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14 March 2017, 12:41 | Elizabeth Houston
WILL VRAGOVIC | Times
Chris Archer was one of the first players to offer his services for Team USA describing this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
Jones went two-for-five at the plate and his game-winning single to left-center field came off Colombia relief pitcher Guillermo Moscoso. Anyone notice teammates standing at the rail of the dugout, clapping nervously, biting fingernails, waving towels, anything to keep their mind busy during what so obviously had developed into the most tense March baseball moment in these professionals' lives?
The WBC remains plagued by a disconnect between the passion and drama produced on the field and the indifference that greets the tournament domestically, and Team USA is the biggest victim of that gap.
Much has been made of the decision of many top USA pitchers to skip the tournament, but Arenado praised the pitchers who have turned up, including Duffy, Chris Archer and Marcus Stroman. He had five hits in three games including the solo home run against Team USA that started a stretch of seven unanswered runs in the Dominican Republic's comeback win Saturday. And why are there ones who are rolling their eyes when thinking about its importance? "Now I'm able to breathe a little bit, let's get some dinner in us, and get ready for DR tomorrow".
"Meaningful is (and has been) a very debatable word" when it comes to the WBC, one responded.
"That was such an emotional game and hard-fought game", Hosmer said.
Colombia, with a roster made up of mostly journeymen who lack big-league experience, have just 80 players who play competitive baseball in the US. The Colorado Rockies' star should remain in the middle of Team USA's lineup in the second round of play.
But wow, look at the reaction from Colombia.
Team USA's offense erupted early, taking advantage of a matchup against Ryan Dempster.
"I had zero idea what he likes to do, where he hits the ball, what he's going for", Miller said.
The United States wasted no time in building up a big lead.
Other nations participating simply don't have this issue. The Dominican Republic team offered him his greatest challenge yet. Joining them will be the top teams form Pool E in Toyko, a group that consists of Cuba, Israel, Japan and The Netherlands. Baseball can be a too-stuffy sport at times, but the self-professed "Jew Crew" and their plush mascot, known as the Mensch on the Bench, have given this tournament a much-needed beloved underdog. This is why you should watch the tournament.
The two images tell the story of a game, a game that means nothing, a game that means everything.
However, for a time, it seemed like their very green group of players might engineer their own "Miracle on the Diamond" by beating the mighty U.S. in their first-ever appearance in the 16-team worldwide tournament. Was it meaningful to the teams from Korea and China, who played a spirited, back-and-forth consolation game in front of a raucous crowd? In the 2009 WBC, the USA made the semifinals before falling to eventual champion Japan.
"Good teams go about their business", Leyland said after Saturday's collapse.
Prior to this appearance, Roark had been terrific in Spring Training while with the Nationals. But at the same time, baseball badly needs an worldwide competition, and this one has been terrific.
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