The Dominican Winter League
By George Goldstein
The Liga Beisbol Dominicano (LIDOM) or Dominican Winter League is the premier baseball league that plays during the winter, this also coincides with the offseason for Major League Baseball. The league is currently made up of six teams that play a forty game schedule. The LIDOM was officially formed in 1951 and the same six teams have played throughout its entire history. The teams are the Toros del Este, Águilas Cibaeñas, Gigantes del Cibao, Tigres del Licey and the Estrellas Orientales. The Dominican Winter League is filled with professional baseball players, whether it be Major Leaguers, Minor Leaguers, or full timers who play all across Latin America. The LIDOM offers the opportunity for the super stars of tomorrow to prove themselves at the highest level, setting them up for success in Major League Baseball. It also allows for some players that have passed their Major League prime to keep playing, the stars of the past that are playing this year include Hanley Ramirez, Melky Cabrera and the ageless Fernando Rodney.
Major League Baseball has attempted to be more inclusive in how much celebrating and fun is involved. However, the rich history of unwritten rules consistently sap from the game the most fun parts. Just this year old school manager Tony La Russa reprimanded his own rookie superstar Yermin Mercedes for swinging on a 3-0 pitch and hitting a home run. Chicago White Sox star Tim Anderson has been hit by pitches intentionally a number of times over the years because he tends to get super excited and celebrate big moments. Such as hitting huge walk off home runs. However, if you want to see baseball at its most fun with pure joy and energy then the Dominican Winter League is exactly what you are looking for. The players seem like kids again, the tradition established in the league is one of fun and enjoyment to go along with the competitiveness that comes along with being some of the most talented baseball players in the world. The players are not the only ones filled with the joy of baseball, the fans are rabid as well. Bringing drums to the field is not a common occurrence in the MLB, but in the LIDOM they go wild and create an atmosphere that is almost like a party. One such example is this walk off home run by Socrates Brito of the Estrellas Orientales.
This year’s season is well underway as four of the teams have just two games left and two teams that were rained out once this week have three games remaining. The playoff race is hotly contested as the top four teams make it. The Toros del Este are out with a sub .500 record, but the other five teams are separated by just three games making for an exciting final week of the season that will decide who makes the playoffs and who does not. This winter MLB.tv is streaming all of the games live so it is not too late to catch the end of the regular season and then the playoffs.
By George Goldstein The Liga Beisbol Dominicano (LIDOM) or Dominican Winter League is the premier baseball league that plays during the winter, this also coincides with the offseason for Major League Baseball. The league is currently made up of six teams that play a forty game schedule. The LIDOM was officially formed in 1951 and…