Posted by: Tom Duch | March 12, 2009

It’s the WBCCCCC (and I’m not talking about that singing frog)

The World Baseball Classic is in full swing once again after a two year hiatus. We’ve only just gotten through round one and we may already have the story of the tournament. After the group play stage in Pool D, the powerhouse Dominicans were ousted by the underdog Netherlands squad. The Dutch defeated the D.R. in both games they faced them, most importantly in an 11 inning victory that sent the Dominicans packin’.

As a man who was Born In The USA, I’m pulling for the Americans to make a run this year. Last year was a little upsetting seeing them bow out so quickly, but I have a good feeling about this year.

The US got the two seed in Pool C after a 5-3 loss to Venezuela in the game determining the pool winner. That sets them up to play Puerto Rico in game 1 of round 2. That meant I got another chance to watch my favorite Puerto Rican, Bernie Williams, take a few hacks and roam the outfield. Bernie Baseball has only gotten a few ABs, but I hoped to see him mosey into the on-deck circle at some point. Bern Baby Bern

As a Yankee fan, I have seen Bernie play through most of my childhood. The other day when the Puerto Rico game was being televised I received a text from a friend. The text read, “If you want to feel like a little schoolboy again turn on the World Baseball Classic.” I knew Bernie was on the roster, but I didn’t expect to see him getting thrown out at the dish. I was so happy to see Bernie that I thought about getting a Bernie Puerto Rico T-shirt jersey. Then I smartened up and realized I would be going against my country if I did that.

After a crushing 11-1 loss to Puerto Rico the US needed to win their next two games to move on. They had their backs to the wall but they didn’t back down. They started their comeback with an elimination game against the Netherlands. The Dutch were the feel good story of the tourney so far, but the US felt even better after eliminating them with a 9-3 victory.

Injuries were mounting for the US, but there was no time for excuses as the Puerto Ricans were waiting in the wings for the rematch. With teams having 1-1 records, one of them would be sent home. The Puerto Ricans got off to a lead on a Carlos Delgado big fly and carried it into the 9th. Like all great teams do, the Americans rallied and won on a David Wright walk off single. Walk Offfff, walk offfff. “You gotta love sports.”

With the win the US move on to the semis into the Final 4 (it’s March Madness season I had to). Before that, they will be going to Miami for another matchup with Venezuela for first place in the group. That game takes place tonight at 7pm. USA, USA, USA

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