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Yikes

Chris Kline -

I know we're supposed to be talking the final day of the Caribbean Series and everything, but let's talk Cuban defectors for a second.Well, one in particular.I just had a scout run 18-year-old outfielder Ryde Rodriguez (who isn't actually a defector since he left the country legally) under the bus.

Minors | #Caribbean Series

Promise

Chris Kline -

I know I didn't get the chance to blog much yesterday, but I am certain there will be much more heading your way today. I mean, it's Jose Lima on the mound for the Dominican Republic for crying out loud.Come on.And to think I didn't even mention the between-innings spotlight on a suite behind home plate where some guy was wearing sunglasses and a bandana and was lip synching "Livin' La Vida Loca" while surrounded by scantily-clad women dancers . . . or my first complete sentence in Spanish: "Lo siento mi espanol es muy malo."

Minors | #Caribbean Series

Bazardo And Butto . . .

Chris Kline -

Yorman Bazardo--who has been outstanding since the Mariners designated him for assignment after signing Jeff Weaver--and Francisco Butto were two of the main reasons Venezuela was able to put away Puerto Rico on Tuesday and hand the Caribbean Series title to the Dominican Republic.Bazardo (and we'll have a scout's view on him coming soon), was impressive, flashing a low 90s four-seamer and a hard curveball with good late life, looks like he's approaching this Series as a showcase since being removed from the Mariners' 40-man roster.

Minors | #Caribbean Series

Dr. Strangelove

Chris Kline -

I'm seriously sorry for not blogging today like I have in previous days--18-hour days can burn you out . . . fast.So Puerto Rico lost the chance to win its first Cairbbean Series title since 2000 after losing to Venezuela, 3-1.Things might have been different if umpires actually made the right call on Cesar Crespo's home run in the seventh. Crespo hit a long fly ball down the left field line that was hooking when it approached the foul pole, but coincidentally, I was actually sitting down in the left field corner--my brother-in-law was randomly in town and those were our seats--and the ball hooked at least five feet into fair territory.

Minors | #Caribbean Series

Now It’s Up to Puerto Rico

Chris Kline -

Mexico fought admirably, but the Dominican Republic was too much in the end, knocking off Hermosillo, 5-3.Now it's up to Puerto Rico . . . if they beat Venezuela tonight, they meet the DR tomorrow with a chance to push the Series to a one-game playoff on Thursday.

Minors | #Caribbean Series

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