Last night, I had the best dream. I was on a baseball field surrounded by guys who love baseball. It was sunny. It was humid. It was the Dominican Republic. It was actually just like a feature on Angel “Nao” Presinal that I saw on Sunday’s edition of Baseball Tonight.
Anyway, my dream inspired this post, but it did not inspire my love for the island nation I’ve never visited. No, my affection springs from a love of the Dominican Republic’s music, weather, history, and, most importantly, people.
Top Five Reasons I’m Rooting for the Dominican Republic
5. Hanley Ramirez
Best player in baseball? Alright, I know that’s supposed to go to A-Rod, but y’all know Hanley is off the hook! And I love how nonchalant he is about the whole 9+ OPS and 40+ SB thing. I saw this kid at Spring Training last year. He was about 3 yards from me. He looked like any kid!
4. Moises Alou
He pees on his hands. He gets things done. In 2006, when the man was 40 years old, he managed 74 RBIs and 22 HR in only 98 games. Take that, Ty Wigginton! If you’ve ever thought, “Alou for team captain!,” then pinch yourself; you’re not dreaming.
3. No Albert Pujols
Its’ hard to root for him, isn’t it? ‘Stros fans can’t do it, can we? This year, y’all, no worries!
2. Willy Taveras
OK, I don’t want to get ridiculous here. I love this man. LOVE him. Why we threw him into the Jennings deal is beyond me. I maintain that it was the worst trade in ‘Stros history. Willy has speed, he has fielding ability, he has the arm! As for hitting, call me a sucker. I think it’ll come around. If you hate the thought of seeing him in a Reds uniform, then root for him here.
1. Miguel Tejada
The national player of the Dominican Republic. Yes, read that twice. “La Guagua” remembers his roots: he plays winter ball every year. And for those of you who question the wisdom of this decision, may I remind you that he’s the heart of the Houston franchise all season long? If he weren’t around, who’d be leading our team? Berkman?
To get on the good side of Houston fans, La Guagua even claims to love Toby Keith. (I say “claims” not to accuse him of lying, but because if I believe that he actually loves Toby Keith; I have to move him up the list.) The man is practically a saint!
La Guagua means “the bus.” Jump on and he’ll bring you home. I hope Miguel brings home a ton of runs in the WBC. I hope Houston fans rally to support him in these trying times. I know I will, because Miguel Tejada is the number one reason I’ll be cheering,
GO TEAM DOMINICAN!