PEDRO G. BRICENO
A new winter baseball tournament is scheduled to begin this Saturday. The great war of Dominican baseball begins in what will be its 69th version.
From 5:00 p.m. at the Quisqueya Juan Marichal stadium, the Licey and Escondido teams will be the first to go out into the ring, later at 7:00 p.m., the Estrellsa will visit the Toros at the Francisco Micheli to then conclude with the clash between the Eagles and the Giants at the Julián Javier stadium, starting at 8:00 p.m.
In fact, the Northeasterners are the defending monarchs and would seek to become the first team with two titles in a row since the Chosen One achieved it in 2011-12 and 2012-13.
The championship will have a dedication to the late chronicler, Don Tomás Troncoso Cuesta, one of the main commentators that Dominican baseball has had throughout its history.
For the two teams from the capital, this will be the 30th time they have faced each other in an opening clash, whose particular series, at least at the beginning of the campaign, favors the long-haired 15-14.
This year will be the third time in a row that the two clubs, owners of Quisqueya Juan Marichal, face each other after from October 24, 1994 to 21 of that same month in 2016 they met 23 times in a row.
In fact, they are the teams that are already betting on a kind of win-win, since the long-haired are the team with the longest time without raising a pennant, after achieving it in 2015-2016, after beating Licey 5-1 precisely.
As for the felines, they have five years without exhibiting the easy chair, after their championship won in 2017-18, after beating the Eagles 5-4 in the final.
Reinforcement Steve Moyers is the pitcher designated by manager José Offerman to take the mound, while veteran Ivan Nova will do it for the Reds.
The blues will go this year in search of obtaining their long-awaited crown 23, while the Chosen One will go after his number 17. In recent years they have only qualified three times for the Round Robin.
Both teams have prepared big to get back on their feet. In the case of the Tigres, they have gathered a good group of imports, as well as a large part of their best natives, who have said that they will wear the uniform.
The Giants are the current monarchs and hope to become the first team to repeat since the Lions did it a decade ago. They have brought together much of what has been their great core in recent years, even with the additions of Luis Liberato and Ivan Castillo.
After lifting the trophy in 2020-21, the Cibaeños reached the round robin, but their 5-11 record did not make them go any further. His manager Angel Ovalles has put together a good core of players.
After the lousy campaign in 2021-22, the Bulls want to get back on their feet and be a dominant team like when they achieved everything in 2019-20. They have a good squad to return to.
The green team has a good mix of young players and veterans and although they will not have, at least in the first month, players like Jeremy Peña, Oscar González among others, but they do have a squad with the ability to stay in the top positions in the regular series.
will throw first pitch
The Chosen One will pay tribute to Francisco Cordero for his election to the Dominican Sports Hall of Fame. He will throw out the first pitch at the opening ceremony.
It will be simple, with the presentation of the players of both ninths, exchanges of flowers from the godmothers of Licey and Chosen in which executives of the two directives will appear.
At the end, fireworks will be launched into the air.