Pena's passion for game rubs off on DR players

Pena's passion for game rubs off on DR players

SAN FRANCISCO -- Much has been made during the World Baseball Classic of the celebrative ways of the Caribbean teams. If you wear the uniform of the Dominican Republic and Tony Pena is your manager, you're going to play with passion and have a good time. He insists on it.

"When you love what you're doing, you don't work," Pena said before Monday night's semifinal showdown with the Netherlands. "I'm not working. This is what I Iove. This is my passion.

"I don't have to work. This is my hobby, why I have so much fun every day. This is what I want from everybody around me. I am having fun. I want my players to have fun."

Robinson Cano, Pena's biggest star on a star-laden team, senses the meaning of it all.

"I'm a player, he's a coach," Cano said. "So it's a different point of view of the game. But we both have the same mission. It's big for us. You don't have tomorrow here, so you have to go out there and win it all.

"You have 10 million people in the Dominican Republic, but what about the rest of the world [of] Dominicans that are watching the game? This is for your country, that teaches you how to play the game.

"It's a chance that you're going to have every four years. It's not that you say, `OK, we [can] get it next year. You don't know if you're going to be here again. That's something that we want for our country."

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.