In a move that has sent shockwaves through Caribbean and Latin American baseball, the Professional Baseball League of the Dominican Republic (LIDOM) and the Arco Mexican Pacific League (LAMP) forged an agreement that seeks major changes in the winter baseball landscape, including their departure from the Caribbean Series, the single biggest event in Latin American and Caribbean baseball.
The agreements, first reported by ESPN’s Enrique Rojas, were signed in Miami in late November, and formalize the alliance between the two leagues, which are among the six leagues that send their champions to the annual Caribbean Series, the Professional Baseball League of the Dominican Republic, known as LIDOM, and the Arco Mexican Pacific League, known as LAMP.
Both leagues are major changes in organizational governance within the Caribbean Baseball Federation, which, if not made, would see the two leagues pull out of the confederation and, potentially, form their own event.
Among other things, the two leagues want to establish a Commissioner who is, by and large, an employee of the confederation and focused on making the business side of the Caribbean Series profitable for all involved.
The loss of the LIDOM, which has produced more Major League players than any nation aside from the United States, would have a profound effect on the Caribbean Series. Similarly, the LAMP is a popular winter ball destination for Major League players from both Latin American and the U.S. Were the LIDOM and the LAMP to pull out of the Caribbean Series, it would lose the teams that bring the most Major League talent to the event.
The Caribbean Series features the winners of the LIDOM, the LAMP, the Colombian Professional Baseball League, the Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League of Puerto Rico, the Panamanian Professional Baseball League, and the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. It has been held annually since 1949, with Dominican teams winning 21 titles and Mexican teams winning nine. The Tigres de Licey, a Dominican team, have won the title 10 times, while the Águilas Cibaeñas have won six times, the second-most of any participant.
“Without knowing how the Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League of Puerto Rico (LPBRC) would evolve, which in the past has stopped holding its tournaments, as well as the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League (LVBP) , due to the same political issues that are being experienced within the country, it is difficult to predict which other countries would want to join the Caribbean Baseball Confederation before the departure of the Dominican Republic and Mexico and consequently, that would jeopardize the celebration of the Caribbean Series,” wrote ESPNDeportes Juan Arturo Recio on November 30.
ESPN’s Enrique Rojas, one of the premier reporters covering baseball in Latin America and the Caribbean, reported that the Mexican and Dominican leagues still play in the 2023 Caribbean Series, which will be held in Venezuela in February.