Travel Problems Delay Dominican Team’s Arrival

By Eric Edwards
February 1, 2005

The beginning of the Caribbean Series was delayed when Dominican champion Aguilas failed to show up in Maztalán, Mexico, on time for their opening game. Tournament organizers said the Dominicans won’t be forced to forfeit the game, however.

“I’m a firm believer that championships are decided on the field,” said Puerto Rico Winter League president Joaquin Monserrate Matienzo.

Aguilas was scheduled to play Puerto Rican champion Mayaguez on Monday night, but their travel plans kept them from arriving in time for the game. According to reports out of Santo Domingo, the Dominicans’ charter flight to Mazatlán was supposed to depart Santo Domingo Monday at 10 p.m., but twice as many people than were on the original passenger list showed up for the flight.

The Dominican delegation attempted to cram as many passengers as it could onto the plane, but in the ensuing chaos the pilot of the plane postponed the six-hour flight until Tuesday at noon, four hours before the game was to begin.

“We don’t know what the next step is,” said Rubén Mijares, an official in the Caribbean Baseball Confederation’s office. “We’ll wait until the Dominicans get here, talk with the head of their delegation and make a decision.”

The game will be likely be made up at 3 p.m. Eastern time Friday, before the start of the two teams’ other scheduled game. The tournament is scheduled to run through Sunday with two games daily.

The Dominicans have won six of the last eight tournaments, including the last two. Puerto Rico has not won since 2000 in Santo Domingo. Mexico last won in 2002 in Caracas, Venezuela.

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