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Scout’s View: Bubbie Buzachero

Chris Kline -

So apparently he goes by 'Edward' outside the U.S., but he'll always be 'Bubbie' to all of us Americanos. And let's face it: Edward Buzachero doesn't have quite the ring that 'Bubbie Buzachero' has. The Caribbean Series is flamboyant in nature, from the umpires' mechanics on calls to the extra-loud tunes being piped through the PA system. And somehow, a guy named Edward who pitches for the hometown Carolina club . . . well, it just doesn't fit.Buzachero was one of the main reasons Puerto Rico has a 2-0 record in the Caribbean Series, after working out of a bases loaded, 1-out jam against Venezuela on Saturday and then getting through the final two innings unscathed.

Minors | #Caribbean Series

Eyes Of The Veteran

Chris Kline -

Mexico outfielder Jon Weber's had to fight for everything he's accomplished in his career. Signed by the Reds as a nondrafted free agent in 1999, Weber was released by Cincinnati a year later. That's when he found himself in independent ball--first the Frontier and then the Northern League.Weber batted .309 in 204 at-bats at Fargo-Moorehead in 2003 before the Athletics signed him and sent him to Modesto. He then moved onto the Dodgers--serving as a veteran presence for the prospect-laden 2005 club at Double-A Jacksonville. Weber finished 2006 in Triple-A--first at Las Vegas, then Tucson after being signed by the Diamondbacks.Weber played at two stops this winter--Hermosillo (Mexico) and Caribes (Venezuela) and we stopped to chat about what it's like to be so close to the big leagues you can almost taste it, and the flip-side of being an American player in Latin America.

Minors | #Caribbean Series

Mexico Missing Roberson

Chris Kline -

This is not the same Hermosillo team that won the Mexican Pacific League title by sweeping its way through Mazatlan . . . this team managed just one run on nine hits in its first 18 innings, and now finds itself 0-2 in the Series.The final on Saturday was 9-0, as the Dominicans rolled through Mexico, pounding out 14 hits and led by Tony Batista (2 HR, 4 RBIs) and Luis Polonia (3-for-5 with an RBI triple).

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A Couple Of Things

Chris Kline -

Two quick plugs, first for my housemate Peter Bjarkmann, who is an expert on Cuban baseball and has a new book out called 'A History of Cuban Baseball, 1864-2006.' His Website is www.bjarkmann.com . . .The other is for an American writer I met here yesterday named Jonathan Helfgott. Jonathan is on a fellowship for a year of what some of us can only dream of--seeing baseball all around the world. So far he's been to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Australia and Puerto Rico . . . Japan is next on his agenda. And you can read of his exploits as he travels from country to country exploring the game at http://globalbaseball.wordpress.com.That's it for now . . . just had to throw out some props. Press conference in 20 minutes, then Puerto Rico vs. Venezuela.

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Venezuelan Roster

Chris Kline -

PCory Bailey, Yorman Bazardo, Francisco Butto, Horacio Estrada, Rosman Garcia, Tim McClaskey, Victor Moreno, Vladimir Nunez, Juan Carlos Ovalles, Yohan Pino, Josmir Romero, Kevin TolarCAlexander Delgado, Yosnel Garcia, Ramon Hernandez, Steve TorrealbaINFRonny Cedeno, Jose Martinez, Luis Maza, Alexis Nunez, Luis Rodriguez, Randall SimonOFGregor Blanco, Jose Castillo, Oscar Salazar

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Rosters

Chris Kline -

I keep getting e-mails from you on where the prospect info is, so here are the rosters for each team. This isn't a tournament geared toward prospects, though there are several . . . even if the Mariners don't think Yorman Bazardo (they designated him for assignment a few days ago) has upside.

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Food

Chris Kline -

What is this and where can I get some?We might as well throw 'Sleep' under the same category.It's almost daylight here in the Atlantic Time Zone and all I keep thinking about is whether or not 36-year-old Venezuela righthander Cory Bailey will give their bullpen a rest.

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Lima Time, Part II

Chris Kline -

This is where it gets a little weird. It's been kind of a strange trip already . . . ever since it took over 2 1/2 hours to get my credentials. But during the Dominican Republic press conference, things got a little weirder. I guess I should preface this with the fact that I don't speak Spanish very well at all, and I think I've apologized for being an ignorant American slob on more than one occasion already, but the Venezuelan press conference went first . . . and that was basically Buddy Bailey--piece of cake. He spoke in English and had a translator for the 99.9% Latin American media contingent. But in the Dominican press conference, there was no English spoken whatsoever--never a good sign for the ignorant American slob.

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Lima Time

Chris Kline -

One of the things I was personally looking forward to in the opener was seeing Dominican righthander Jose Lima bring out that national passion against Venezuela. And he didn't disappoint, both in terms of results and his always colorful demeanor. Lima allowed a pair of runs on eight hits over five innings, but certainly added to the drama by seemingly constantly pitching out of jams, then jumping off the mound pumping his fist and pointing to the Dominican flag-waving crowd on his way back to the dugout.

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The Take (Part I)

Chris Kline -

On lefty Horacio Estrada, who started the opener for Venezuela and consistently confused the Dominican lineup with an inconsistent curveball . . . well, all the Dominicans except Miguel Tejada (who tomahawked a blast on a 91 mph fastball Estrada left up in the zone in the fourth) and Tony Batista (who added a towering shot to left in the sixth inning). Estrada located his 87-91 mph fastball well over six innings, allowing just those two runs on four hits. But it was the breaking ball that had scouts talking.

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If You’ve Never Been . . .

Chris Kline -

To the Caribbean Series, then you need to go. Think American fans have passion? Think you saw everything from the Dominican, Venezuelan, Puerto Rican and Mexican fans during the World Baseball Classic last year? Think again. This place is crazy. It's Yankees/Red Sox times 10 . . . with a continual soundtrack you can dance to.

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Dominican Republic Outlasts Venezuela In 18 Innings

J.J. Cooper -

Chris Kline will have more details later, but the Dominican Republic beat Venezuela 4-3 in 18 innings in a wild debut to the 2007 Caribbean Series. Tony Batista's home run tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth. That was the last run scored until the top of the 18th, when Ronny Cedeno doubled in Luis Maza to give Venezuela a 3-2 lead.

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Roster Info

Chris Kline -

As we said earlier, there is no Miguel Cabrera here in San Juan, which leaves a hole in the middle of the Venezuelan lineup. Cabrera told Venezuelan journalists the Marlins didn't want him to play in the Series . . . even though he played from the second week of December until the Venezuelan Winter League finals. The good news is Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero is here in San Juan, though he will not be on the active roster. Montero was recently married, and the trip to Puerto Rico is apparently some sort of honeymoon.

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Caribbean Series Begins Tonight

Chris Kline -

The 49th Caribbean Series begins tonight as the best clubs from Mexico, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico will battle it out for the 2007 title.Puerto Rico is this year's host nation, and all games will be played at Roberto Clemente Walker Stadium, which recently underwent a $1.8 million facelift. Two games will be played at 5 p.m. ET; and will be broadcast on ESPN Deportes.

Minors | #Caribbean Series