Sunday, February 3, 2008

This just in.

Yes Virginia, there is baseball goin' on right now. The Caribbean World Series started yesterday with the Dominican Republic - who is fielding two freakin' teams - proving why it gets two teams by rolling in the opening games. There are four teams in the CWS this year: the two D.R. teams, Mexico, and Venezuela. From what I can gather there are (at least) four separate leagues south of the border: the Mexican League, the Dominican League, Venezuelan League and the Puerto Rican League. I assume there is a Cuban League, but it appears they either haven't been good enough to make it or have been banned since around 1960 (there was no CWS held between 1961-1969). I'd bet on latter. There may be a Panama League too.

I believe the Series operates as a Round Robin tournament, with each team playing six games. The one with the best record brings home the hardware. Thus, it is possible for the final games of the Series to actually mean nothing as the champion has already been decided.

Someone may know how these teams qualify for this, but that someone is not me. Again, I'd assume the teams have to win their respective leagues but that doesn't explain how the Dominicans got two invites. It appears the U.S. was involved in this thing at some point (and may still be...) as the finals were held in Miami in 1990 and 1991.

If you're lucky enough to have ESPN Deportes beamed into your home, I highly recommend you check some of these games out. The list of players who have, and currently are, participating in the CWS reads like a hallway in Cooperstown: Frank Robinson, Rod Carew, Satchel Paige, Roberto Clemente and current players like Pedro Martinez, Vladimir Guerrero, and David Ortiz. Even if some of the names are unfamiliar chances are they won't be for long.

I'm not sure why ESPN doesn't broadcast the CWS on one of their mainstream channels. I know I'd watch. The schedule is below:

Saturday, Feb. 2:
Dominican Republic (2) 6 Venezuela 4
Mexico 6 Dominican Republic (1) 13
Sunday, Feb. 3:
Dominican Republic 2 @ Mexico 3:00 PM EST
Dominican Republic 1 @ Venezuela 7:00 PM EST
Monday, Feb. 4:
Venezuela @ Mexico 3:00 PM EST
Dom. Rep. 1 @ Dom. Rep. 2 7:00 PM EST
Tuesday, Feb. 5:
Venezuela @ Dominican Republic 2 3:00 PM EST
Dominican Republic 1 @ Mexico 7:00 PM EST
Wednesday, Feb. 6:
Mexico @ Dominican Republic 2 3:00 PM EST
Venezuela @ Dominican Republic 1 7:00 PM EST
Thursday, Feb. 7:
Mexico @ Venezuela 3:00 PM EST
Dom. Rep. 2 @ Dom. Rep. 1 7:00 PM EST

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