With winter ball in full swing we thought it would be a good idea to update Cardinals and Redbirds fans on the Boys of Summer that are still playing. And we’ll get to that but first we want to make sure everyone knows which team they are rooting for in the Spanish speaking leagues like the Dominican, Venezuelan, Mexican-Pacific and Puerto Rican leagues. Each team in those leagues is listed below with their English translation and a fun fact.
Dominican Winter League
Toros del Este – English Translation: Bulls of the East – This team is loaded with former PCL guys this season like former Nashville Sounds Vinny Rottino and Ozzie Chavez.
Tigres del Licey – English Translation: Tigers of the Licey – Former Redbird Timo Perez leads the team in average, home runs and RBI so far this season. These guys are good, they have 22 national championships and 10 Caribbean Series titles.
Leones del Escogido – English Translation: Lions of the Escogido – Escogido actually means chosen so the literal translation is ‘from Leon of the Chosen One’ but in this case we’re pretty sure leones means lions. Former Redbird Nerio Rodriguez is on the team pitching at 38-years-old. PCL Rookie of the Year Eric Young Jr. is also on the squad.
Aguilas Cibaenas – English Translation: Cibaenas Eagles – Former Redbird Hector Luna plays for the Eagles and is a teammate of Al Albuquerque. Seriously, they have a pitcher named Al Albuquerque.
Gigantes del Cibao – English Translation: Giants of the Cibao – This is Redbirds first baseman Mark Hamilton’s team. Unfortunately, he hit just .191 in 15 games for the Giants but hey he played left field almost exclusively, which was probably the reason he was there.
Estrellas de Oriente – English Translation: Stars of East – Former Bird Kelvin Jimenez is a Star this winter along with former Cardinal Fernando Tatis. Hey, Tatis spelled backwards is sitat.
Venezuelan Winter League
Leones del Caracas – English Translation: Lions of the Caracas – This is our very own Jon Jay’s team this winter. Jay is hitting over
.300 and has a team-high 21 RBI as of November 13. They’re also in first place as of November 13.
Navegantes del Magallanes – English Translation: Navigators of the Magallanes – The Navigators are in second place as of the publish date of this blog. The Navigators were founded way back in 1917 and boast Mets lefty Johan Santana on their all-time roster.
Bravos de Margarita – English Translation: Brave of Margarita – Again the literal translation is a little different here meaning Brave of Daisy, just think about that the next time you’re having a margarita.
Aguilas del Zulia – English Translation: Eagles of Zulia – According to legend the Eagles got their name from the label of Zulia Beer, whose label features a blue eagle. How great would it have been if the Cardinals would have dropped the Birds on the Bat for Spuds MacKenzie in the 1980s?
Tigres de Aragua – English Translation: Tigers of Aragua – The Tigers’ all-time roster reads, well like an all-time greats roster. Mariano
Riveira, Paul O’Neill, Torii Hunter, Jim Edmonds, Miguel Cabrera, Rod Carew and Dave Concepcion all played for Aragua. Former Iowa manager Buddy Bailey has led the squad to five titles in the past six years.
Tiburones de La Guaira – English Translation: Sharks of the Guaira – Hall of Famer Luis Aprecio played six seasons for the Sharks. White
Sox manager and Venezuelan Ozzie Guillen is one of six former Sharks to have his number retired by the club.
Cardenales de Lara – English Translation: Cardinals of Lara – Lara and Aragua are the only teams in the Venezuelan Winter League to share mascots with big league teams. The Cardinals colors, however, a little different than the St. Louis version, Lara’s colors are black and red.
Caribes de Anzoategui – English Translation: Caribbean of Anzoategui – The Anzoategui region has one single beach that is over 60 miles long.
Venados de Mazatlan – English Translation: Deer of Mazatlan – Why does America not have a major league franchise called the Deer? The Milwaukee Bucks is close but it just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Unlike the tiny Arkansas town of Deer, whose teams are the Deer Antlers.
Aguilas de Mexicali – English Translation: Eagles of Mexicali – Former Philadelphia Phillies ballplayer and former owner of one fine
mullet John Kruk played for the Eagles 1986 championship team.
Mayos de Navojoa – English Translation: Mays of Navojoa – Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, former Cardinals skipper White Herzog and Boston Red Sox star Kevin Youkilis all played for The Tribe.
Naranjeros de Hermosillo – English Translation: Orange Sellers of Hermosillo – Orange Sellers? Redbirds hurler Fernando Salas is
pitching for Hermosillo this winter.
Yaquis de Obregon – English Translation: Yaquis of Obregon – The Yaquis were a Native American tribe who lived in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States.
Caneros de los Mochis – English Translation: Caneros of the Mochis – We have no idea what caneros means and we couldn’t find a logo for the team so if anyone knows what or who a canero is let us know.
Algodoneros de Guasave – English Translation: Cotton Plants of Guasave – Former Redbird Andy Cavazos is twirling for Guasave this winter.
Tomateros de Culiacan – English Translation: Once again we’ve been foiled by our lack of Spanish speaking skills and have no idea what
tomateros means, tomatoes?
Puerto Rican League
The Puerto Rican League just started on Thursday, November 12 so there isn’t a whole lot to say about this league right now other than our clubhouse managers are all Puerto Rican and working in the league. So a big shout out to Nelson Padro, Celso Collado and Ruben Allende. The league didn’t play in 2007 but it’s back now and better than ever.
Lobos de Arecibo – English Translation: Arecibo Wolves
Criollos de Caguas – English Translation: Caguas Creoles
Gigantes de Carolina – English Translation: Carolina Giants
Indios de Mayag�ez – English Translation: Mayaguez Indians
Leones de Ponce – English Translation: Ponce Lions
The Caribbean Series starts on February 2, 2010 on Margarita Island in Venezuela with each of the four leagues mentioned sending their champion to the series. Tigres de Aragua of the Venezuelan Winter League is the defending Caribbean Series champ.
And as promised a little update on the Birds still playing ball, however, be fair warned it is not pretty. Of the 11 position players that
have Cardinals ties only two of them are hitting over .300, the aforementioned Jon Jay in the Venezuelan Winter League and Tyler Henley in the Arizona Fall League. Prospect Daryl Jones is hitting under .200 and Redbirds first baseman Mark Hamilton hit under .200 in his stint in the Dominican Winter League. Daniel Descalso and Bryan Anderson have neither one put up the numbers everyone
expected so far in the Arizona Fall League. Meanwhile, on the bump Evan MacLane is still cruising. The lefty is 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five starts for Oriente in the Dominican Winter League. Former ‘Bird Mike Parisi is out in the Fall League as well after recovering from Tommy John surgery this past season. The Arizona Fall League concludes on Saturday, November 21.