I used to subscribe to my daily newspaper. Not only that, I used to deliver their papers every day. A number of years ago, we had a "munderstanding", and I quit sending them my money. I'll still read one on occasion, but they don't finance their efforts on my dime. In effect, it was as if they decided running the comics was no longer worth their effort. They knew my opinion. They went their way, and I went mine. If you own the press, you own the power of said press.
Fortunately, the internet is overtaking the dead-tree version of the traditional media. Yeah, there will always be a need for obituaries, but some of us aren't captivated by them on a daily basis. With the internet, you can legitimately get a large gathering of people discussing a micro-niche of a micro-miche, Like, a Chicago Cubs blog. And the reader of said blog has complete editorial license to read, or ignore, any posting within. This will qualify as a micro-niche within the micro-niche of a Cubs blog.
As with much of my commentary, some imagination flares up. Let's imagine you live in the Dominican Republic. As a Dominican, there is a strong possibility you have an appreciation of baseball. So do many of the children on your island. Being good at baseball is one of the better ways off the island. It just so happens, one of the kids in your neighborhood signed recently with a team in the States. You know you'll never get to see Wrigley Field. The kid that used to hang around your neighborhood probably won't either. But, nonetheless, he seems to be a good kid, and his family is really proud of him. If you have a son, maybe you'd like him to have a similar chance.
Regardless, this kid from the barrio has been playing for the 'Cubs' team, and they've done really well this season in the Southern League of the Dominican Southern League. After a relatively slow start (6-7), they had a major hot streak. Though not having any particularly long winning streaks, they managed to win over 70 percent of their games, not an easy feat in any level of competition.
You grasp entirely why the world at large doesn't really care much. To them, he's a long shot. He's a few levels away from even getting a minor league baseball card, but he is giving it his best this year. With his assistance, the team earned the second-best record in the league. They earned a first-round bye, and await the winner of games played on Wednesday for a series beginning on Thursday.
He's better now than he was this spring, and that was better than when he was signed. Many of his teammates are much improved, as well. There are many levels above the Dominican League. Only the best will make it to those levels. Will he be one of those? If not, it won't be for a lack of trying. And yes, he is very proud to wear a Cubs uniform.
There are far more important things in life than how a Dominican Baseball Series ends up. While a few handfuls of you may reach this point in my commentary, I completely doubt that many of you will return. I'm entirely good with that. However, this week, there will be a professional baseball series going on. Kids, wearing Cubs uniforms, and paid by the same ownership/executives we cheer/criticize on a daily basis, will be trying to win their way into the league championship. Ignore if you want, but I think these members of the Cubs pipeline deserve a column to just them.
Here are the Cubs' team statistics. The Tigers beat the division rival Pirates, so the Cubs will play the Tigers in the semi-final. While most Dominican League games have their numbers posted rather late at night, the games are actually morning tilts. Post-season games have play-by-play recorded in somewhat near real-time. That's how it was in the Venezuelan post-season. That's how the DSL has been so far.
As to whether any of these guys are prospects is immaterial to me this week. They are trying to win a title, which is important to any kid playing a game at any level. Should you wish to ignore this post, as most of us do with at least some BCB posts, have at it. These kids are in the Cubs pipeline, and I will update the heading as results dictate. If they advance to the championship, I'll make another post. Games usually start at 9:30 a.m. Central time.
There will, and should be, plenty of chatter regarding the parent club. Since 'column inches' isn't a problem on the internet, I trust that one or two of you might actually care about the DSL Cubs quest to a title. If I'm wrong, it really doesn't matter. If the internet deems "Cubs Trying For League Title" not worth a spot on a Cubs blog, I'll have to cancel my subscription to the internet, like I did with my daily newspaper.
Top DSL Cubs pitchers
Jose Paulino. 13 G, 10 GS, 58 IP, 47 H, 12 W, 71 K
Jose Zapata 13 G, 9 GS, 56 IP, 36 H, 9 W, 49 K
Hector Perez 13 G, 8 GS, 57 IP, 49 H, 13 W, 62 K
Pedro Araujo 8 G, 2 GS, 25 IP, 15 H, 3 W, 31 K
Dalfis Ortiz 2B .343/.416/.506
Shamil Ubiera RF .301/.375/.441
Adonis Paula 3B .281/.387/.415
Roberto Caro CF .254/.378/.376
The Rangers have the best record in the league, and have home-field advantage throughout the post-season. They will play the Red Sox.
As the Tigers just finished a three-game set with the Pirates to survive, some of their best pitchers have been extended. Ace Sandy Baez went six innings Monday, Carlos Lara went into the fifth on Tuesday, and third starter Gerson Moreno went five on Wednesday. Jhonny Mateo looks to be their fourth starter, but Malvin Martinez may be an option over the next two days.
Domingo Leyba looks to be the Tigers' best hitter, but Mike Adames hit two homers in the recently concluded series with the Pirates, after hitting just one all year. I would expect the Thursday pitching match-up to be Jose Paulino for the Cubs against Jhonny Mateo for the Tigers. The teams split two regular season games.