Yep-- it happened. I was at this game: http://espn.go.com/extra/baseball/domwl/boxscore?gameId=311203143&league=DOMWL
I spoke with many locals before the game, after and during. Being Caucasian and wearing a Blue Jays cap got me plenty of attention. I even met Moises Alou and Junior Felix there. My guide who sets up baseball trips for tourists also knows members of EE's family-- so he said. He seemed pretty sincere.
<Lighter shade? Never met the guy. He pulled a bit of a sucky act and decided to party and take a vacation. Personally I'd rather he took the entire Winter off. If I were a MLB GM or manager I'd want all my veteran players taking the Winter off from playing.
Its like this-- you don't say that you'll play for a team and then not show up because you don't like the position they want you to play. The people who talked about him all seemed to like him and thought that he was a fun guy. Some just didn't like that he wasn't playing and was trying to dictate his position.
Not quite getting your point. EE had to know he was going to be asked to play 1b. He knew the team's roster. He agreed to play. Why is it ok that he went home when he was asked to grab a mitt instead of a glove? I don't know-- you just don't do that to a team.
If he'd simply said well in advance, "My Major League season is long. I only want to play this Winter if I can work on left field. Do you want me knowing that I'm only interested in playing outfield?" That would be fine. Showing up and insisting on playing outfield and wanting to try second base? That's just kind of crazy. Leaving when not hearing what he wanted? You decide.
That just isn't true. Come on. He did end up playing 1b or DH more than LF by the way. MLB clubs do not dictate to Dominican League teams. If MLB clubs had their way most players would not play at all down there. The days of sending players to Winter Ball are all but gone. Its done occasionally with a young guy but its rare. There is just no control down there. It's their trainers, their doctors, their managers making decisions on how long pitchers stay in games and on and on.
Of note, he was reportedly pretty bad in the outfield.