Global Baseball

One man\’s year-long journey through the world of baseball

Caribbean Series: Day 1


Live from Estadio Roberto Clemente Walker, we have the official rosters, which feature several moves as each country’s winning teams borrow players from other squads to strengthen their rosters.


No team has improved as much as Puerto Rico. On the offensive side, the Gigantes add José Molina, Javier Valentín, Alex Cora, Hiram Bocachica, and Luis Matos, while Indians’ reliever Fernando Cabrera strengthens their pitching staff.


Venezuela’s squad isn’t looking so hot anymore with the news that Miguel Cabrera isn’t competing. The Venezuelan team adds Ramon Hernandez and Randal Simon, but without Cabrera, they’re starting to look like the weakest team here.


The Mexican squad added a few solid pieces, most notably journeyman Alfredo Amezaga and noted brawler Karim Garcia.


And finally, the Dominican Republic regresses slightly as they add Nelson Cruz (OF, Rangers), Anderson Hernández (2B, Mets), José Cappelan (RHP, Brewers), Fabio Castro (LHP, Phillies), and Jeol Peralta (RHP, Royals), but lose the services of Melky Cabrera, Edwin Encarnación, Wily Mo Peña, Mendy Lopez, and Fausto Carmona.


Game 1 between the Dominican Republic and Venezuela starts at 4:00 Atlantic Time (3:00 Eastern).

[Update: 2:20] The ceiling in the press room sprung a major leak about 10 minutes ago, right on top of reporters working diligently on their laptops.

[Update: 3:50] Lineups have been released:

Dominican Republic
1. Anderson Hernández, 2B
2. Luis Polonia, DH
3. Miguel Tejada, SS
4. Tony Batista, 3B
5. Nelson Cruz, RF
6. José Fernández, 1B
7. Víctor Méndez, CF
8. Alberto Castillo, C
9. Pablo Osuna, CF
SP:Lima Time!
1. Gregor Blanco, CF
2. Luis Rodríguez
3. Ramón Hernández, C
4. Randal Simon, DH
5. Oscar Salazar, LF
6. José Castillo, RF
7. Luis Maza, 3B
8. Ronnie Cedeño, SS
9. Alexander Delgado, C
SP: Horacio Estrada


[Update] Middle 3rd, 0-0.


Gregor Blanco, Venezuela’s center fielder, has one of the weirdest swings I’ve ever seen. He actually shuffles his feet halfway through the pitcher’s windup. He also just led off the 3rd with a double, but Hernández and Simón couldn’t drive him in.


[Update] Top-4th, 0-0

The Águilas (Eagles) mascot looks more like a parrot than an eagle.


Up in the Press Room: DirecTv just set up an HD Satellite feed right next to where I’m sitting. The TV’s got a slightly concave screen, so every time someone hits a fly ball, it looks like the field’s going all hall of mirrors on me. It’s really strange.


Also, the internet’s cutting in and out – mostly out – and people are pissed.


Bottom 4th, 1-1

Miguel Tejada just hit the ball really, really far. Tie game.


[Update] Middle 6th, 2-1 Venezuela

José Lima’s done after 5+ innings. Final line, 5IP, 8H, 5K, 1BB, 2R (1ER)


[Update] Top 8th, 2-2

Game tied after a Tony Batista HR in the 6th.


Fun fact I learned from sitting at a table with Henry Martinó and Edwin Fernández, the authors of Jonrón, a stat-book for every latin-American player ever to reach the major leagues with an accompanying history. In 1991, when Major League Baseball made Puerto Ricans subject to the Rule 4 amateur draft, the final Puerto Rican signed before the change went into effect was Carlos Delgado. The way the Puerto Rican writers told it, Gillick flew down to PR the day before the new rule would applyand signed Delgado at 11:45. That’s almost certainly an exaggeration, but a pretty sweet story nonetheless.

*With stars like these, who needs scrubs? Ramón Hernández’s line so far tonight: 0-4, 3Ks.



[Update] EXTRAS!, Still tied 2-2
Mariners farmhand Yorman Bazardo came in to pitch the bottom of the 9th and made short work of it, K-ing Nelson Cruz, then getting a groundout and a pop-up to end the inning, and we’re off to extra innings.


[Update] Top-12th, 2-2

Bazardo so far, 3IP, 1H (2B), 5K, 0BB. Miguel Tejada took him to the warning track, and a stronger hitter than Anderson Hernández would have taken him out of the park on the double he gave up, but other than those 2 pitches, he’s been absolutely dealing.


[Update] Top 16th STILL 2-2

We’re in the 7th frame of extra innings, and Venezuela actually has 2 men on with 1 out! This is the first time this has happened in extra innings in this game, and a cause for excitement in the press box.

[Update] Middle 16th, Still 2-2

Nothing came of it.


[Update] Top-17th, 2-2

A new record! When I decided to live-blog my first-ever Caribbean Series experience, I had no idea I would end up live-blogging the longest game in the history of the event, and by far the longest baseball game I’ve ever personally attended.

The historian of Puerto Rican baseball sitting to my left tells me that the previous record game took place in 1989, and ended 3-2, which will most likely be the final score when this game wraps up sometime in March. It’s a funny thing about baseball fans. We love the game, but when Game 1 of a double-header reaches its 17th inning or its 5th hour (whichever comes first, really. This one’s hit both), we’re pretty much ready for the thing to be over and done with.

But hey, at least Mexico vs. Puerto Rico probably won’t take this long once it gets under way, right?


[Update] Bottom 18th, 3-3!

After a pair of doubles by Luis Maza and Ronny Cedeño to put Venezuela on top 3-2, Dominican catcher Alberto Castillo made it to second on a pitchers’ throwing error, then made it to third on a catchers’ throwing error, and scored on a grounder by Bernie Castro to ensure that the game will go on.


[Update] Game Over!  4-3 Dominican Republic!

Bottom of the 18th, 1st and 3rd, nobody out, Miguel Tejada walks, loading the bases for Tony Batista, who lifts the ball just high enough to bring Bernie Castillo home.  The game started a little after 4:00, and it’s now 10:30.  Now that both teams have completely wrecked their pitching staffs, it should be a very interesting tournament moving forward.




February 2, 2007 - Posted by | Caribbean Series

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