Dominicans win World Baseball Classic
Tony Pena passed around the shiny trophy and let all of his players offer their besitos, or little kisses. Robinson Cano passed around a phone as his teammates took turns receiving congratulations from Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina.
''We appreciate that from the president,'' Jose Reyes said. ''This win is all about the Dominican Republic. They were hungry waiting for this moment, and we did it.''
Cheers of ''Dominicana! Dominicana!'' rang out through the rain at AT&T Park all the way to the lively streets of Santo Domingo.
Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run double in the first inning that held up, and the Dominicans capped a dominant, unbeaten run through the WBC with a 3-0 win against Puerto Rico for the championship Tuesday night.
''Tomorrow will be a national holiday,'' said Moises Alou, the proud Dominican general manager. ''It was a tremendous win.''
Cano earned MVP honors, Erick Aybar added an RBI double to back winner Samuel Deduno, and the demonstrative Dominican righty threw his arms into the air in delight after watching a run-saving defensive gem by center fielder Alejandro De Aza in a tough fifth.
The Dominican fans - fanaticos, indeed - didn't let the Bay Area's wet weather keep them from dancing in the stands, waving flags and tooting horns. Flags became makeshift ponchos. It was fitting, too, perhaps, considering the World Series champion Giants clinched the NL pennant against the Cardinals in a downpour on this very field last fall.
Some 50,000 more supporters gathered to watch on televisions inside and outside of Estadio Quisqueya in the Dominican capital city.
''We want to enjoy every single moment, because we don't know if this group will be together again. I doubt it,'' Dominican manager Tony Pena said.
Now, the Dominicans get their long-awaited fiesta. A party they figured to have in 2009, when the Netherlands spoiled the plan by beating them twice for a stunning first-round exit.