The Dominican Republic disappointed at the World Baseball Classic


Erik Drost

Erik Drost | Flickr

Josias Fernandez

The World Baseball Classic has come to an end this week with Japan winning their third WBC tournament. Months before the competition started, dozens of analysts gave their championship predictions.

The Dominican Republic team was among the favorites to win the tournament this year in Miami; however, the Dominican team gave fans a tremendous surprise.

DR has been called the baseball capital on various occasions. Many baseball legends, like Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez and Albert Pujols, came from the Dominican Republic.

The WBC is an international competition where national teams can show their strength and conquer the baseball podium. In the WBC, the only countries to win a championship are the United States, Dominican Republic and Japan. Japan and the Dominican Republic are the only teams to win unbeaten.

In 2013, the Dominican Republic won the WBC unbeaten. The team was led by Robinson Canó and José Reyes.

This WBC edition had to be delayed from 2021 to this year due to the pandemic. Many fans were excited to see their teams’ colors for the first time since 2017, and the Dominican fan base was even more excited.

The preliminary Dominican lineup was stacked, to say the least. The pitching staff was led by Sandy Alcantara and Luis Castillo, while a solid backup gave the Dominican team an enormous advantage over its opponents.

The Dominican team had a lot of batting power, combined the team’s players had more than 400 home runs last MLB season. Superstars like Manny Machado, Julio Rodríguez, Juan Soto, Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Jose Ramirez and Rafael Devers led the way in this aspect.

The Dominican Republic had big expectations. MLB analysts put them as the favorites to win the tournament in Miami this spring. For the fans, it was a final run or failure, but the team made its worst appearance in the tournament.

In the first game, the Dominican team fell against Venezuela. It was the first time in the tournament’s history that the Venezuelan team beat the Dominican team. The Dominican Republic was 4-0 against Venezuela since the tournament’s inauguration in 2006.

After the game, many baseball fans knew that this team was not living up to expectations, even though the Dominican team won its next two matches easily: one against Honduras, and the other against Israel, winning by knockout in the seventh inning.

The Dominican Republic had to play against Puerto Rico in a win-or-go-home game for the WBC second round. The Dominican team lost against the Puerto Rican team and failed to accomplish its ultimate goal, the championship.

The Dominican Republic has until 2026 to improve its roster or coaching staff. This tournament taught them that baseball does not rule under big names, but in big moments.

Baseball players show their best versions when playing for their countries. The Dominican team needs to show more passion, for the baseball capital of the world is now in doubt. The Dominican team has another opportunity to show its power in 2026. Time will tell if the Dominicans will recapture their crown.