Thursday, August 25, 2005

Beisbol Clasic Del Mundo

Group C: Games Played in Latin America (likely Puerto Rico)


HUGE DISCLAIMER: The MLB players I'm listing below are of Cuban descent. Of course, with international politics being as they are, none of these players are eligible for the Cuban national team.
CF Alex Sanchez
SS Rey Ordonez
1B Rafael Palmeiro
LF Eli Marrero
DH Juan Diaz
C Michel Hernandez
2B ?
3B ?
RF ?

So maybe it was a couple of really strong cigars that did in Alex Sanchez and Rafael Palmeiro. Regardless, those two are decent headliners to any lineup. They're joined by the versatile Eli Marrero, and Rey Ordonez if he's still alive. Diaz and Hernandez are cup-of-coffee guys, Diaz's coming with Boston for 4 games in 2002, and Hernandez' coming from the Yankees for 5 games in 2003.


SP Livan Hernandez
SP Orlando Hernandez
SP Jose Contreras
SP Rolando Vierra
SP Naels Rodriguez

Cuba's rotation starts out with two guys who are continuing to have successful Major League careers, and it's rounded out by three players who were the definition of Gammonsesquity in 2002 - literally. I Googled "gammons cuban pitching prospect," and it came up with a 2002 article about Vierra. At that time, Contreras, Vierra, and Rodriguez were considered the three best pitchers for the Cuban national team. Contreras had already signed with the Yankees, Vierra was just getting ready to work out for scouts (not sure whatever became of him), and the then-20-year-old Naels Rodriguez was still in Cuba.

RP Adrian Hernandez
RP Vladimir Nunez
RP Hansel Izquierdo
RP Eddie Oropesa
RP Michael Tejera
CP Danys Baez

I'm willing to bet anyone that at least three people will read this article and say, "Wow, Adrian Hernandez, I remember him." Well, thanks to the Gammonsesque rotation, Adrian is our long reliever. He's joined by four other veteran set up men in Nunez, Izquierdo, Oropesa, and Tejera (yeah, I had only heard of Nunez before, too). Closing will be the man that was Cleveland's first and only attempt to overpay for a Cuban refugee, current Tampa Bay closer Danys Baez.

Puerto Rico

SS Roberto Alomar
2B Jose Vidro
CF Carlos Beltran
1B Carlos Delgado
C Ivan Rodriguez
DH Javy Lopez
RF Juan Gonzalez
LF Ruben Sierra
3B Mike Lowell

So, yeah, this team's stacked at catcher. Sandy Alomar didn't even make the cut. Oddly enough, though, there have been a plethora of Puerto Rican second baseman in recent years, but no Major League shortstops in the bunch. So, I've asked Robbie Alomar to dust off his spikes and step back into his original position. This team should have no trouble scoring runs, as Alomar, Vidro, Beltran, Delgado, and Rodriguez are normally found in one of the top three spots in the batting order. The bottom four hitters in the order would have made this lineup unstoppable in 2003, but unfortunately age and injury have taken their toll on Javy Lopez, Juan Gonzalez, Ruben Sierra, and Mike Lowell.

C Jorge Posada
IF Carlos Baerga
OF Jose Cruz, Jr.
OF Luis Matos

Posada? I told you they were deep at catcher. Baerga is the kind of beloved veteran/mascot that you just have to have on your team in a tournament like this (of course, considering the crowd reaction at Shea the other day, maybe he's not that beloved). Jose Cruz, Jr. and Luis Matos make the team solely based on the fact that Juan Gonzalez and Ruben Sierra should spend as little time as possible in the outfield.

SP Javier Vazquez
SP Joel Pineiro
SP JC Romero
SP Hector Mercado
SP Dicky Gonzalez

Javy Vazquez is the ace of the Puerto Rican team, followed by the somewhat Gammonsesque Joel Pineiro and JC Romero, and the slightly less Gammonsesque Hector Mercado. Dicky Gonzalez has played 20 career games with the Mets and Devil Rays, starting 7.

RP Fernando Cabrera
RP Kiko Calero
RP Pedro Feliciano
RP Javier Lopez
RP Juan Padilla
RP Jose Santiago
CP Roberto Hernandez

Fernando Cabrera is a hot prospect in the Indians organization. Calero showed up big for the Cards in last year's playoffs, and is now with the A's following the Mark Mulder deal. Pedro Feliciano, Javier "don't call me Javy" Lopez, and Juan Padilla are all young Major League talents, while Jose Santiago is a proven veteran. Roberto Hernandez, with 320 career saves, is a fine closer on any team.


SS Jose Macias
3B Olmedo Saenz
LF Carlos Lee
CF Ruben Rivera
1B Fernando Seguignol
C Einar Diaz
2B ?
RF ?
DH ?

Leading off will be utilityman Jose Macias, followed by utilityman Olmedo Saenz. Carlos Lee is the star of this team, easily. He'll be followed by veterans Ruben Rivera, Fernando Seguignol, and Einar Diaz. Yep, if you can't say anything nice about someone, and they have more than 4 years of Major League experience, just call them a veteran and move on.


SP Ramiro Mendoza
SP Bruce Chen
SP Roger Deago

The man who revolutionized the long reliever role... kind of... will be the ace of the Puerto Rican staff. He'll be followed by Bruce Chen, who will probably find some way to be traded by the time the World Baseball Classic is over. The only other starter the Puerto Ricans have is Roger Deago, who started two games for the Padres in 2003.

CP Mariano Rivera

Well, obvious choice here. Psst, he's going to throw the cutter!


C ?
2B ?
CF Andruw Jones
1B Randall Simon
3B ?
SS ?
LF ?
RF ?
DH ?

Well, if there's anyone who can cover 8 defensive positions at once, it's Andruw Jones. As mentioned at one point, both of these players are from the island of Curacao. But, the Netherlands owns Curacao, so Jones and Simon are eligible to play for the Dutch team. No word as to whether Tom Timmermans will play.