Tag Archives: Dominican Winter League

Morales’ Morale

We mentioned a few days ago that Kendry Morales did not appear in the final game of the Dominican Winter League final series. 

We’ve now learned that Morales wasn’t injured, he was simply refusing to play.  He was “part of a group of players” who are either guilty of terrible judgement (boycotting the final game due to disagreements about umpiring) or insubordination (boycotting the final game due to Gigantes del Cibao manager Luis Dorante’s pitifully stupid decision to forfeit game 3 in support of team cancer Felix Martinez). 

Regardless, Kendry has shown stunning immaturity. 

People will  say that baseball is different in Latin America in an effort to excuse Kendry’s behavior.  We say that baseball is baseball.  Teammates, regardless of country or culture, need to know that they can count on each other. 

Counting on Morales, however, would now appear about as intelligent as standing behind a pathological punk like Felix Martinez.  Kendry quit; it’s that simple.  This is the guy in whom the Angels are placing so much trust? 

While Kendry Morales aligned with no-name minor leaguers and morons, his Major League caliber teammates (like Nelson Cruz and Alexi Casilla) did the right thing, taking the field with their team.  

We can only hope that he’s more of a team player with the Angels, especially during his first full-time season in 2009.  How might Ervin Santana or Erick Aybar, each playing that night for his opponent, have judged him?  Only time will  tell.


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Licey Replay

If you’re interested in watching Ervin Santana‘s impressive pitching performance, or Erick Aybar‘s on-base extravaganza, from Sunday, the streaming video replay can be found here.

Incidentally, we still do not know why Kendry Morales did not appear in that game.

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Licey Campeon!!!

Licey has won the Dominican Winter League Final Series.  Despite our earlier report, Thursday’s game was, indeed, declared a forfeit for Gigantes, making Sunday’s game the fifth game.  As it turns out, it was also the final game, with Licey prevailing 4-3 (in twelve innings).

In good Angel-related news, Erick Aybar was 3-4 with 3 walks, a run scored, and an RBI, while Ervin Santana pitched 5 shutout innings.

In potentially bad Angel-related news, however, Kendry Morales, batting .500 for the series, did not play in the final game.  Perhaps things work differently in the DWL, but can you imagine Vladimir Guerrero not playing in the final game of the World Series?  It just doesn’t make sense.  We’ll keep you posted.


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Who Us, Worry?

Gigantes del Cibao scored one in the eighth and two in the ninth to tie the score at 3.  The game now heads to the bottom of the 12th inning. 

Perhaps more importantly, though, where is Kendry?  In the final series, in what could be the final game, the league’s best all-around hitter is on the bench?

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Dominican Winter League Final Series

Well, when we first started covering the Dominican Winter League final series we had no idea that it would become so controversial

Our coverage has resulted in more traffic than we realized was possible (thanks to everyone who linked to our accounts of game 3). 

In yet another strange twist, the DWL apparently rewards teams for breaching rules, etiquette and even common sense. 

The league has, apparently, acquiesced to Gigantes del Cibao (though, no, Felix Martinez won’t play), deciding to replay game 3 on Friday (a scheduled off-day originally).  Licey prevailed in the game, 2-1, making Thursday’s “debacle” somewhat of a moot point.  Still, we can’t help but find the turn of events bizarre. [Update - We stand corrected....the game was, indeed, deemed a forfeit.  Our apologies for the bad translation.]

In the seven inning make-up game, Erick Aybar was 0-2 and Kendry Morales 2-3 (a pair of singles).  With Licey again leading the series 3-0, today becomes the off-day, with the series resuming tomorrow, the Angels’ Ervin Santana taking the hill for Licey.  At this point, we can almost guarantee excitement and drama as the series returns to Quisqueya (home of Licey).

As we depart the country, we wanted to leave you with a way to catch up on this exciting series.  We can’t be sure of reliable internet service when we arrive at our destination, so if  posts aren’t as plentiful as you expect, please bear with us.

For now, follow the below links to apprise yourself of all the DWL final series developments thus far.

Streaming video of game 1, of game 2, of game 3, and of game 3.1  Enjoy.

As soon as we find a high-speed connection, we’ll be back to our normally scheduled updates.


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Video Loco

Here’s the streaming video replay of Thursday night’s bizarre Dominican Winter League drama.  Things really start to get interesting at 00:28:00. 

We’re still not sure whether team unity is to be celebrated or Gigantes manager Luis Dorante mocked.

For proper context, the game 2 ejection of Felix Martinez that seems to have precipitated all of this can be seen here (Martinez’ tirade is captured best at 02:09:55).  

Martinez was clearly out of his mind, though he now insists that eveything is the result of a personal grudge that he doesn’t understand.  Things could have been much worse, though; he could have kicked someone in the face.

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Game 3 – Continued

Well, as they say, only in the Dominican League.  As if there hadn’t been enough controversy in the Licey y Gigantes rivalry, game 3 of the Dominican Winter League final series has been declared a forfeit.

The fundamental issue appears to have come down to the suspension of Gigantes second baseman Felix Martinez.  Martinez was ejected from Wednesday’s game [update - for going after the home plate umpire] and, subsequently, suspended from the tournament. 

Despite this, Martinez appeared in Thursday’s lineup as if nothing had happened.  When notified that Martinez had been suspended from the series, Gigantes del Cibao chose to leave the field.  The home plate umpire then officially declared the game a forfeit. 

While there’s certainly something to be said for team unity, we’re not sure that this was the wisest of decisions given the championship nature of the series.

Interestingly, this is not the first time Felix Martinez has been at the center of serious controversy.  In 1998, he touched off a major brawl while playing for the Kansas City Royals (serendipitously, the brawl involved the Angels).  Licey manager Jose Offerman was pivotal in that brawl as well, as Martinez’ teammate, so he’s familiar with Martinez’ proclivity for controversy

Of course, Jose Offerman himself has never been averse to a good controversy, either, so none of this should surprise him in the least. 

Almost unbelievably, Licey now takes a commanding 3-0 lead in the best of nine series.  Had we not watched it, there’s no way we would believe it. 

[A special thanks to Earl Bloom of the OC Register for providing the 1998 link.]


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Game 3 Controversy

We have to admit, at this point, that our Spanish language skills are not up to the task at hand. 

Game 3 has been postponed, at the least, and appears even to have been forfeited by Gigantes del Cibao, though the translation has proven difficult.  We’re still trying to sort through the issues to figure out what has happened.  It would appear, however, that there will be no game tonight.

At this point, Licey players have gathered on the field to play a game of “flip,” while the entire Gigantes team has abandoned their dugout. 

We’ll try to keep you updated. 

Okay, here’s a provisional update.  Without any degree of certainty, we have deduced that Gigantes player Felix Martinez has been suspended from the tournament and the league (as a result of throwing some kind of temper tantrum at home plate). 

In protest, Gigantes has refused to field a team for tonight’s game.  Again, we’ll keep you updated as we learn more.  The official line is “The game has been decreed a forfeit by the home plate umpire.”


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Game 3

Game 3 of the Dominican Winter League final series is about to get underway.  Jorge Sosa will be on the hill for Licey, while Bobby Cramer will take the mound for Gigantes del Cibao.

We won’t be liveblogging it tonight, though we will be watching intently.  You can find the video stream here, the audio stream here, and the Gameday here.


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More On Risk

Earl Bloom at the OC Register is wondering why there is concern about injury risk related to the World Baseball Classic but none about winter league play.  It’s a fair question

Our feeling is that WBC players leave their Major League teams, at a critical time, to participate, contributing to exacerbated injury concerns, while winter league play traditionally is, as the cliche goes, “out of sight, out of mind” (our coverage of DWL play notwithstanding).


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