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.