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Dominican Republic

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Alex Rodriguez has decided to play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.

Wow.

I’m probably missing someone, but this is what the Dominican team looks like to me:

DH: David Ortiz
1B: Albert Pujols
2B: Alfonso Soriano
SS: Miguel Tejada
3B: Alex Rodriguez
RF: Moises Alou
CF: Vladimir Guerrero
LF: Manny Ramirez
C: Miguel Olivo (!?)
Util Inf: Adrian Beltre
Util Inf: Aramis Ramirez
Util Inf: Luis Castillo
SP: Pedro Martinez, Bartolo Colon
RP: Damaso Marte, Luis Vizcaino, Julio Mateo, Octavio Dotel

Catcher is the weak spot; I may be missing someone. Guerrero might be a bit stretched at center, and I might move Ramirez, Castillo, or Beltre into the infield so that Soriano could be moved to center. I might also be forgetting about some good Dominican center fielders.

All in all, though, this is an impressive team. A team assembled of US born players would have a lot more depth at pitching, and obviously a better catcher, but I’m not sure it would be competitive overall. A-Rod makes a pretty huge difference, and it’s not a stretch to argue that, with Barry Bonds still on the DL, Ramirez, Guerrero, Pujols, A-Rod, and Tejada are each better than any US born players at their respective positions. Indeed, I wouldn’t have cause to quibble with a list of the ten best players in baseball today that included all of them. . .

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