We had quite a busy day yesterday down here in the Dominican Republic. It started with a tryout for number of young players and you can’t help but wonder what goes through these kids’ minds while they’re working out. I’m sure they know that the GM, a Hall of Fame manager and some of their childhood heroes (Jose Vizcaino, Wilton Guerrero, Ralph Avila etc.) are all watching and judging their every move. If they have a good day, it could potentially change their entire family’s life with just a signing bonus and if they don’t, it could be back to a tiny town with little hope of getting out. I know that oversimplifies things quite a bit and certainly not all young players fall into this category, but you could easily see how much each kid was trying to impress the Dodger staff.
There should be a photo gallery posting soon from that portion of the day…
In the afternoon, we took a drive over the future headquarters of the Manny Mota Foundation, where they are currently building an incredible four-field facility that will easily change the entire neighborhood where it is located. I really don’t think Manny gets enough credit for what he does down here but he affects thousands of lives on a daily basis, which is pretty amazing. Hoping to get something up on the site about that shortly.
Late in the day, we had a news conference that was attended by about 40 media members and the entire Campo Las Palmas staff, and everyone there was very excited that the Dodgers had come to visit. You can tell how important it is to the Dominican people when a big league team takes the time to stop in their country and see how things are going with their respective academies. Ned Colletti told everyone how important it is for us to re-double our efforts here and that seems to be a theme in much of what we’ve been doing.
At dinner, we were all checking our blackberries every five minutes for scoring updates and it was great to see us pull out another victory – four in a row. We need to keep it going while we’re on the road.
I’ll work on answering some of the questions that have been posed in the comments once we’re back in America on Thursday or Friday.