Dominican Republic Takes Caribbean Series

The Caribbean Series is the culmination of winter baseball. Shortly after the World Series is completed in the United States, baseball is just beginning in other parts of the world. In the countries south of the United States, nations welcome players back onto the field for the beginning of another year of winter baseball.

Winter baseball is made up of players from various countries along with major and minor league players from the United States. It is partly a developmental environment where players are sent to work on specific aspects of their games and partly a matter of pride as teams attempt to represent their country on an international stage.

At the end of the winter baseball season is the Caribbean Series in a play-off format of teams from the various winter ball regions to determine the Caribbean champion.

The participants in the Caribbean Series are made up of the top teams from the Dominican Winter League, the Mexico Pacific League, the Puerto Rican Professional Baseball League, and the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. The tournament this year was held at Estadio Nueva Esparta in Porlamar Margarita Island in Venezuela.

The culmination of the Caribbean Series was held yesterday with the final game being contested between Los Leones del Escogido from the Dominican Republic versus Leones del Caracas from Venezuela.

Going into this game, the Dominican Republic controlled their own destiny. If they won the game they would be the champion. If they lost there would be a one game play-off between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico who had won earlier in the day.

Los Leones del Escogido dominated the game as they had through most of the Caribbean Series beating the team from Venezuela by a score of 7-1. The win was the third Caribbean Series title for Los Leones del Escogido and the 18th for a team from the Dominican Republic.

The Most Valuable Player for the tournament was Fernando Martinez. Raul Valdes earned the win, his second of the series and was helped when the Dominican Republic scored four runs in the first inning.

The celebration in Estadio Nueva Esparta was for the win by Los Leones del Escogido but here in the states baseball fans were cheering at the thought that winter baseball was now officially over which means Spring Training cannot be too far away.

While much of the country is still blanketed in snow, players are gathering up their gear and after the winning celebration is over they will be making their way to Florida and Arizona to begin a new preparing for the upcoming 2010 MLB season.



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