The opening to the 2nd half of the season, or “lower half” as it is known by the locals in the locker room, has started real well for the Lamigo Monkeys. We opened up 8-2. We won 7 games in a row, until tonight where we were “boat raced” by the Elephants. Our starting pitching along with our hitting has really come together. Although we are still missing our two superstar hitters, some players are taking advantage of their time on the field and making the best of it. They are making great plays in the field as well as hitting in clutch situations.
Once again made a stop into Taipei on the off day. Finally got to check out all the sneaker stores I’ve been waiting to find. I met a Brooklyn born Korean store owner of Born Trouble in Ximen named Andrew. He gave me the exclusive tour of all the sneaker and clothing shops around Ximen. His store is just a month old, but has a lot of unique street wear that is only available in the US. Please be sure to check out his blog and store here.
-The gatorade that we drink at the field is called Pocari sweat. Its like a gatorade ice flavor
-Most players do not wear cups here. I have no idea why, but doesn’t make sense to me.
-The cleats that are used here are mostly patent leather and have a different spike pattern than those in the US
-The cheerleaders are only at our home games and only on the weekend
-I finally had the suction cup treatment done to me today. Hopefully I don’t bruise too badly.
-The MVP of the game is supposed to by a fruit type drink for the entire team the next day. Steve Hammond supplied us with a watermelon drink on Sunday.
-Garbage trucks drive around playing ice cream truck music. I was saddened when I rushed out of my apartment one of my first weeks here to get a snowcone, and was greeted by a smelly garbage truck.
-The managers do not meet with the umpires prior to the game to exchange line up cards or discuss ground rules.
-Supposedly from what I heard, umpires here are rated each game, and can be fined or punished for making incorrect calls.
Thanks for checking out the blog. Sorry for the short post. Not much to detail this week other than we have been winning which is always nice. Please comment and leave any questions in any language. I want to hear back from you all and make the blog more interactive.
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The first half gets under way tonight in Chayi against the Elephants. When I joined the team in late May we were a couple games out of first place. Once June came around we had a lot of injuries and went on a bad losing streak. I believe we only won 4-5 games in June. I’m glad that the season is split into halves. It gives our guys hope and a fresh start to go forward trying to win a championship.
This past week I went back into Taipei, this time with my “physio” athlete trainer Patrick Hung. Patrick is one of two athletic trainers on the team who take care of the entire team. I told “patty-cake”, as the foreigners call him, to show me parts of Taipei a normal tourist wouldn’t think to go. We started on the red line of the MRT and headed to Guandu. There was a magnificent temple there where many locals come to pray. I wanted to take video to show the act of worship here, but I did not because I didn’t want to be disrespectful to anyones privacy during worship. It was very interesting though. There are individual rooms and statues for different types of worship. People will burn incense and bow and pray to their respective statue for certain help. Fruits, food, and other perishable goods are brought to the temple to show thanks. They also burn faux money in a fireplace for prayer.
Our next stop was to a natural preserve which was a huge mangrove park. There were crabs everywhere. These crabs were special and had one large claw and one small one. We then headed to Danshui which was like a large daytime street market. The air was filled with fresh cooked food ranging from pork, chicken, and squid. Many kids roamed around the boardwalk and played carnival style games. Ice cream seemed to be the biggest seller there. Everyone had cones with multi-colored ice cream over a foot tall.
We then jumped onto a ferry and boated over to Bali. We rented bikes and rode about 10 miles to Shihsanhang. There was an amazing museum there which gave a rich history of the area and architecture. There was a lot of artifacts from the aborigines, which helped cultivate the area we were in.
This past week the Monkeys as a team visited a temple to take part in a ceremony to wish us luck going forward with the season. I’m hoping for less rain. We were rained out for four days straight last week trying to get our final make up game in.
This weekend we had a three game series with the Elephants. They finished the first half playing extremely well and are looking to make a push in the second half as are we. In our first game Ken Ray threw a complete game, but was the tough luck loser as the Elephants scored on a safety squeeze. He only gave up three hits in the game. We lost Friday 1-0.
Steve Hammond took to the mound on Saturday in Kaoushung and threw a gem. He went the distance and threw a nine inning shutout for us. We won 1-0.
On Sunday it was my turn to try to compete with our starters magnificent starts. I threw eight innings giving up two runs and we won 7-2. Our hitters gave me a lot of support with a handful of home-runs. Our defense was great behind me and my catcher called a great game. It was a huge team win especially to take two out of three games on the road. Thanks to all the fans for coming out to all the games. It really makes playing in front of them very exciting. They are cheering non-stop. I apologize for not being able to sign too many autographs after the game. Our team makes us get on the bus as soon as possible so that we can get on the road since we had a five hour drive back. We truly love all of your support, cheers, and signs.
Please share my blog with all your friends and fans. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments. I’m very excited for the second half and to help our team make it to the playoffs.
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Highlights from my last game Click HERE
So my friends and I for the past two years have joined the website Movember.com to raise money and awareness for cancer that affects men around the world. Along with donating to charity we all grow intricate mustaches for the month. We update photos online and share amongst friends via facebook and twitter.
Please join our team or donate here Scotty D’s Mustache Team. Any help is greatly appreciated and it all goes towards charity. You can also start up your own group and have friends and family join.
Licey is now 5-6. We have been pressing a little to get on a winning streak. Its still very early in the season, but its nice to win a lot of games in the beginning to lock down a playoff spot. Four of the six teams make the playoffs after the fifty game season. The four teams then play a round robin to go to the championship.
Here are some pictures from inside the clubhouse. As you can see they take pride in their accomplishments and gives you the feel of a Yankees type franchise they have here.
A lot goes on on and off the field in winterball. I’m going to try to elaborate on the pros and cons of winterball from a quick survey from some of my teammates. I do not agree with all or some of these comments.
teammates, so much knowledge and experience
Bus Driver Shags during BP
Propane Powered Taxis
4-5 Hour games
Being called Gringo, Blanco, Americano
Food, trying to order is nearly impossible, we never get what we asked for
Long road trips
Getting asked for balls all the time – baseball are like bullion of gold here
Day off today in the DR. Trying to avoid Chlorea and Tropical Storm Thomas. We have been playing ok. Our record is 5-4. Like any team I’ve been on, it starts with pitching and defense. When we play solid D and get ground ball outs we put ourselves in a position to win.
So whos everyone pulling for in the WS? Leave your comments and questions and please retweet on twitter. Ill have videos and pictures throughout the week. Thanks for the support and following me.
After four games in the DR, the Licey Tigers are 3-1. We have had solid pitching and hitting so far. Of the four games we have played, guess how many started on time? NONE! And I’m not saying late by five or ten minutes. We did have two opening days so I’ll give that the benefit of the doubt, but yesterday we had a delay for four helicopters to land on the field which had our cheerleaders and mascot in them. I just feel for the starting pitcher, because they really never know when the game is going to start.
The fields here are pretty nice. The grandstands in most of the stadiums are large and can hold anywhere from 10,000-18,000 people. The fans here love and respect the game so much. They go ecstatic throughout the game waving flags and blowing horns and vuvuzelas nonstop. If we hit a home-run or a player moves a guy over with less than two outs we hear the same loud ovation. The fans have a cheer “Licey Campeon” which I have found myself singing to it in the bullpen because it is catchy.
We have cheerleaders who were imported from Columbia to entertain the fans and players in the dugout in between innings. These are the cheerleaders for Casper Wells’ team Escogido. No offense to my Florida Marlins, but these beat the Manatee dancers.
Tonight we are home against the Gigantes of Cibao. Robert Collelo (Red Sox) is on the bump. We then have three straight games on the road. BTW, we do not celebrate Halloween down here.
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So I arrived in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on Saturday afternoon. I was supposed to be picked up by a driver, but as I walked down “rock star row” where everyone holds up names to pick you up, I did not see my name. I ended up taking a cab for about RD$1500 ($40 US). As I drove to the hotel which was about 25 minutes away I witnessed a beautiful beach with clear blue water to the left and very impoverished shanties and businesses to the right.
Being here just a week makes you realize how much you have very quickly and how you can take the little things in life for granted. The traffic here is absolutely crazy. Everyone makes their own lanes and make left hand turns from the right lanes to just name an example. There are many motorcycles and scooters. We have seen as many as three people on one motorcycle. While stuck in traffic locals try to sell bottled water, cell phone cases and chargers, toys for kids, and will squeegee your windows. Everyone is trying to make some money to support themselves or their family.
The language barrier is a little tough for where we are located. We stay in the heart of downtown and are not on a resort or near any type of beach. Of all of the imports I probably speak the best Spanish which isn’t even that great. Hopefully I can learn some more while I’m here.
This past week we went out to Boca Chica to have some practices. This is were the White Sox and Cubs have their Dominican academies. It was great to see and experience where these guys train and go to school.
Today we played a Cuban team which all defected to the DR. I threw an inning which went well. We open up Friday night at home against Escogido. Casper Wells and Ruddy Lugo play for them.
Follow me on twitter for pictures and videos of the country. And feel free to comment or ask any questions. Thanks for reading and supporting me.
After an interesting week of playing cat and mouse with my agent, Venezuelan scouts, and myself, I find myself going to the Dominican Republic of all places. I have no idea how this magic eight ball landed me there, but I am extremely excited to play for the Licey Tigers. They are the most well known team in the Capital and have won tons of championships.
As of right now, I am flying out of Miami on Saturday October 16th to the DR. We have a couple of scrimmages and the season opens up next Friday. I hope to add videos and pictures of my journey. I was told I will have internet access so I will be able to keep up the blog.
please feel free to comment or ask questions so I can add it into the entries for next time.