After four games in the DR, the Licey Tigers are 3-1. We have had solid pitching and hitting so far. Of the four games we have played, guess how many started on time? NONE! And I’m not saying late by five or ten minutes. We did have two opening days so I’ll give that the benefit of the doubt, but yesterday we had a delay for four helicopters to land on the field which had our cheerleaders and mascot in them. I just feel for the starting pitcher, because they really never know when the game is going to start.
The fields here are pretty nice. The grandstands in most of the stadiums are large and can hold anywhere from 10,000-18,000 people. The fans here love and respect the game so much. They go ecstatic throughout the game waving flags and blowing horns and vuvuzelas nonstop. If we hit a home-run or a player moves a guy over with less than two outs we hear the same loud ovation. The fans have a cheer “Licey Campeon” which I have found myself singing to it in the bullpen because it is catchy.
We have cheerleaders who were imported from Columbia to entertain the fans and players in the dugout in between innings. These are the cheerleaders for Casper Wells’ team Escogido. No offense to my Florida Marlins, but these beat the Manatee dancers.
Tonight we are home against the Gigantes of Cibao. Robert Collelo (Red Sox) is on the bump. We then have three straight games on the road. BTW, we do not celebrate Halloween down here.
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So I arrived in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on Saturday afternoon. I was supposed to be picked up by a driver, but as I walked down “rock star row” where everyone holds up names to pick you up, I did not see my name. I ended up taking a cab for about RD$1500 ($40 US). As I drove to the hotel which was about 25 minutes away I witnessed a beautiful beach with clear blue water to the left and very impoverished shanties and businesses to the right.
Being here just a week makes you realize how much you have very quickly and how you can take the little things in life for granted. The traffic here is absolutely crazy. Everyone makes their own lanes and make left hand turns from the right lanes to just name an example. There are many motorcycles and scooters. We have seen as many as three people on one motorcycle. While stuck in traffic locals try to sell bottled water, cell phone cases and chargers, toys for kids, and will squeegee your windows. Everyone is trying to make some money to support themselves or their family.
The language barrier is a little tough for where we are located. We stay in the heart of downtown and are not on a resort or near any type of beach. Of all of the imports I probably speak the best Spanish which isn’t even that great. Hopefully I can learn some more while I’m here.
This past week we went out to Boca Chica to have some practices. This is were the White Sox and Cubs have their Dominican academies. It was great to see and experience where these guys train and go to school.
Today we played a Cuban team which all defected to the DR. I threw an inning which went well. We open up Friday night at home against Escogido. Casper Wells and Ruddy Lugo play for them.
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After an interesting week of playing cat and mouse with my agent, Venezuelan scouts, and myself, I find myself going to the Dominican Republic of all places. I have no idea how this magic eight ball landed me there, but I am extremely excited to play for the Licey Tigers. They are the most well known team in the Capital and have won tons of championships.
As of right now, I am flying out of Miami on Saturday October 16th to the DR. We have a couple of scrimmages and the season opens up next Friday. I hope to add videos and pictures of my journey. I was told I will have internet access so I will be able to keep up the blog.
please feel free to comment or ask questions so I can add it into the entries for next time.
This past week in Miami was not one to be remembered for the Dolphins or Hurricanes. Both teams were slaughtered by their opponents. It defiantly was hard to watch and experience it in person. Nothing gets on my nerves more than hearing the Florida State cheer and seeing the tomahawk chop all night long. But they did out play us and were sure allowed to chop all night long.
My plans to head to Venezuela to play for the Caribes de anzoategui were put on hold from my agent as of Monday evening. We are still working out details of everything. I was supposed to fly out Tuesday morning. Now I have all my bags packed but not sure when I’ll be leaving or playing yet. You can get up to date details on my twitter account.
Congrats to Bobby Cox and his outstanding career as a manager.
Does anyone know how to Upload pics for my blog so that they can just show up on the page rather than having to click a link? I tried to find some hosting sites, but it didn’t work.
So this really is the year of the “Pitcher”. What do we owe it to?
Is it better pitching?
New creative pitches?
Higher mounds/larger ballparks?
Better Drug Testing?
What do you think the correlation is?
Don’t think I have the answer, but it has great to see all the no hitters and perfect games. Roy Halladay did it under playoff pressure for his first career post season game. Congrats!
Many of my friends and teammates left this past week for their winterball assignments. Best of luck to them. I am still working out where to play this winter. I will keep you all posted.