Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dominican Winter Baseball League Final Series Preview 2011

The Estrellas beat the Gigantes last night in the one game playoff to determine second place in the 18 game round robin playoff in the Dominican Winter Baseball League (LIDOM).  The final score was 3-0 and the game was never really close.  The Estrellas pitching dominated and Eulogio de la Cruz (former major leaguer who just signed with the Brewers) got the win.  Eugenio Velez (Dodgers) and  Argenis Reyes (Indians) led the offensive charge for the Estrellas.  See the game recap and some cool photos here.  There was a great atmosphere, with most of the crowd on their feet the whole game.
Estrellas and Fans Celebrate
The Estrellas go on to face the Toros in a 9 game final series.  The Toros had already advanced to the finals after dominating the round robin in finishing 1st.  This sets up what the Dominican press is calling a "Sugar Series."  See the preview from the only English daily in the country, Dominican Today.  Both clubs hail from the southeast coast of the country, the region that is the center of sugarcane production.

Sugarcane has long been the agricultural base of the country, and it is said that the sugarcane plantations are where baseball first became popular on the island.  Workers on the plantations supposedly played baseball after working the fields, and the game then diffused to the rest of the population.

So, this series has special significance for Dominican fans, particularly for those from San Pedro de Macoris and La Romana, the home of the Estrellas and Toros respectively.  Not to mention the town with the most baseball talent in the world (San Pedro de Macoris) is hosting a finals series.  The first game is tomorrow, Wednesday the 19th.

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