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March 06, 2013



By: Rocky Julich

The New York Yankees Spring Training field was visited by various dignitaries from the Dominican Republic; among them, Jaime David Fernandez, Ministro de Deportes and Hector Pereida, Presidente de La Federacion de Beisbol. Leo Lopez, Director de Relaciones de Media. The player practice on George M. Steinbrenner Field today took a different meaning as most of the vocal exchanges heard from the opposing team were in Spanish. The visiting team on the field is from the baseball crazed Dominican Republic and they came prepared to play with a line-up that is unforgiving.

As I write the line-up sheet in my scorebook, it is interesting to note that all of the Major League players have Spanish names. Vidal Nuno, Carlos Santana, Edwin Encarnacion, Robinson Cano, Hanley Ramirez, Eric Aybar, Ricardo Nanita, Alejandro DeAza, Nelson Cruz. Tony Pena manages the Dominican team, while Alfredo Griffin is at first base and Juan Samuel coaches third. Moises Alou is the General Manager. It is one of the rare times in franchise history that the New York Yankees have faced an all Latino Major League Baseball players line-up.

The Yankees line-up reads as follows; Hiroki Kuroda, Francisco Cervelli, Luke Murton, Jayson Nix, Kevin Youkilis, Eduardo Nunez, Matt Diaz, Melky Mesa, Juan Rivera. Joe Girardi is the manager. Brian Cashman is the General Manager, presently among the long list of injured players on the Yankees. After losing in the Inaugural (2006) and second World Baseball Classics (2009) the Dominican Republic team is playing to win with a little bit of everything; power, hit & run, steals and player chemistry.

The 2013 Dominican Republic club include seven players who have participated in Major League Baseball All Star games. Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes and Robinson Cano played in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. As evidenced by the exhibition debut defeat of the Philadelphia Phillies with 15 runs on 28 hits in a 15-2 win.

The Dominican Republic is passionate about winning the World Baseball Classic. During the second game of competition, during the second half of the 7th inning, the Dominican Republic led the Yankees 6 – 0, with 10 hits vs. Yankees 0. Continuing play in the bottom of the 7th inning, the Yankees Zoilo Almonte, with two outs on the board, connected a two run home run. Dominican 7 – Yankees 2. There were lots of fans in the seats (8,146), many of them waving the flag of the Dominican Republic with loud cheers for Nationalism over the New York Yankees. The Dominican Republic continues strong in the World Baseball Classic with wins over the National League Phillies and the American League Yankees.

Final score: Dominican Republic 8 runs – 13 hits – 0 errors New York Yankees 2 runs – 2 hits – 2 errors

The question was asked of Yankees star second baseman Robinson Cano regarding the difficulty in his competing for the Dominican Republic vs. the team he plays for, the New York Yankees. La dificultad en apoyar la Republica Dominicana sobre su quipo los New York Yankees . No response necessary. It’s just baseball with a bilingual flavor. Es un poquito de beisbol con sabor bilingue.

RTFR Radio – Stay tuned.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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