Skip to comments.Puerto Rico now America's team in World Baseball Classic
Posted on 03/18/2013 12:07:12 PM PDT by cll
SAN FRANCISCO - After Team USA was eliminated from the World Baseball Classic, we heard the usual lines about the inability of Americans to meet expectations in the tournament.
Thats not entirely accurate.
Team Puerto Rico comprised of U.S. citizens is one victory away from stunning the baseball world.
After unexpectedly eliminating Venezuela in the first round and the U.S. in the second, the Puerto Ricans pulled off an even bigger upset Sunday night. Behind starting pitcher Mario Santiago, who spent last season with SK Wyverns of the Korean Baseball Organization, Puerto Rico stunned twice-defending champion Japan, 3-1, to earn a spot in Tuesdays championship game.
The Puerto Ricans will meet the winner of Mondays semifinal between the Dominican Republic and The Netherlands. Considering they were enormous underdogs when the tournament began, the Puerto Rican players could say that they dont care which team they play.
But that would be a lie.
Of course, wed like to play the Dominican, Puerto Rican shortstop Mike Aviles said of their Caribbean rivals, who won the teams first two meetings in this WBC. Everybody knows that.
The Dutch have had most-charming-story status in this WBC, but it might be time to reevaluate. While The Netherlands claimed the IBAF World Cup as recently as 2011, Puerto Rico hasnt won an international baseball championship since the 2000 Caribbean World Series a yearly event to which its winter league champion has an automatic bid.
Last week, the Puerto Ricans were five outs from elimination against Team Italy before rallying to win. Sunday, they beat the WBCs preeminent team even though three of their first four pitchers Santiago, Jose De La Torre and Randy Fontanez have never thrown a pitch in the major leagues.
(Excerpt) Read more at msn.foxsports.com ...
Our country is broke. Let’s cut Puerto Rico loose and let it be its own country. The free ride needs to be over.
The vast majority of Americans have no idea that this tournament is even going on.
I couldn't believe how good they were. Kids that damn near looked like grown men. I've seen good college and AAA ball clubs that these teenagers might be a match for. Impeccable diamond work, amazing outfielders, and the pitchers from both teams were riflemen. Batters had polished technique, follow through, and all the evidence of superior coaching and training. Even my wife was saying 'These kids are good'. You'd probably have to have one outstanding American high school baseball team to beat these kids. No doubt at least some of them would eventually end up in MLB. It was like watching Orlando Cepeda and Roberto Clemente at age 17.
They take baseball with great seriousness in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, believe you me.
Glad to see how well Puerto Rico is doing! How are the teams from Ohio, Texas, Florida and Georgia faring?
Meanwhile our kids are too busy playing with their X-Boxes.