Another day in the D.R. and another great victory for the big league club. Maybe we should stay down here until the team loses a game! Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen, as we’re returning to the States this morning and then flying back with the team to Denver, but it’s been an unbelievably productive trip for each of us in our various area of responsibility.
Yesterday morning there was an intrasquad game and beforehand, Ned Colletti spoke to all the prospects and coaches here. He gave each of them a t-shirt that had the organization’s slogan for the season – Players Win Games, Teams Win Championships. Only this wasn’t the English version that was given to all of the players and front office members in Los Angeles. This was a Spanish-language shirt made especially for this group and you could see the significance of the statement setting in with these 16-, 17-, and 18-year old kids at Campo Las Palmas.
After an intrasquad game here, we took five players, all the coaches, and some of the staff to Futuro Vivo, a local school that the Dodgers have supported for many years. We had a 100-pound suitcase of Dodger items (actually, it was 99.8 pounds which was the only way we were allowed to bring it on the plane) to hand out to the 500-plus kids and they were thrilled to get Dodger memorabilia down here. Everything from pencils and notebooks to Furcal bobblehead dolls and team photo calendars. For the school’s baseball team, we gave new baseball gloves, t-shirts/uniform tops, and several baseballs…and the love of Dodger baseball was spread again to another huge group of youngsters. Jose Vizcaino spoke to the kids about working hard, staying in school and following their dreams, which are all invaluable lessons coming from a guy who grew up without much money in a town of 1,500 and has become an incredible success in his life, both on and off the field. In getting to know him this week, he’s truly a superstar for this organization.
The finale to the trip was a staff dinner hosted by Ned Colletti for the entire Campo Las Palmas staff, from the front office to the coaches. It was at an unbelievable restaurant in Boca Chica that was literally situated over the water on a dock, just before the sun went down. It gave us a chance to get to know our colleagues on a personal level and vice versa and a nice surprise came at the start of the dinner, when Ramon Martinez and Pedro Astacio joined us at the invitation of Vizcaino.
Of course, all throughout the amazing meal, we continued to follow the game on our blackberries and were thrilled to see a victory again in Miami. Here’s hoping for a sweep this afternoon and a nice flight back to Denver for the weekend series against Colorado.