“Dominican Dream Team” falls short in Baseball World Classic

By Anderfelix Rodriguez, 10th Grade

The Baseball World Classic is widely regarded as the most prestigious international baseball tournament. The World Baseball Softball Confederation, the official international governing body for the sport, works in collaboration with Major League Baseball (MLB) and its Player Association (WBSC) to oversee its administration. This year’s event was held across multiple stadiums of the MLB. Despite being favored to win it all, the “Dominican dream team” suffered a setback and failed to advance to the semi-finals, losing in the knockout round.

According to ESPN, the Dominican Republic squad was stacked with premium defenders, dangerous base stealers, prodigious sluggers, and some of the world’s best pure hitters, all supported by a deep roster of proven power arms. With such a strong line-up, it’s no wonder the D.R. was the prohibitive favorite. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico was ranked fifth in the world rankings.

Although the Dominican team failed to meet expectations and make it to the semi-finals, the squad still boasts a host of superstars in the prime of their careers, including Manny Machado, Juan Soto, Rafael Devers, Julio Rodriguez, Wander Franco, and Jeremy Peña. The team’s disappointing results were not only a letdown for the Dominican Republic, but also shocked the world, especially since they had lost to Puerto Rico in the semi-finals of the past World Baseball Classic.

Does having so much pressure affect the performance of the Dominican team?

It’s possible that the pressure placed on the Dominican team to perform well in the Baseball World Classic could have impacted their performance. Being considered the favorite to win it all can lead to increased expectations and pressure, which may create anxiety and stress. According to The Guardian, pressure can cause players to become tense, make mistakes, or even choke under pressure. 

For example, Julio Rodriguez, winner of the Player’s Choice Award for AL Outstanding Rookie (2022), Silver Slugger Award (AL Outfielder, 2022), Rookie of the Year Award (AL Outfielder, 2022), and All-MLB Second Team (AL Outfielder, 2022). Despite being such an accomplished player, his performance was criticized by the fans and analysts because of his mistakes in defense and poor offensive presence. 

However, without specific information or a direct statement from the team, it is difficult to determine how much the pressure may have affected their performance. Other factors such as the strength of their opponents, individual and team performance, and game strategy can also play a role in a team’s success or failure.

Moreover, this was a total embarrassment to the Dominican Republic to lose not only to the same nations that eliminated them the last time but having a stronger and more experienced squad. I believe the Dominican Republic should reorganize the team, focusing on the managers and the ones responsible to administrate the squad performance and motivation.


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