Friday, September 30, 2011

Dominican baseball players on playoff rosters, Dominicanos en los finales de MLB

Every year, the Dominican Baseball Guy puts out a list of Dominican players on playoff rosters for each round.  So, here is the 2011 list of Dominican players on active MLB 25-man rosters for the Divisional round of the playoffs:

Texas Rangers: Neftali Feliz, Alexi Ogando, Adrian Beltre, Esteban German, Nelson Cruz
Tampa Bay Rays: Joel Peralta, Juan Cruz 
Detroit Tigers: Jose Valverde, Al Alburquerque, Alex Avila, Wilson Betemit, Jhonny Peralta, Ramon Santiago 
New York Yankees: Ivan Nova, Rafael Soriano, Robinson Cano, Eduardo Nunez
Milwaukee Brewers: Carlos Gomez
Saint Louis Cardinals: Octavio Dotel, Rafael Furcal...and o yea, some guy named Albert Pujols
Arizona Diamondbacks: NOT A SINGLE DOMINICAN...they are definitely going to lose
Philadelphia Phillies: Placido Polanco, Michael Martinez, Wilson Valdez, Antonio Bastardo

This is 26 of the 200 players on active rosters for the first round of the playoffs.  This is the exact same number that were on Divisional playoff rosters last season.  It comes out to 13% of the 200 active players, which is slightly ahead of the 10% represented on opening day rosters.  The Tigers lead the way with 7 Dominican players on their playoff rosters and the Rangers have 6.

Interesting that the Dominican Baseball Guy has seen several of these players pop up in the Dominican Winter Baseball League (LIDOM), and they are now playing at the highest level of baseball.  See the tags for Esteban German, Nelson Cruz, Wilson Betemit, Ramon Santiago, Wilson Valdez...all players that the Dominican Baseball Guy has seen in LIDOM action in recent years.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Manny Ramirez can't play in Domincian Winter League, Manny Ramirez no puede jugar en LIDOM

Just last week, the Dominican Baseball Guy and fans of Dominican baseball everywhere were giddy at the possibility of Manny Ramirez playing in the Dominican League of Winter Baseball (LIDOM) this season.  Manny had made contact with his former team the Cibao Eagles, and planned to play with them again.

But alas it was much a do about nothing.  Manny is ineligible to play winter ball in any of the MLB sanctioned leagues, and yes, the LIDOM is an MLB sanctioned league.  He claims that his representatives are working to get the commission to reinstate him for winter ball, but this is doubtful at this point.  MLB rules simply do not allow it.

So, the Dominican Baseball Guy has changed his tune since the last time he posted on the ongoing Manny situation when he said: "This is looking more and more like it could happen."  In fact, the Dominican Baseball Guy has done a complete 180.  It is looking more and more likely that this will not happen.  Manny will have to serve his 100 game suspension before appearing in the LIDOM.

Dominican fans are already disappointed about this.  Some have hit up the Dominican Baseball Guy Facebook page saying that he is still going to play, despite these new reports.

It is never boring with Manny.  He is from Santo Domingo, DR, but grew up in New York City's Washington Heights.
Manny Ramirez with the Dodgers, by pvsbond on Flickr

Friday, September 23, 2011

Juan Marichal is best Latin pitcher of all-time, Dominicano Juan Marichal es el mejor lanzador latino en la historia del MLB

The Dominican Baseball Guy is happy to blog that the top two pitchers on the MLB.com list of Top 5 Latin pitchers are both Dominican.  As the Dominican Baseball Guy blogged yesterday, Pedro Martinez was voted the second best Latin pitcher of all-time.

And today, the voters announced the top Latin pitcher of all-time, and the honoree is Juan Marichal.

Marichal won 191 in the 1960s, more than Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, and Don Drysdale.  He went on to win 243 games, and is probably most well known by baseball laymen for his trademark high leg kick, as pictured below.  O, and just to show how big of pansies modern day pitchers are, Marichal pitched 243 complete games and won 25 games in a season three times

He is also known for the Roseboro incident in which he hit opposing catcher John Roseboro in the head with a bat.  This incident and the fallout has been mythologized in a play.  However, luckily the incident did not define his career in the long term.

Baseball analysts and historians agree, he was the greatest Latin pitcher of all-time.  Baseball historian Rob Ruck says, "the greatest right-hander of his era," Ruck said, "at a time when there were great pitchers to be found."

And Marichal's peers and countrymen agree too.  According to Indians manager and native Dominican Manny Acta: "he was on top of the list. He was the guy."

Juan was elected to the National  Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983, and he remains the only Dominican player to have that honor.  See his Hall of Fame profile.

He is still beloved by Giants fans and memorialized in a statue in front of the Giant's San Francisco home.

He is from Laguna Verde, DR, and he took a simple approach to the game, perhaps drawn from his life in the Dominican Republic:
I have five pitches. Fast ball, change, curve, slider, screwball. I don't know any hitters. Catcher, he tells me what to do. I can get any pitch I want over the plate.
Juan Marichal statue in San Francisco, by sporst on Flickr

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Whose your daddy? Pedro Martinez named 2nd best all-time Latin pitcher, Pedro Martinez el segundo lanzador Latino de todo tiempo

So, apparently this is Hispanic Heritage Month.  And in a salute to this, MLB.com conducted a poll of the greatest Latino pitchers in the history of Major League Baseball.  Only retired pitchers were considered.  They have been announcing one of the top five each day.

Thus far, they have announced Fernando Valenzuela (Mexico), Dennis Martinez (Nicaragua), and Luis Tiant (Cuba).  And then today they released the number two greatest Latin pitcher of all-time, and the honoree is Pedro Martinez.

It is no secret, Pedro is one of the reasons that the Dominican Baseball Guy came into being.  The Dominican Baseball Guy saw him perform in his prime.  He is probably the best combination of performance and entertainment that the Dominican Baseball Guy has seen in any ball player.  No need to dicuss stats with Pedro, but he led his league in Ks three times, ERA five times, and wins once.

Peter Gammons says:
"He was the most dominating pitcher of all time in a span of seven years and the most exciting player I have ever seen." 
And the Dominican Baseball Guy heard Dan Patrick saying today on his radio show today that Pedro's 1999 season could be put up with the bext seasons of any pitcher of all-time, and that Pedro should have won the MVP along with the Cy Young that year.

Pedro is so revered among baseball fans that his picture was put on permanent display in the Smithsonian National Picture Gallery.  In the experience of the Dominican Baseball Guy, Pedro is probably the most popular Dominican player in his home country (current or retired) at the moment.  And that is saying a lot.

So, it is a well deserved honor that he was named the second greatest Latin MLB pitcher of all-time.  The Dominican Baseball Guy has a pretty good idea as to who the number one all-time Latin pitcher will be.  Think San Francisco Giants and Dominican.

Pedro is from Manoguayabo, Dominican Republic.
Pedro Martinez having fun with the Mets, by UCInternational

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nobody has heard of Jose Bautista, huh? Jose Bautista es El mejor pelotero que nadia conoce?

So, according to Time magazine Jose Bautista is the "best baseball player you have never heard of."  Well I am the Dominican Baseball Guy so I am offended that anyone would not know who Bautista is.  And the readers of the Dominican Baseball Guy are highly knowledgeable fans that also know exactly who Jose Bautista is.

He led the AL in home runs last year and one the Silver Slugger Award.  He made his second strait all-star team this season.  He is from Santo Domingo, but went to Juco in the states before being drafted by the Pirates in 2000.  He made his major league debut in 2005 and was an everyday player with the Pirates and the Blue Jays from 06-09, with a career high of 15 home runs in a season.  And then POW, 54 home runs last year and 42 thus far this year.

Now the Dominican Baseball Guy knew all that and more just off the top of his head.  But Time makes some good points as to why the average Joe fan does not know this great player, mainly that he plays in Canada and for a bad team, the Blue Jays.

As the Dominican Baseball Guy mentions, Jose is from Santo Domingo.  He has one of the best twitter handles out there, so go follow him on twitter: @JoeyBats19
Jose Bautista warms up with Blue Jays, by Keith Allison on Flickr

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Manny Ramirez to play in Dominican baseball league, Dominicano Manny Ramirez va a jugar en LIDOM

Well, Manny Ramirez has said once again that he plans to play ball in the Dominican League of Winter Baseball this season.  He recently said, he wants to "play before the Dominican fans and to perhaps motivate other Major League stars to also play in the country."  And the President of his former team, Winston Llenas of the Cibao Eagles confirmed that he plans to start training with the team next week.

This backs up a previous report of Manny planning to play Dominican winter baseball, in which he said: "Now I'm getting ready to defend the 21st crown of the Aguilas (Eagles)."

The Dominican Baseball Guy can hardly contain himself with thoughts of this becoming a reality. If he does decide to play, the stadiums will be filled for all of his games, and the Dominican Baseball Guy will be there to see the craziness. The Dominican stadiums get packed for even marginal stars, so if Manny plays it will be a true spectacle...think playoff like atmosphere for every game.

This is looking more and more like it could happen, as long as his recent legal troubles do not get in the way.

Ramirez says he wants to motivate other big league stars to play. If all the big league Dominican players returned home to play winter ball each year it could even push the Dominican league (LIDOM) to be on par with the NIPON Japanese baseball league, which is widely considered the second best league in the world. Then if they could get some American stars to join them, well it could theoretically be on par with MLB, considering the LIDOM only has six teams to fill.

But alas, this is a pipe dream. The likelihood of a bunch of big league stars following Manny to the LIDOM is small. There is one major hold up, and that is the MONEY. The players make a pittance in the LIDOM, not even reported usually, but it cannot be more than minor league deals. So, until the Dominican economy grows greatly and is able to support teams that can afford to pay millions of dollars to players, we are doubtful to see any major stars in their prime.

Manny is going to play because he has no choice: he faces a 100 game suspension for a failed drug test if he returns to MLB.

 Manny is from Santo Domingo and spent 18 years in the big leagues.
Manny Ramirez runs the bases with the Red Sox, by Keith Allison on Flickr

Monday, September 19, 2011

David Ortiz mentor to Robinson Cano and other younger Dominicans, David Ortiz es mentor para Dominicanos jovenes

David Ortiz has been an ambassador of Dominican baseball and Latin baseball since he busted on the scene with his first all-star campaign in 2004.  While he has been spreading the word of Dominican baseball to American fans and representing the game for all Dominicans, he has also served as a mentor to up and coming Dominican players.

The Dominican Baseball guy blogged on David Ortiz and his relationship with Hanley Ramirez a few months back.  Ramirez came up with the Red Sox and Ortiz showed him the big league ropes early in his career.

Ortiz has a similar relationship with Robinson Cano.  David Ortiz and Robinson Cano first met at a stadium in the Dominican Republic over ten years ago.  Cano remembers the meeting fondly, and says they have had a tight relationship ever since.  Ortiz gives him advice and even picked him for his team in the 2011 home run derby.

According to Ortiz:
“I look at him like a little brother,” said Ortiz. “It’s great. I really try to get along with everybody around me and since the first time I saw him, I saw how hard he was trying to be a good player and came to be who he is today. I always have open hands for people like that.”
Cano hopes to continue the cycle of good will and serve as a mentor to future young Dominican players.

David Ortiz es de Santo Domingo, Robinson Cano es de San Pedro de Macoris, and Hanley Ramirez es de Samana.
David Ortiz bats with the Boston Red Sox

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dominican Luis Terrero wins MVP of Mexican Baseball League, Dominicano gana jugador más valioso de la Liga Mexicana de Béisbol

Liga Mexicana de Béisbol (LMB) or the Mexican Baseball League is considered by most to be in the top 5 leagues in the world.  It is made of independent teams throughout central and eastern Mexico.  The league is endorsed and affiliated with Major League Baseball as an official minor league, however, the teams that make up the league are not affiliated with MLB teams, as are the minor league teams stateside.

This unique relationship actually means that it is probably a higher level of baseball in the Mexican League, because the teams play to win and not to develop players.  This is much as the case is with the Dominican League of Winter Baseball.  So, along with the NIPON profesional league in Japan, and the Venezuelan and Mexican winter leagues, this AAA Mexican Baseball League and the LIDOM are the of the top leagues in the world.  The Dominican Baseball Guy commented on the top baseball leagues in the world a while back.

A number of big name stars have played in the LMB towards the end of there careers, most notably in terms of Dominican players the great Julio Franco.

And, to get to the point of this blog post!  Dominican Luis Terrero was named the MVP of the Mexican Baseball League today.  Check out these silly numbers: .390 average, 38 home runs, and 110 RBI in just 97 games.  Yea, the Dominican Baseball Guy thinks the pitching down there may not be up to the level of an ex-MLB guy like Terrero.  He spent three years in the majors from 2003-07 with the Diamondbacks, Orioles, and White Sox.  See Luis Terrero minor league baseball page.

Terrero is from Barahona and Franco is from San Pedro de Macoris.
Peloterro Dominicano Luis Terrero, by javYliz on Flickr

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Manny Ramirez goes to jail, then released, Manny Ramirez va a el cárcel

Everyone knows that Manny Ramirez is one of the Dominican Baseball Guy's all time favorite players.  But even the Dominican Baseball Guy cannot support his beloved Manny in this case.  The word is he was jailed for one night in Florida after a domestic disturbance involving his wife.

Actually Manny's actions in recent years have made even his most avid fans stop following him.  He faced a 100 game suspension for his second performance enhancing drugs suspension before retiring at the start of this year.  And now add this incident on to getting busted, not once, but twice for performance enhancing drugs, and Manny is not doing anything favorable for his legacy.  People quickly forget even the best when they do foolish things like this.

In the eyes of the Dominican Baseball Guy, Manny has fallen from the top of the Dominican Baseball pyramid.  He will always be one of the greatest Dominicans to play in MLB, but he just won't be as loved and appreciated for his quirky style, as he was by fans before these incidents.

He does plan to play in the Dominican Winter Baseball League this year, and the Dominican Baseball Guy will certainly try to catch him down there this winter if he does, despite his disdain for Ramirez's recent behavior.  It is too bad, because it is really hard for the Dominican Baseball Guy to dislike Manny, but I think I do right now.

Manny Ramirez es de Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana, la capital.  And Keith Winters is the Dominican Baseball Guy, expert on beisbol Dominicano.
Manny Ramirez with the Red Sox, what a great time to
be a Manny Ramirez fan, by Keith Allison on  Flickr

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ken Burns latest documentary has scenes of Dominican Baseball, inspires college player to start Go To Bat for Cuba charity, pelicula se llama "Baseball" tiene escenas de pelota dominicana

The Dominican Baseball Guy has talked several times about Dominican Baseball movies and documentaries.  Ken Burns documentary entitled Baseball is a well known documentary on the game and has been featured on the American Public Broadcast Station.  Burns has made a name for himself with super long and detailed documentaries, most notably "Jazz" and "The War."

Burns' latest installment of Baseball is called The Tenth Inning and it features scenes of baseball in the Dominican Republic, as well as other aspects of the international game.  These scenes of baseball in the Dominican Republic recently inspired a former University of Pennsylvania baseball player to create Go To Bat for Cuba.  Former Penn player and founder Adrian Lorenzo, and the organization, collect used baseball equipment and send it to Cuba.

Go to bat for Cuba is the latest of some great charities that donate equipment and other services to the Dominican Republic and other Latin countries.  The Dominican Baseball Guy has blogged on David Ortiz and his charity's celebrity golf tournament, Manny Acta and his ImpACTA Kids Foundation, along with a number of other Dominican charitable organizations.

Good luck Mr. Lorenzo on Go To Bat for Cuba and with your post-college plans.  Please visit Go To Bat for Cuba at their Facebook page and send them some equipment if you can:

Friday, September 2, 2011

Ex-Pirate Tony Pena elected to Latino Baseball Hall of Fame, Dominicano Tony Pena va a Salon de Fama

The Latin Baseball Hall of Fame, or Salon de la Fama del Beisbol Latino, is based in La Romana, Dominican Republic.  The organization works in coordination with MLB and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

They recently announced their class for 2012.  Aiden Gonzalez of MLB.com covered the story from the perspective of Bernie Williams and the Yankees.  But the Dominican Baseball Guy has not seen one article covering from the perspective of the Dominican inductee and former Pittsburgh Pirate Tony Pena.  Shocking, (the Dominican Baseball Guys knows) MLB and other major media outlets covering the Yankees and not the Pirates.

So, as the Dominican Baseball Guy it is my duty to cover Tony Pena's side of this great honor.  Pena is of course one the most revered Dominican players, and the Dominican Baseball Guy would consider him one of the leaders of what he considers the "modern wave" of Dominicans coming into the big leagues since the 1980s.    He is certainly one of the greatest Dominican catchers to ever play in the big leagues.  You know what, the Dominican Baseball Guy is going to say it: Tony Pena is the greatest Dominican catcher of all-time.

Which bring the Dominican Baseball Guy to another point...THERE ARE NO DOMINICAN CATCHERS nowadays.  The Dominican Baseball Guy noticed this down in the Dominican Republic.  In all the pick up games there is rarely someone playing catcher.  The Dominican Baseball Guy also hypothesizes that there is rarely good catching equipment in La Republica Dominica, so this could be another reason for the dearth of catchers in the country.  Lastly, the Dominican Baseball Guy surmises that "it's just not cool" to play catcher in for young Dominican players.  Just the opinion of the Dominican Baseball Guy, maybe some other reasons for this anomaly.

Pena had a great career that spanned 18 MLB seasons. He came up with the Pirates and went on to play with the Cardinals, Red Sox, and Indians. Tony was known for his defense behind the plate. He won 4 gold gloves and made 5 All-Star teams. He made it to the World Series with the Cardinals in 1987, losing to the Twins.

Tony also had a long career in the Dominican Winter Baseball League, playing late into his career with his original team, the Aguilas from Sanitago. The Dominican Baseball Guy could not find any statistics on his career in the DWL, but he played for more than ten years and won several titles with the Aguilas.

Tony went strait into coaching after his career was over, as many catchers do. He has managed the Aguilas for several years, winning DWL in 1998, 2000, 2001, and a Caribbean Series Championship with the team in 2001.  He spent 2002-2005 as the Royals manager and has been the Yankees bench coach for three years

Tony is from Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic. His son Tony Pena Jr. has pitched in the LIDOM and has had a cup of coffee as a pitcher with the Royals, and his other son, Francisco Pena, is in the Mets organization.  He joins Felipe Alou, Juan Marichal, Tetelo Vargas, Rico Carty and Horacio Martinez as the Dominican members of the Latino Hall of Fame.
Tony Pena, Yankees bench coach, by Keith Allison on Flickr

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dominican Coco Cordero hopes to remain Cincinati Red, Coco Cordero quire quedarse en Cincinati

The Dominican Baseball Guy has been a big fan of Coco Cordero since he busted on the scene with the Texas Rangers around 2000.  He truly made his mark with the Rangers in the 2004 season in which he went 49 or 54 in save chances.

That season he set the all-time save record for a Dominican pitcher in one season.  He broke Jose Mesa's Dominican record for saves in a season that year, and should pass him for the Dominican record of all-time MLB saves.  Cordero is currently 14th on the all-time list with 319 and Mesa is just 2 ahead of him.  Mesa is of course remembered by the Dominican Baseball Guy as a great closer on those classic Cleveland Indians of the mid-1990's, but also as having one of the most classic "lost in translation" names in MLB history: Joe Table.

Cordero sees Mesa as a role model and sees him often, as they both make their permanent homes in Santo Domingo, DR.  So, breaking Mesa's records are a major milestone for Cordero.

According to the recent article the Dominican Baseball Guy just cited above, Cordero has no plans after his contract expires this year or next: he is playing to win a World Series this year.  But as the title says, he would love to stay in Cincinati.

Coco is a nickname, and his real name is actually Francisco.  He has gone by both throughout his career.  Coco is from Santo Domingo, DR and Mesa is from Azua, DR.
Francisco Cordero pitches for the Reds, by FujiMatt on Flickr

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