There was high hopes for the Team USA baseball team to get into the semi-finals at least in the World Baseball Classic. Those high hopes turned to a bad dream as the Puerto Rico team trounced the Team USA by 4-3 score on Friday night. Hey, I though Puerto Rico was actually part of the USA in some fashion you may be thinking? No, they are what is called unincorporated territory of the USA- close but no cigar.
Does the fact that Team USA fields players who are professionals make this a total bust for this team now that they are out of any championship consideration? Or is this more of a vehicle for the MLB to get baseball out in front of more people from around the world and hope that baseball fever starts to grow more places than just the USA and Latin American countries.
Bud Selig is still in charge of what goes on as far as the MLB is concerned. This season for the MLB, he has added more interleague play than any other season in the MLB. Just when baseball purists were either happy with things the way the schedule has been going with only a few series of interleague match ups, the game is changing again. The addition of an extra Wild Card team to the playoffs last year, was something that hadn’t existed before. The World Baseball Classic has provided fans with some real baseball to watch in the past few weeks, so it’s been great for baseball.
Team USA found out that not only does a team full of players who are professional baseball players can’t always beat the efforts of other players that are part of another country’s team. Those players on the Puerto Rico team were younger and hungrier and got the job done and they did include some MLB players on that team as well, so for baseball overall it’s still a success.
Ex-Phillies pitcher, JC Romero, closed out the win for the team from Puerto Rico and it helped him close out some bad memories from 2009 when he took a tough loss of his team. He talks about that in the interview after the game on Friday night.
Brandon Phillips wished the Puerto Rico team well, and said he didn’t want to return to Goodyear, Arizona where Spring Training continues for the players now. “I don’t want to go back to Goodyear, it sucks” in kind of a joking way; tell us how you really feel Brandon. There will be a next time for Team USA, maybe they can do better.