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Aybar has also previously played in the Dominican Republic. He is commonly known by his team mates as "Mini-Vlad" due to his slight resemblance to former Angels teammate Vladimir Guerrero after growing out dreadlocks similar to Vlad's shortly into the 2007 season, and for the fact that they are good friends. He is affectionately referred to as "Admiral Aybar" by Angels fans, named after the beloved Star Wars character Admiral Ackbar.
On September 5, 2009, Aybar tied a franchise record for most triples in a game, 2, against the Kansas City Royals.
September 8, 2009, Aybar had his first career walk-off hit, against the Seattle Mariners.
In game 4 of the 2009 ALCS, Aybar made a single non-glove hand catch to get a double play.
He used to have long dreads, but before Game 6 of the 2009 ALCS he shaved his head.
In game 3 of the 2009 ALDS against the Boston Red Sox, his hit against Jonathan Papelbon in the 9th inning with 2 outs and 2 strikes kept the Angels alive in Game 3.
In 2009, Aybar hit .312 (eight in the AL) and posted the fourth-best OPS (.776) of all AL shortstops.
2009 Trade RumorsEdit
In 2009, Aybar was included in a rumored list of players that the Blue Jays' would accept in a deal for ace Roy Halladay, but broke down when the Angels refused to send Aybar to Toronto as part of the deal. Some speculation had it that Aybar was Angels' owner Arte Moreno's favorite player. His name was raised again as a potential trade piece in a move for Halladay during the 2009 Winter Meetings. General Manager Tony Reagins commented that, "It would take a significant package to move some players. Erick is very talented. We haven't seen the best of him yet. He's still improving, and there's a real good chance we'll see that in an Angels uniform." Scioscia confirmed that much of the discussions turned on Aybar, saying, "It just didn't turn out to be a match. But I do know Toronto was asking for our shortstop."
During the MLB offseason, Aybar plays in the Caribbean Series alongside many other fellow MLB players from the countries involved. It is a way for them to prepare for the upcoming MLB season by playing in live games and it is a way for them to represent their country. The most talked about series was probably in 2006 when Venezuela and the Dominican Republic squared off. Both of these countries are no strangers to each other and have developed a very heated rivalry over the years.
Down, 4-3, in the ninth, Baltimore catcher Ramon Hernandez, named the Caribbean Series MVP, led off the bottom of the frame with a single and was immediately replaced by pinch runner William Bergolla. The moved proved to be a wise one because Bergolla advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and tied the game at 4 when he rambled home on Gonzalez's single to right field. He would not stay at first long.
Cubs catcher Henry Blanco followed with a high popup to shallow left field between Dominican shortstop Erick Aybar and left fielder Napoleón Calzado. Backpedaling and seemingly confused, the ball hit Aybar's head and rolled away. Gonzalez sped around the bases to send Venezuela's Caracas Baseball Club into the record books with a 5-4 victory to secure the title.
Aybar is the youngest brother (by 10 months) of Tampa Bay Rays infielder Willy Aybar. He is also the cousin of Wil Aybar, who coaches Central Mass Diving and the diving team at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
- ↑ DiGiovanna, Mike. "Angels and Dodgers look into acquiring Toronto's Roy Halladay", latimes.com, 2009-11-24. Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
- ↑ RevHaloFan. Roy Halladay Closer to Anaheim. halosheaven.com.
- ↑ DiGiovanna, Mike (December 9, 2009). Angels now might include Erick Aybar in a trade. latimes.com.
- ↑ Whicker, Mark (December 17, 2009). Matsui is here, but fans' thoughts are elsewhere. Orange County Register.