ANAHEIM, Calif. -- In a couple of weeks the Los Angeles Angels will gather as many as a dozen minor league prospects and send them to their academy in the Dominican Republic, part of a baseball and cultural exchange the team has been practicing for several years.
"It is good for our guys to see how players from the Dominican Republic or Venezuela live before they come over here," said Eddie Bane, the Angels' director of scouting. "Plus, they get to play more baseball in a country that loves baseball. And that is always a good thing."
Howie Kendrick was one of the first Angels to participate in the program, going to the Dominican four months after signing with the team in 2002.
"It was different. But at the same time it was fun," said Kendrick, who slept in a bunk bed in a giant dorm room above the clubhouse at the Angels' facility, which is next to an orphanage just outside San Pedro de Macoris.