The report on ESPN SportsCenter highlighted the make up of the two teams.
The two teams squared off last Friday with the Netherlands winning 3-2. This was a shocker but most believed it was a one time event and there was no way the Netherlands would be able to advance. "That was a team we should have trounced 9-0," Dominican Republic manager Felipe Alou was quoted as saying after the game. To be honest, I agreed with Alou. Even though the Netherlands beat the Dominican Republic and put up a great fight before losing to Puerto Rico on Monday, I didn't see a way they could beat the Dominican again.
Because I am a baseball fan and enjoy having competitive games to watch in mid-March, I tuned in last night. Tension rose each scoreless inning as the Netherlands matched the Dominican pitch for pitch. Finally the Dominican pushed a run across in the bottom of the 11th and I don't think I was alone in believing the game was over. But the Dutch battled back and scored twice in the bottom of the 11th to win. Jose Reyes, Miguel Tejada, Jose Guillen, Miguel Olivo and the rest of the Dominican Republic looked on in stunned silence at a group of players, described by KMOX radio host Kevin Wheeler as "a team of has-beens and never-weres - whose best hitter is remembered more for his hit on a racing sausage than for his big league career" widely celebrated.
I've watched a lot of the World Baseball Classic games so far this year. Unlike a lot of baseball fans, I believe the Classic is a good idea and I enjoy it. I know there are flaws but, thanks in part to the 2009 team from the Netherlands, the WBC is on its way to fulfilling Bud Selig's vision when he began the WBC in 2006.