he's chasing dreams hitting seams.
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Winter Ball in the Dominican Republic
We’ve officially been in La Romana, Dominican Republic for a week now. Matt was officially activated and added to the roster today. The rosters can only be changed every Monday here. He’ll be playing for the Toros del Este. If some of my information is a little off base, it’s because I can’t read the website (LOL) because it’s all in Spanish.
A little background about winter ball, there are several leagues guys can go play for. There are teams in the Caribbean League here in the DR (six teams), Mexico, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico. There is also a league in Australia. This is Matt’s first time playing winter ball. Usually guys who were hurt for the majority of the season or guys who need/want more reps go play winter ball somewhere. Another reason is if guys are free agents and want to keep playing to get more/different exposure in hopes of being signed back to a MLB organization or even to a professional team outside of the states. Or even to make some “real” money.
Obviously, Matt’s reason is because he was hurt most the season. We knew pretty early on he was wanting to play somewhere. His agent worked his magic and we got pretty lucky with the best set-up in the DR. Most of the time only guys who have big league time or have been coming to play here for years get signed to the DR teams.
The season here runs from the beginning of October through middle of December then playoffs. Most guys either sign a first half or second half contract. Matt had originally signed a first half deal so we would have already finished here, but the Dodgers switched and only approved for him to play second half. Luckily the Toros still had a spot. So yes, the Dodgers had to approve for Matt to play winter ball.
Each team set-up is different. With the Toros, we’re at a super nice resort, Casa de Campo, with a golf cart included to get to the beach, grocery store inside the resort, other eating places and to explore. I feel super safe and feel kind of guilty we’re living here for a month with no expenses outside of food. Casa de Campo feels more like its own little community/neighborhood/town than a typical resort.
I only get to go to the home games, and the team driver takes the girls as well as the guys to the field each day. I’ve been to two home games so far, and this might be my favorite place to go to baseball game yet. They act like every pitch is game seven of the World Series important. There is a band playing in the stands. All kinds of chants. No in game entertainment or on the jumbotron. Just plain excitement and passion about the game of baseball.
The team paid for our flights here, our stay at the resort and Matt will make almost double what he made the whole season in the minors. There are more than enough reasons to come play here, and we’re feeling incredibly grateful to be here so far. We’re slowly learning the pesos to US dollars conversion but thankful our credit card has no international purchase fees too. (50 pesos is $1)
If any of you are interested in following along there is Facebook that streams the games sometimes here.
The Toros Facebook page is here.
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Matt & Jesica Beaty
Welcome in to dreams and seams! A tell-all blog about our career dreams and path to reaching those dreams with some commentary about sports and life plus some videos too.
"Strive for the impossible because it makes the possible seem effortless." -Matt Beaty