makes me sad to see those kids. They don't have anything to play with, they don't have anything to eat."
The Dominican Baseball Guy can not find an active link to The Alfonso Soriano Family Foundation.  The previous link was here, but it is no longer active.  You can find the company profile and address here if you care to donate there is an address at the profile.

Alfonso Soriano es de San Pedro de Macoris, a famous baseball city of the Dominican Republic.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Manny Ramirez says he will play winter baseball in Dominican Republic

Manny Ramirez, the Dominican Baseball Guy's all-time favorite player, abruptly retired from MLB last month after he faced a second suspension for performance enhancing drugs.  Ramirez has said little about his retirement from MLB.

However, he recently hinted that he may return to play winter baseball in his native Dominican Republic.  He told ESPN Deportes: "Now I'm getting ready to defend the 21st crown of the Aguilas."

He also texted, "tell the fans to not despair because winter ball is coming soon."

The Dominican Baseball Guy is pretty excited about this possibility and will be there to see him in Dominican League of Winter Baseball (LIDOM) action next year if he does play in the winter season.  Luichy Sanchez, a member of the Aguilas Cibaenas baseball operations staff, says Ramirez old winter league team is also excited about the possibility and would certainly welcome him with open arms.

Manny spent three winter league seasons with the Aguilas from 1991 to 1995.  He is from Santo Domingo, DR.
Manny Ramirez with the Red Sox, by Keith Allison on Flickr
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