My loyal readers will have detected a familiar pattern: I resolve to blog often, do so for a few days, and then go silent. Days, weeks, months can pass with no word at all. I then wake up, renew my resolve, rinse and repeat. Not this time, though: I didn’t miss – the server stopped processing my site. I contacted my son, Mark, who generously piggy-backs my site onto his account (with Google, I think) and after some effort has me back up again. If you tried to go to Baseball-Bob.com you got the site not available message, but of course if you follow by RSS feed it just went silent.
Anyway, I followed the WBC avidly, and even stayed up to watch some of the west coast games. I admit that I failed to get to the end of any of them, because the Pool F games started at 10:15 my time, and the semi-finals and finals at 9:15, and I teach a religion class at 6:00 am, so it was just a bit too late. Anyway, in case you (along with 99% of America) missed it, the US qualified second in their first round pool, losing to Dominican Republic, squeaking by Colombia 3-2 and crushing Canada. In the second pool they squeezed by Venezuela, were beaten by Puerto Rico, and met Dominican Republic (the defending champion) in a winner-take-all rematch, which they managed to win.
On to LA they played undefeated Japan in the semi-final in a steady rain (in LA!) and the sloppy field ultimately gave them a break in the 8th inning when, with a runner on 3rd, a ground ball would have allowed a play at the plate, but the wet conditions caused a momentary bobble and the only play was to first, allowing the winning run to score in a 2-1 win. Puerto Rico, conquerors of USA in Pool F, beat Netherlands to set up a USA at PR final, with PR undefeated in the tourney. But Marcus Stroman decided to face only 18 batters in 6 innings (not perfect – a walk and a DP) and USA got their revenge and cruised to an 8-0 win and their first WBC title. It was so fun that I haven’t watched a single minute of the NCAA tourney, though now that it is over I may take a look ;-}
One casualty of the WBC: Yankee shortstop Didi Gregorius, playing IN AN EXHIBITION GAME for team Netherlands, hurt his shoulder and will not be available until May 1 at the earliest. 4 years ago Mark Teixeira was hurt in the WBC and basically was never the same player again. Fortunes of war. Players get hurt in spring training all the time – there is no real reason to think that it happens in the WBC any more often. But people still say it. Sigh.
Opening day is barely more than a week away (well, 10 days I guess, Sunday April 2). I expect to blog about that in the coming days.
I love this game!