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A Barely Informed Preview of the Caribbean Series
The Caribbean Series — featuring the champion from each of the Dominican Winter, Mexican Pacific, Puerto Rican, and Venezuelan Winter Leagues — begins today (Friday) at a new ballpark in Hermosillo, Mexico, and continues till February 7th. What the author lacks in knowledge concerning said Series, he makes up for — at least by, like, 20-25% — with enthusiasm for same.
That being the case, he has produced the following, i.e. a Barely Informed Preview of the Caribbean Series.
As noted above, the Series features the champions from baseball’s four notable winter leagues: the Dominican Winter, Mexican Pacific, Puerto Rican, and Venezuelan Winter.
Here are the teams scheduled to appear in the forthcoming Caribbean Series and those teams’ most notable players (which the author has mostly Lehrer’d from this early post):
League: Dominican Winter
Champion: Escogido (roster)
Notable Players: Young Pirates outfielder Starling Marte, Mets utilityman Jordany Valdespin, occasional Red Sox infielder Mauro Gomez, well-traveled reliever Octavio Dotel, and excellent Rays closer Fernando Rodney.
League: Mexican Pacific
Champion: Obregon (roster)
Notable Players: One-time Braves minor-league slugger Barbaro Canizares, one-time Yankees minor-league slugger Juan Miranda, resurgent Orioles reliever Luis Ayala.
League: Puerto Rican
Champion: Caguas (roster)
Notable Players: Very enthusiastic Giants catching minor leaguer Johnny Monell and Red Sox relief prospect Jose De La Torre. Still-talented retiree Javier Vazquez pitched for the club, but recent underwent a minor surgical procedure.
League: Venezuelan Winter
Champion: Magallanes (roster)
Notable Players: The famous Pablo Sandoval played for the club through the Venezuelan championship, but has decided not to play in the Series, according to Baseball America’s Carlos Torres Bujanda. Famous major leaguer Elvis Andrus and less famous, but still entirely competent, Endy Chavez remain on the team, however. Relievers Jean Machi (see GIFs below) and Enrique Gonzalez compose a solid back end to the bullpen.
The format for the Series is slightly different this year than in past ones. Previously, the Series was conducted strictly as a round-robin tournament in which each team played every other one twice, and the team with the best record was named champion. Now, a title game has been added, featuring the best and second-best teams after that same double round-robin tournament.
Each day, there are two games — one after the other, more or less, in the evening. A full schedule of games is available here.
Action Footage: Jean Machi
Magallanes (and San Francisco) right-hander Jean Machi retired all five Lara batters he faced in the decisive game of the Venezuelan Winter League championship series — including three via strikeout. Below are the first two of those strikeouts, both by way of Machi’s slider.
First, against Lara right fielder Robert Perez:
And then against Lara catcher Jose Yepez:
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