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Dominican players can always count on home cooking when they’re on the road

Sep 3, 2014, 9:45 AM EDT

Dominican food

Reader emdash gives me the heads up on a neat story from James Wagner at the Washington Post. It’s about how a network of Dominican players in the majors makes a point to supply visiting Dominican players with Dominican food when they come to town:

Do you know how hard it is to find a Dominican restaurant in Cincinnati or Minneapolis?

So Dominican players — even those who don’t know each other well — take care of each other through their own version of the food network. The Dominicans on the home team are responsible for sending food to their countrymen on the visiting team. Albert Pujols (Los Angeles Angels), David Ortiz (Boston) and Nelson Cruz (Baltimore) always bring food for visiting Dominican players. Soriano’s wife or a family friend will make an extra helping of Dominican food so that he can do the same. Robinson Cano (Seattle), Francisco Liriano (Pittsburgh), Carlos Gomez (Milwaukee), Jose Reyes (Toronto) and Adrian Beltre (Texas) take part, too.

Wagner says that it’s believed the tradition started with Vlad Guerrero — as if he wasn’t awesome enough — and has become really well-established. He talks about the wives and mothers of the players who spend their time cooking to keep the tradition going.

Very cool story.

  1. timberwolvesbrisin - Sep 3, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Slow news day?

    • stex52 - Sep 3, 2014 at 9:58 AM

      Maybe you should stick with basketball.

      I like the story.

      • dillongeeescapeplan - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:44 AM

        Too bad the Timberwolves suck.

      • hojo20 - Sep 3, 2014 at 11:37 AM

        That food is NASTY looking.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 3, 2014 at 12:05 PM

        Really, hojo, compared to the zombie brains from yesterday? I think it looks good.

    • blacksables - Sep 3, 2014 at 9:58 AM

      That’s a great story that should be posted any day, even during the 7th game of the Series.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:42 AM

      I gotta’ side with Suze on this one. The NBA seems more your speed cause’ this is a good story.

  2. chill1184 - Sep 3, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    Thats awesome

  3. DelawarePhilliesFan - Sep 3, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    Hope it works better than the Cuban Pastries do

  4. gargamelsmentor - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    That is too cool! Guaranteed some greedy TV exec just said to him/herself, “we gotta turn this into a show”.

  5. Ren Ignatiago - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Somewhat similar with those bento meals in Japan.

  6. scoochpooch - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    You failed to mention that these players was down their food with a nice road cocktail.,

  7. scoochpooch - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    You failed to mention that these players wash down their food with a nice road cocktail.,

  8. ptfu - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    No one knows more than Vlad about living outside the (comfort) zone. And of course Vlad creates a hit and brings players home–or in this case, home to the players.

  9. SocraticGadfly - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    I guess hat tips are passed out selectively, too.

    • Kevin S. - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:40 AM

      Are you that starved for attention?

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Sep 3, 2014 at 12:59 PM

        He sounds like me :)

    • asimonetti88 - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      yes thank you for breaking the Bo Porter story. If it weren’t for your tireless reporting we would never have heard of it.

    • Paper Lions - Sep 3, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      Seriously, just shut it.

      You are referring to a news story that HBT (like MLB rumors) subscribe to….they very likely had already seen the story and written a post. The time from seeing a story to having it posted on HBT is not just a few minutes, and because this site isn’t to break news, there is no hurry to put out such things ASAP.

  10. larrymahnken - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:40 AM


  11. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    Fantastic find of a fantastic story. This is the sort of thing that keeps me coming back here daily. A combination of typical baseball news with a dash of the interesting and unusual. Thanks!

  12. Old Gator - Sep 3, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    There are a couple of decent Dominican restaurants here in Macondo, thank Jobu. I need to get cracking and learn a few of those recipes. That looks like the classic toasted avocado, onion and egg on cheese bread sandwich that one of them offers. I have a couple of avocados on the shelf. Time to give a few of these a try.

    • historiophiliac - Sep 3, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      I’m pretty sure you could get lots of visiting players of all nationalities to pull up a chair at your table, OG — a little sandwich, some spirits, a serenade by Fido and a heady tale spun by the uber-literate host. Sounds worth the visit to Loria Fields.

    • Jack Glasscock's Cup - Sep 3, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      Looks like mashed plantains w/cheese bread to me. Don’t forget the chiles with that avocado. . . and garlic of course.

      • Old Gator - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:03 PM

        Forget the chilies? You’ve got the wrong man. I spell my name….D.a.n.g.e.r!

        Never seen mashed plantains on a sandwich. Usually, it’s the featured carb in a caribbean meal – I do make a mean mafongo casserole, though.

      • Old Gator - Sep 3, 2014 at 3:01 PM

        Coda: checking out the Dominican recipe sites online – and there are several – chiles don’t seem to be a favored ingredient in mangú. Nor garlic nor onions, except cooked marinated onions as a dressing. It’s pretty straightforward – green plantain boiled in salted water until very tender, mashed with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. It seems to act as a base or accompaniment to the stuff with the more assertive flavors.The salami, fried cheese and Dominican scrambled egg accompaniment (the scrambled egg recipes I see are where the onions, garlic and peppers come into the picture) rise on the plantain mash.

        In this, it’s rather different from mafongo, which is Puerto Rican mashed plantain, and which is loaded with garlic. For the mafongo I make, variations on a recipe given to me by my weight trainer’s Puerto Rican born diabla de la cucina mom, I add a lot of finely diced garlic, onion, diced pork and usually some diced chilies as well.

        Let’s see what Milly’s does with it.

    • indaburg - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      That is fried cheese on top of mangú, and god I’m hungry.

      When I was a kid, my grandmother would cook for some visiting Dominican ballplayers in NYC, which as you know, has an abundance of Dominican restaurants. Dominican asopao de pollo, a peasant’s dish, not usually found in restaurants. There’s nothing like home cooking.

      • Old Gator - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        After a bit of perousing, it appears that the conventional wisdom declares Milly’s in Little Havana as the best Dominican kitchen in town. Okay, I head over there this weekend – and, Indy, the mangú gets lots of cheers in the reviews.

  13. shanabartels - Sep 3, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    That is a fascinating story! Granted, I majored in Metropolitan Studies and Latino Studies, so basically I am the kind of person who would want to write a thesis on an underground network of Dominican food bartering around MLB anyway. The only thing this story was missing — and this is just my New York bias coming out — is that it would have been nice to hear these guys say that going to New York feels like a little slice of home. But that’s alright. Great article.

  14. mscxvd - Sep 3, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    pujols wife is a great cook too.

  15. villanyc - Sep 3, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    For those of you wondering what is that delicious plate in the picture, it is called Los Tres Golpes, consisting of mangu, queso frito, salami(not in pic) and huevo frito(not in pic). If you are ever lucky enough to try it, I guarantee you you will never want to have anything else for breakfast ever again.

    • Old Gator - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:09 PM

      As noted above, Milly’s in Little Havana seems to be noted for it. I’ll make a beeline for the place this weekend and report back.

  16. philipharmonic - Sep 3, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    am I the only one that found it odd that several of the players mentioned in the article still live with their moms? Are Dominicans like Italians with the momma’s boy mentality?

    • blacksables - Sep 3, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      Different cultures. Has nothing to do with a momma’s boy mentality.

      Go to the post office, get a passport, and leave the comfort of your living room to go see how the rest of the world lives.

      You’ll either have the time of your life, or go screaming back to your momma.

      Not everyone lives in your neighborhood.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      These guys are making millions of dollars, and their families probably don’t come from the most luxurious backgrounds. So most likely their parents are living with them, not the other way around.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Sep 3, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      Richie Ashburn lived with his Mom during the baseball season – you could look it up. A Nebraska corn-fed boy

  17. rosiebrowne5 - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    my neighbor’s half-sister makes $75 /hour on the computer . She has been fired for eight months but last month her payment was $17951 just working on the computer for a few hours.
    visit. >>>>>>

  18. mazblast - Sep 3, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    To the best of my knowledge, there is no Dominican restaurant here in Cincinnati. I wish there was, based on my experience when I used to visit my now-deceased father in South Florida.

    Props to these players and their families for bringing a little bit of home to their countrymen.

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