Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Toros de La Romana Take Lead in Sugar Series, Lead LIDOM Finals 1-0

Toros de La Romana took a 1-0 lead  in the first game of the 9 game final series, beating over the Estrellas de San Pedro de Macoris 5-3.  The Dominican press is calling this year's finals the Sugar Series (see the Dominican Baseball Guy's last post).  The game took place in la Romana at the Stadium Francisco Micheli.

Raul Valdes (Cardinals) continued a strong winter campaign and pitched a complete game for the Toros.  See an article about Valdes and his future with the Cardinals here.  Puerto Rican Martin Maldonado had a good game behind the plate catching for Valdes and also had an RBI at the plate.  Jose Constanza (Braves) also had two RBI for the Toros and Danny Richar (Marlins) was 3-4 with two runs.  Constanza hit .319 with the Braves AAA team and made the International League All-Star team, and Richar has been very successful with the Marlins AAA team, so the Dominican Baseball Guy expects to see both in the big leagues soon.
Valdes pitches a complete game
For the Estrellas, former big leaguer and minor league veteran Buck Coats scored a run on an Edward Rogers single, and Edwin Bellorin had two RBI.  Coats was later ejected in the third inning, in an interesting scene that saw Coats (a ten year veteran of the minor leagues) arguing with a fellow American umpire in a Dominican Winter Baseball League (LIDOM) playoff game.  LIDOM has both American and Dominican umpires work most games, because it is thought the American umpires do not have ulterior motives in regards to favoring certain teams.
Coats exits as his manager continues the argument with the home plate umpire

The incident goes to show that these games are very important for everyone involved.  For many of these players these are the biggest games and the most intense atmosphere they have had the chance to play in, and this is true for veteran Americans like Coats and Kevin Barker of the Toros.

Game two is tomorrow night in San Pedro de Macoris.

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