Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Oh. My. God

"I'm not going to ask [fans] to be happy, because I know how it feels. And I'm a winner, but I don't like to go home losing. And I lost today. Only God knows -- only God knows why we lost."
--Pedro Martinez, after the Netherlands eliminated the
Dominican Republic
from the World Baseball Classic

Maybe the Dominican Major Leaguers and its manager should've gone easier on those "we're way better than them" quotes after their first loss to the Dutch, eh?

Netherlands 2, D.R. 1, 11 inn.

ESPN's Jorge Arangue Jr.:

Late in the game, after each successive inning in which the impossible really did happen, Netherlands first baseman Randall Simon paced around the area near his position and pleaded with his dead mother for a miracle. Simon's team had fought the powerful Dominican Republic team to a draw in Tuesday's elimination game, making it the night of the improbable, so who was to say she would not listen?

"If you're here with me," Simon said to her, "talk to the Lord, because these guys really deserve it."

SI's Tom Verducci:

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. Van Gogh. Escher. DeKooning. And now make way for a new Dutch master: DeCaster.

Your video:

POSTSCRIPT: From the above-linked Verducci article, a blurb too good to not post here:

Venezuelan fans match their passion with inventiveness. At-bats by Chavez were occasions to announce their disapproval of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez: "Endy, si! Chavez, no!"

And speaking of heads of state, Fidel Castro is blogging on the WBC. No, really. The Cuban president, writing under Reflections by Comrade Fidel, apparently is down with sabermetric principals that regard giving up an out with a sacrifice bunt as poor strategy. He took Japan to task for bunting in the eighth inning of a one-run game against Korea. ("an error whichever elemental way it is analyzed"). He also rapped his own team for "carelessness" on the basepaths (in a blowout win over South Africa, no less), lamented not winning the game by the mercy rule, and wrote he wants Cuba to beat Japan in the finals. Harsh stuff. Does the guy think he's some dictator, or what?

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