Locally in New York, the SNY Network has been showing the Caribbean World Series. The Caribbean World Series consists of four teams playing in a double round robin tournament. Basically, which ever team has the most wins after the 6 games wins. Competing in the Caribbean World Series are four teams, Mexico, Venezuela, and two teams from the Dominican Republic. This tournament is one of my favorites and captured my attention last year when I was watching a game and saw that Luis Polonia was still active and playing for his Dominican Republic squad. The World Baseball Classic exposed the world to the teams from the Caribbean World Series. Many Major Leaguers are taking part in this tournament as a precursor to spring training. Many of them are borderline Major Leaguers, but Miguel Tejada, and Rafael Furcal are probably the two most famous players in the tourney.
The Caribbean World Series also shed some light as to why many of these players are not in the Major Leagues.
Apparently many players belong to a Major League roster, but are on a RESTRICTED list. The reason they are on this list is because they are not allowed to enter the country and apply for a working Visa. The reason behind this is that many of the players were rushed into the United States and were married to gain citizenship. They were soon found out and sent back to their Original countries. Many of these players dominate leagues like the Caribbean League, because they are facing very raw and very young talent.
Now we shouldn't be looking at the stats from this tourney to gain any fantasy advantage, but you must think that a player heading into spring training at full speed will have the edge over the ones who did not play in the winter.
PLAYER NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
Guys Who Are Impressing
Ronnie Belliard actually looks somewhat like an athlete. He appears to be in better shape, his .235 AVG. in the tournament isn't impressive, but his physique is.
Omar Beltre who plays for one of the Dominican Republic teams has been lights out and dominated today's game. Apparently Beltre is one of those players who was on the Restriced List. He m,ay have looked dominant today, but in the real world he is stuck in the low levels of the Ranger Minor League system.
Fantasy owners, who have no idea who Carlos Marmol is, missed a great opportunity to scout him out during this tournament. He may be a top of the line set up man or closer one day.
Guys Who Take away From The Caribbean World Series' Credibility:
Timo Perez- Career went down the tubes after his performance running the bases in the 2000 World Series. So far this tourney, Timo is 0-2.
Jose Offerman- .200 batting Average, I'm not wasting anymore ink on this guy.
Luis Polonia- .091 batting average, Way to go Luis!
Carlos Perez- 2/3 IP and 3 ER. If he can’t get these guys out he has no chance of a comeback.
Randy Choate- This man owns a World Series ring!! This former Yankee has been in 3 games and has retired 4 batters without giving up a run. Maybe there is a job out there waiting for Mr. Choate.
Of course the superstars’ stats are going to be blown up when playing against a talent pool like this. You have to give some of these guys credit though for showing up. Luis Polonia? Are you serious?
Guys who give the CWS credibility:
Miguel Tejada - .267 AVG. and 2 Home Runs. Nothing too crazy coming from the newest Astro.
Rafael Furcal- Batting .412 heading into the final two games of the tourney.
Carlos Marmol- I'm watching him get lit up as we speak, so far he has let up 3 runs and has blown the lead.
Tony Pena (the shortstop)- He may be batting .429 after 4 games, but he has made 3 errors already!!
The fact that I can come home from work and watch some form of baseball tells me that Spring is right around the corner and my life is getting better by the day. Tune in tonight and check out a game if you get a chance. If you love baseball you will enjoy what you see.