USA Wins World Baseball Classic In Mantastic Fashion
Per Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times:
"After 11 years, 27 games and repeated snubs from some of the brightest stars in baseball, the United States finally had reached its first World Baseball Classic championship game. No more politics, just one game to win, and so Manager Jim Leyland allowed himself a smile as he opened a pregame news conference."
“We’re trying to make America great again,” he said, chuckling.
And they did. The Yankees are the champions of the world, after an 8-0 rout of Puerto Rico Wednesday at Dodger Stadium."
So many things I didn't know about the World Baseball Classic up until reading about it this morning. I knew Cutch played for them. Knew that. Had no idea Pirates skipper great Jim Leyland managed the them this year. That's pretty awesome. Reminds me of that time when the Florida Marlins were in dire straits after Edwin Rodriguez resigned in 2011 so they rung up that stogie chewin' Jack McKeon to steer the ship on an interim basis.
And two big ironic points about that: not only did all those names all manage the Florida Marlins at one point or other, but who managed Puerto Rico in last night's loss? No, not McKeon (despite his very Hispanic last name), but Edwin F'n Rodriguez.
Also, never knew that we never won the WBC. With a great country like this, you kind of think we've won every sporting event imaginable at some point or other (except soccer, which who cares - oh, wait, we won that too?)
But seriously, this is pretty damn cool. I mean, we did invent the game after all, it should go without saying that we should win the fucking thing. That would be like Milton Bradley (the board game company, not the hot-headed baseball player) losing at Operation to one of the Parker brothers.
But look at some of these quotes by the team after winning:
“It was the most fun I’ve ever had playing baseball” - Christian Yelich
"This is everything and more." - Andrew McCutchen
"I had the honor of managing for our country. The coaches had the honor of coaching for our country. The players had the honor of playing for our country, but this is really about the men and women that serve our country. That’s who this is for." - Jim Leyland
Clearly, this meant a lot to the players and coaches. Pure patriotism and love for baseball all at once, which, holy smokes, makes me feel like a Snowden turncoat right now - I love baseball and I don't have cable but made no concerted effort to watch any of this. Plus, I was rooting for team Italy (the Cervelli ties are strong, plus I'm in the Bloomfield part of Pittsburgh). Son of bitch.
Other cool facts about the game that you, along with I, probably missed cause we're a bunch of immediate content assholes who struggle at s nine innings of baseball:
- Marcus Stroman, owner of no Cy Young votes and offspring of jack-upped father, had a no-hitter going through six innings.
- Stroman's mother is also Puerto Rican, so he had the option to play for either team. Thank goodness he chose us.
- Pirates hero Andrew McCutchen has two RBI-singles in the 8-0 win (J-Hay was on the team too)
This is such a great story though. What our country needs at this point is sportsmanship and unity among other countries when everything domestically and internationally are so divisive nowadays. A breath of much needed fresh air from all the B.S. CBS Sports' Jonah Keri does an excellent job at summing up all those feel-good feelings in his latest write-up.
HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! U-S-A! U-S-A!
Main image courtesy of New York Daily News