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12/19/07 Ronnie Belliard's Hit Wins Game For Tigers...Random Notes...

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     Ronnie Belliard hit a line drive in the 10th inning of Wednesday night's Tigres del Licey's 4-3 win over the los Gigantes del Cibao, helping the Tigres to climb within a .5 game of the first place Gigantes in the Liga de Beisbol Dominicano(Dominican Winter League).

     Going into tonight's game, Belliard, whose role with the Washington Nationals will be decided in March, is currently hitting .191 this Winter in 17 games with the Tigres del Licey, with 13 hits in 68 at bats, 2 doubles, 1 HR, and 6 RBI's.

     Apparently Belliard's .290 AVG, 35 doubles, 11 HR's and 58 RBI's in '07 haven't earned him the starting spot at second. Last season the Nationals started the season with Felipe Lopez at second and Guzman at short, but injuries and Ronnie Belliard's consistent production at the plate made Nationals Manager Manny Acta's roster decisions much simpler...

     Also on the Tigers roster with Ronnie Belliard is the recently acquired outfielder Elijah Dukes, who's batting .236 in 18 games with Licey, collecting 3 doubles, 1 triple, 2 HR's and 6 RBI's as of 12/18...

     ...Desperate for Washington Nationals news I turned to mlbtraderumors.com and tried to trace whatever rumors I could find...the only mention of the Nationals is in relation to the Kris Benson workout yesterday, with mlbtraderumors.com stating, "The Phillies and Nationals were definitely present." The source of the rumor is mlb.com's Bill Ladson's article yesterday entitled, "Nationals interested in Benson" that reported on the presence of Nationals' Assistant Scouting Director Mike Rizzo's attendance at the public workout for the thirty-three year old right-hander...

     Benson joins Mark Prior on the list of recovering-right-handers recently rumored to-be-of-interest to the Nationals. Benson's coming off rotator cuff surgery which cost the seven-year veteran out of Superior, Wisconsin, all of the '07 season, but Benson apparently convinced everyone in attendance at the workout that he was healthy...

*Links and Links and...*

Licey.com Licey Tigers article on Ronnie Belliard from 12/19/07:

http://www.licey.com/articulo.asp?did=8756

mlb.com's Bill Ladson's article, "Notes: Lopez looks to bounce back" at washington.nationals.mlb.com:

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071219&content_id=2333243&vkey=ne ws_was&fext=.jsp&c_id=was

mlb.com's Bill Ladson's article, "Nationals interested in Benson" at washington.nationals.mlb.com:

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071218&content_id=2329169&vkey=hotstove2007&fe xt=.jsp&partnered=rss_mlb

Elijah Dukes Licey Tigers stats:

http://www.mlb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Elijah%20Dukes&pos=OF&sid=l131&t=p_pbp&pid =452668