I’m ready for Dominican Winter League (LIDOM) baseball to be back. Like, really ready. Experiencing it from a distance last year, sitting on my couch in Brooklyn, I was enthralled, and truly hooked. I drank Brugal rum, danced to Dominican jams, brushed up on my Spanish, and read along with envy with Jake Mintz’s brilliant tourist journal “Straight to LIDOM” for Baseball Prospectus. I was sure that come November 2020, I would be in Santo Domingo to take in some of the festivities for myself.
Twelve months later, I live in Los Angeles, and almost everything in the baseball world has changed. We got a 60-game MLB season, which had its share of COVID controversy, but the virus is nowhere near under control. In fact, quite the opposite.
So what does this mean for LIDOM 2020-21? Well, no fans in the stands, for starters. It will be interesting to see how much this detracts from what is clearly the most exciting and exuberant baseball league in the entire world.
I’m keeping an open mind. I’ve renewed my annual pass to DR Sports, hoping for the best, and I’m cautiously optimistic. I hope the players are able to stay healthy, and that fans can possibly return before the season ends, but even if they aren’t, LIDOM will certainly make the best of it.
One of these years, LIDOM, I’ll be there for real.
Here’s a theory about the three-batter rule that has come into effect this baseball season. The reason this is a good rule is not because it speeds up the total length of the game by a few minutes, it’s because the game doesn’t necessarily go to a commercial at a very exciting moment in the eighth or ninth inning when the offense is threatening. Just as other sports lose the tension of the moment when time out after time out is called in the final minutes, or when a basketball game grinds to a halt, a baseball game is more exciting if the same pitcher has to stay in there. Keep this rule, MLB!
Bellinger: Kind of a bust, coming off an MVP season, he did not deliver on that kind of level.
Rendon: Started out injured, but played well the rest of the way. No complaints.
Luis Castillo: Please note, this draft took place BEFORE the COVID outbreak, which led to adding the DH to the National League, so NL pitchers had a harder time than they would have in a normal season. Either way, Castillo has good ratios (3.03 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) but only three wins on the season.
Jonathan Villar!? Jeez, this was a mistake. I think I was panicking about steals, which he hasn’t stolen much since being traded to Toronto. He has brought me 12 steals, sooo, great, but so has Dylan Moore.
Tyler Glasnow: 4 wins, 4+ ERA, 83 K’s. Not bad, but not 5th round. Don’t worry. My picks get worse from here actually. (I could have had Trevor Bauer at this stage).
Jeff McNeil: I love this type of player. Hits for average with some power and positional flexibility. But in the 6th round? I feel like this was another panic pick. Someone somewhere told me 2B was thin this year. I could have had Luis Robert in this spot.
Corey Kluber: Missed the season, so we’ll never know.
Madison Bumgarner: Really fell off. Disaster pick. Could have had Dinelson Lamet in this round.
Conforto: Great season, no complaints.
Will Smith, catcher: He platooned a lot, didn’t hit, and I dropped him for Kiner-Falefa. He’s turned it around a bit since.
Will Smith, pitcher: I think he got COVID, then didn’t really get any saves. That’s correct, zero saves. What a disaster pick for this round.
Salvador Perez: Turned into my #1 catcher until he had that weird eye injury. Still turned in a great season returning from injury.
Lorenzo Cain: Opted out. I get it, but this one hurt too.