WBC Five Cuts: Netherlands shocks Dominican, puts event on the map
The Netherlands is a country that may be the best baseball Europe has to offer, but is a country that has never finished higher than fourth in the history of IBAF World Cup competition. Its WBC roster included just one major leaguer. A 29-year-old third baseman named
Major League Baseball can work all of its machinations to pump up interest in the tournament, such as marketing and broadcasting. But there is nothing more powerful to sell the tournament than the unscripted magnificence of the game itself, never more so than when what we regard as the meek overtake the mighty. The Dominicans, because of the country's abiding love for baseball, will bear grief and shame for the defeat.
But for the Dutch, and for those who saw the WBC as a means to grow the game, victory is eternal.
"It feels like it's been a long time since I've pitched," Lilly said. "I'm not even sure when I pitched last, probably been a week maybe, something like that. So definitely I'm eager to get out there."
"Basically, the one player that's a little short on ABs is my catcher," Johnson said. "And, you know, ideally, given it's just another game for us, we qualified for the finals, ideally, I'd like to probably use both catchers. Iannetta doesn't have as many at bats as anybody else from the club, and he's about eight behind McCann, so I'm thinking about doing something there."
"It's important because it's a challenge," Venezuela outfielder
When asked if Venezuelans faced more pressure playing for their country in the WBC than in the MLB, Chavez replied, "I think so. The responsibility is big. We know what this means for our country. When we play the country comes to a stop."
And if Venezuela should win the WBC? "It's a party for like a month," Chavez said.
And speaking of heads of state,