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Random Musings

Chris Kline -

Editor's Note: These were some of Chris Kline's musings from the first day of the tournament, but now that he has photos of the Aguilas mascot, we've bumped it back to the top to give visual evidence of the mascot, and to let you all decide whether this is supposed to be an eagle, a chicken or parrot.There are so many things to say about the atmosphere here at Roberto Clemente Walker Stadium on the first day, but here are just a few observations and breakdowns . . .• The Aguilas mascot is unlike any other in baseball. It's supposed to be an eagle, but looks more like a poor man's version of The Chicken . . . kind of. The eagle changes outfits throughout the night--and obviously in an 18-inning game there are plenty of opportunities to run through the entire schitck--but I think the one where he wore a sheriff costume and rolled around on the turf, then paused to act like he was shooting at the Venezuelan dugout (complete with sound effects followed by maniacal laughter from the PA system at least five times) was the one that had my jaw dropping the farthest.Or there was the one where he came out dressed as a ninja and was doing karate moves about five feet from the right field line--during the game and not between innings. That one was a personal favorite of an American League scout. Oh, or the one where he came out with his clothes all ripped up and had huge green hands doing some pseudo Incredible Hulk impersonation. But he looked more like a chicken with plastic green hands that wanted to go a few rounds with Yorman Bazardo. I keep trying to picture the Phillie Phanatic trying to pull any of those off and it's just not happening.

Minors | #Caribbean Series

Hope He Got Home OK

Chris Kline -

Here's to home plate umpire Francisco Ramirez--yelled at consistently by players and managers all night long in Puerto Rico's 4-2 win over Mexico.I just hope the guy got home OK.After Jon Weber was ejected in the 10th inning, it looked like the ringleaders of the Mexican contingent--led by the rancher guy, the dude with the wrestling mask and a Hermosillo jersey and the guy with the green, red and white beard that sparkled--seemed like they were out for blood.

Minors | #Caribbean Series

Welcome To Ejection City

Chris Kline -

So Puerto Rico wound up keeping Mexico winless after scoring a pair of runs in the top of the 10th inning, but things teetered on getting ugly in the bottom half of the inning.As I earlier 'reported,' Durazo was ejected in the fifth inning. Well, let's just say it was a rough night for home plate umpire Francisco Ramirez all around.

Minors | #Caribbean Series

Random Musings II

Chris Kline -

Or I think it's II. It's late, I'm exhausted and don't really remember.Leaning back on the 'ignorant American slob' line one more time, it took me nearly 10 minutes just to negotiate the transaction to acquire food for dinner tonight.And that was for chicken on a stick.

Minors | #Caribbean Series

Durazo Ejected

Chris Kline -

Mexico designated hitter Erubiel Durazo had been going at it with home plate umpire Francisco Ramirez during his entire at-bat in the fifth inning, and let him know about it.After Durrazo whiffed to end the inning, he turned and yelled something at Ramirez over his shoulder. One of those words must have fallen under the 'umpire taboo' category, and Ramirez wasted no time tossing Durazo.Mexico manager Lorenzo Bundy came running out of the dugout after Ramirez and proceeded to argue for a solid three minutes, the last 30 seconds of which was the best--after a spotlight shone down from the top of the stadium on the two.

Minors | #Caribbean Series

Tavarez OK

Chris Kline -

The Dominicans beat Venezuela again, but the big news isn't news at all. Red Sox righthander Julian Tavarez left the game in the fifth inning after being hit by a line drive in the foot.

Minors | #Caribbean Series

Dominican Hangover?

Chris Kline -

We're about a half hour away from today's rematch of the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, and if anyone's going to steal the DR's momentum, this is the chance.Still no word on the pitching matchups--which is the norm in this series. But the only close game in the tournament came between these two teams in the opener on Friday.Let's just hope this one doesn't go 18 innings.

Minors | #Caribbean Series

Scout’s View: Oscar Rivera

Chris Kline -

It's tough to do a scout's view on a player that hasn't pitched in the tournament where you are, but we caught up with a veteran National League scout to give us the rundown on 24-year-old lefthander Oscar Rivera.Rivera, who recently received a non-roster invite to spring training from the Rockies, dominated the Mexican Pacific League this winter with 8-2, 1.51 numbers in 77 innings.

Minors | #Caribbean Series

Step Back From The Ledge Mets Fans

Matt Meyers -

Based on an apparent error in the minor league baseball database, Mets prospect Fernando Martinez was listed as having a birthday of December 10, 1986 on his player page at minor league baseball's website. Obviously, this would mean he is 20 years old and not the 18-year-old phenom that he was believed to be.If this were true, it would certainly dim his prospect status. You can breathe out Mets fans, because it is not true.

Minors | #Daily Dish

Best Fans Ever

Chris Kline -

I know I've been raving about the Mexican fans--and they do deserve a ton of credit for continually showing up in team colors and bovine costumes throughout the series--but the DR fans rule.After they shoved it in a 12-0 win over Puerto Rico, Dominican fans stormed the field and celebrated for over 30 minutes . . . waving flags, jumping for joy and setting up individual pictures of people with DR flags while standing on the mound.

Minors | #Caribbean Series

Karim Kollapse

Chris Kline -

So . . . getting back to Mexico a second, the words "center fielder" and "Karim Garcia" don't exactly go hand-in-hand in this day and age. Garcia was tossed from Sunday's afternoon game for arguing with an umpire after getting thrown out on the back end of a double play in the fifth inning . . . while Mexico was already down nearly 10 runs.

Minors | #Caribbean Series

Kind Of Like Rubber

Chris Kline -

You know that Bud Light commercial where the guy just recently had rubber floors installed in his house and he bounces beers to his friends sitting around his living room?Well, I wouldn't be surprised if they used the surface at Roberto Clemente Walker Stadium as a testing area before they filmed.

Minors | #Caribbean Series

Puerto Rico Unravels Early

Chris Kline -

Jonathan Albaladejo--the Puerto Rico starter tonight--and I go back to 2004 when I did a series of stories in uniform in the Pirates organization. He was with the high Class A Lynchburg team I traveled with, so I sought him out on Saturday night to say hello more than anything else.

Minors | #Caribbean Series

Freedom Of The Press?

Chris Kline -

So the big showdown between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic hasn't exactly turned out that way so far . . . the DR jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first and is now up 9-0 in the sixth.And I actually came up to the press box to tell you that, but then something weird happened. Like bad weird.

Minors | #Caribbean Series

Caribbean Series Could Expand for 2008

Chris Kline -

There have been rumors floating around San Juan all week about the Caribbean Series expanding--possibly to eight teams--and Commissioner of the Latin Confederation of Professional Baseball Juan Francisco Puello said the Series could expand to include Nicaragua and Colombia as early as next year, though Cuba is still an afterthought.

Minors | #Caribbean Series

Super Bowl Sunday?

Chris Kline -

It's so weird not to already be stuffed to the gills and watching the pregame show right now. But here, the majority of people in Puerto Rico will be more concerned about their home team taking on the Dominican Republic tonight.

Minors | #Caribbean Series