Domi-nation: DR runs table en route to title


The air horns, whistles and congas that were the background noise to all eight consecutive Dominican Republic victories in the third World Baseball Classic could be heard from one end of the continent to the other on Tuesday night.

At AT&T Park, where the Dominicans received their gold medals after defeating neighboring Puerto Rico, 3-0, in the championship game, orange, white and blue confetti was sent streaming into the damp air. Meanwhile, thousands of miles away in the Caribbean, a country reveled as the Dominican Republic defeated Puerto Rico for the third time in the tournament.

The undefeated Dominican Republic is unquestionably the king of the Caribbean and the wider baseball world, unseating the two-time defending Classic champion Japanese in the only international baseball tournament that includes Major League players.

“This means a lot to us,” said Robinson Cano, the Yankees second baseman who now can add the Classic gold to his 2009 World Series ring. “I’m excited right now. This is for your country and comes from the bottom of your heart. We know how much our fans wanted it. This means the world to us. You know how it is back home.”

Cano was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament after winning the honor for each of the first two rounds. No team has ever won out through the tournament and as the Dominican Republic did it for the first time, Cano hit .469 (15-for-32) with four doubles, two homers, six RBIs and 25 total bases.

The Dominican Republic’s bullpen was lights-out for the tournament, which can be illustrated by the fact that the Dominicans won their last five games by a total of 10 runs, including a 4-1 victory over the feisty Kingdom of the Netherlands in a semifinal game.

As the Dominican players celebrated and were presented with the World Baseball Classic trophy, plus had the medals placed around their collective necks, Team Puerto Rico stood on the field in unison and watched the ceremony.

By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com

 

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