Mexico’s Obregon Yaquis won the Mexican Pacific League final over the Guasave Algonderos in 4 straight games and will move on to the Caribbean Series to represent Mexico. Congratulations to them. But after reading Robinson’s tweet, I realized there was something unsavoury about their victory:
Mexico’s team in the Caribbean Series RT @LMPbeisbol: Se define Roster Oficial del equipo Mexicano http://www.lmp.mx/series-del-caribe/noticias-del-caribe/2998
Along the way to their glorious victory, the Yaquis picked up 8 “reinforcements.” In other words, Obregon picked up 8 ringers to give them an unfair advantage over the rest of the field. Obregon plucked this year’s Mexican League MVP Doug Clark, former big-leaguer Karim Garcia, catcher Humberto Cota and pitcher Edgar Gonzalez from the Hermosillo Naranjeros. They also took outfielder Chris Roberson and infielder Oscar Robles from the Mexicali Aguilas and Miguel Angel Gonzalez from the Mazatlan Venados.
In other words, one-quarter of Obregon’s roster is stacked with ringers who were never part of the team in the first place. The problem with this is that the team representatives from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico will be playing with rosters that may or may not have any “reinforcements.” Typically a team will carry a maximum of 3 reinforcement players, with 1 of those players ever getting substantial playing time, most of the time replacing a player who is injured or left following the season due to other commitments. Having 8 reinforcements gives Mexico an unfair advantage and lessens the integrity of the Serie del Caribe itself.
If stacked rosters are allowed, why not just go all the way and turn the Caribbean Series into a glorified all-star game with teams consisting of all-stars from each Caribbean league? If not, substituting more than a quarter of a team’s roster with reinforcements cannot be permitted. For a game such as baseball that prides itself on sportsmanship and fair play, the lack of a policy regarding “reinforcements” in the Caribbean Series is turning the tournament into a joke.
Serie del Caribé logo and photo of Rodrigo Lopez courtesy of ESPN Deportes.