This week, the vaunted Dominican Republic team was knocked out of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) by Puerto Rico in Pool D play.
It was shocking because the Dominicans were identified as one of the favorites to win the competition, and they couldn’t even get out of the group stage.
According to MLB legend and Boston Red Sox icon David Ortiz, most of the Dominican players weren’t ready for a highly competitive tournament at this point of the year.
“David Ortiz on the elimination of the Dominican team in the 2023 WBC: ‘If that series takes place in June when everyone is ready, you have to sit down and talk with us. Those guys (Dominicans) who were playing there are the killers in MLB, but they aren’t ready in March,'” MLB insider Hector Gomez tweeted, with a video of an Instagram Live featuring Ortiz.
David Ortiz on the elimination of the Dominican team in the 2023 WBC:
"If that series takes place in June when everyone is ready, you have to sit down and talk with us. Those guys (Dominicans) who were playing there are the killers in MLB, but they aren't ready in March". pic.twitter.com/2ffcTJnjSe
— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) March 17, 2023
Ortiz implies that if the tournament was played in June or July, then his country would have likely performed much better.
When he says his countrymen are “killers” in MLB, he means they are among the best and most productive players.
He might be right about that: Dominican Republic has the most baseball tradition and relevant players throughout history among non-US countries.
However, it was also March for Team USA, Venezuela, Japan, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and a myriad of other squads who advanced to the quarterfinals.
The calendar is the same for everybody.
All of those countries had about the same time to prepare for the tournament as the Dominicans.
Yes, the four-game sample leaves things open for randomness and fluky results, but some accountability can do good for the Dominican team too.NEXT: A Must-See Weekend Of WBC Play Is In Store For MLB Fans