Caribbean Series: Tidbits on the eve of showdown between DR and PR • Latino Sports

Caribbean Baseball

Caribbean Series: Tidbits on the eve of showdown between DR and PR


El Barrio, NY- So far in their home turf, thru mid-Saturday of day 3, the Dominican Republic team, the Leones del Escogido, has been undefeated as they face Puerto Rico's Indios de Mayagüez (1-1) in the evening game.  In the afternoon game, Mexico’s Yaquis de Obregon (2-1) handed Venezuela’s Tigres de Aragua (0-3) their third defeat in a row in a 4-2 game.   


Except for the Leones del Escogido 5-2 victory over Venezuela on Day 2, the other 4 contexts have been relatively low scoring games. On the same day Mexico’s blanked P.R. 2-0.  The day before on Day 1, the Dominican Republic beat Mexico 2-1; followed by Puerto Rico's Indios de Mayaguez 3-1 victory against Venezuela.

Two pitchers that have been featured by writer Jesse Jackson of MLB are Boricua Nelson Figueroa and Mexican Luis Ayala. These have been two hang-in-tough pitchers who seem to have some of what it takes to pitch in the Majors here and there, but with a struggle of not making their last season their last. In particular, Luis Ayala who had a very good season with the Yankees; He has not been added to their 2012 roster and is looking for the best offer from several teams.

On the other hand, Nelson Figueroa has the distinction of having pitched and won a game for 3 different countries that wind up sending a team to the Caribbean Series. These are Mexico, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Moreover, his winter baseball stint was in the Dominican Republic and with the team that is representing that country in the series: Leones del Escogido. He left them after they won their country’s championship. When the series is over Figueroa is heading for Spring Training where he hopes to get another opportunity with the Toronto Blue Jays.

In another related article, Cuba may play in the 2013 series. Last time Cuba sent a team to the Caribbean Series was in 1960. While it is said that the blame falls on the leadership of the Cuban Revolution for its baseball absence in the Caribbean Series over the last 50 years, more research on this matter is forthcoming as Cuba became a target of U.S. aggression (“Bay of Pigs” invasion) and economic sanctions and blockade. On the other hand, three other nations, Panama, Nicaragua and Columbia have not been able to send a team to the series because of economic hardships in their respective leagues.

More to follow after the showdown between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, a rivalry of sorts made possible by the large Dominican migration to Puerto Rico over the years after the U.S. invasion of Quisqueya to topple just another Latin American government in 1965.



About William Gerena-Rochet

William Gerena Rochet, is the former Latino Sports baseball editor. He is a retired NYC teacher who divides his time living between New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. He started writing for Latino Sports during the inaugural World Baseball Classic when a series was played in Puerto Rico in 2006. On of his favorite moments was covering the 2006 MLB All-Star Game in Pittsburgh. During his time with Latino Sports, he covered several divisional and League championship series games and the 2009 World Series. He also covered the last game at the old Yankee stadium and the first game of the current one. In closing, William has covered multiples Latino Sports MVP Awards ceremonies and Spanish Language Press Conferences including the Jorge Posada retirement one. Now a contributor, Willie will occasionally cover the Yankees.