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Dominican Republic might not be in next World Classic
By MARIA DIAZ, MOP Squad Sports Staff Writer
Mar 5, 2008 - 9:32:20 PM

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Okay, so I haven’t written anything in awhile… at all, but there is no better reason to get back on the horse like the one I have right now.


As I was shuffling through the sports pages yesterday morning I stumbled across a headline that stunned me: “The Dominican Republic threatens not to attend the World Classic”. I couldn’t believe it, and the amazement only increased as I kept on reading. This is a local newspaper, so this headline might not have made it to the States, but it’s still a big one.


As I said before, I couldn’t even think it possible, and it’s not just because of how surreal the World Classic would be without Dominicans but because of how dumb and unfounded the whole idea is.


The president of our Dominican Baseball League (LIDOM out here), Leonardo Matos Berrido, said that he could accept nothing less than having our country host one of the rounds of the tournament, if this isn’t the case then the Dominican Republic will pull out. Some of the Dominicans representing our league have expressed their anger at the Major League Baseball for not giving them a straightforward reply to their request to host some games.


They’ve even gone as far as to say that they’ve got the support of guys like Albert Pujols and David Ortiz, a statement that may very well be an actual fact but that would only show how misled—to put it nicely—these guys are.


Because of the ginormous amount of Dominicans we’ve got in the Majors, it’s more than safe to say that the DR is kind of a big deal when it comes to playing a World Classic, wouldn’t you think so? I mean, think about it, aren’t we like 50% of all Latin American players? And haven’t some of our guys done a decent job at making a good name for themselves and our country, guys like David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez and Juan Marichal, just to name a few? This is downright ridiculous in my opinion.


Let’s get down and dirty here and look at the cold hard facts for a second, shall we? There are great Dominican players in the MLB, there is no doubt about that, but the truth is that the Dominican Republic is no more than a poor, forgotten third-world country with a big heart; I’m sorry but that’s just me being honest. We don’t have the money to host World Classic games, our ballparks aren’t even close to where they should be for a tournament of this sort. And even if we did have the resources to pimp out our parks, we couldn’t do it in order for them to be ready for the next Classic; our stadiums are in horrible shape, it’s so bad it borders on depressing at times. The best ones can’t even compare to Pro Player Stadium on its worst day.


Aside from this, I’m sorry to be so blunt, but where does Matos Berrido get off depriving all Dominicans from being represented internationally? He has no right—and no foundation—, it would be plain ridiculous to host World Classic games in the Dominican Republic and it’s even more ridiculous (and a little childish) to threaten to pull out if we don’t get “our” way.


I’m really sorry if I come off a little harsh on this subject, but I think it would be a very sad thing if the DR doesn’t participate in the next Classic over some childish ambition.

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