Team Dominican Republic loved this World Baseball Classic. And if you allowed yourself to, you might have loved watching them. Robinson Cano, Jose Reyes, Fernando Rodney and the rest played with a passion that we don't always allow them to show in the games that we care about.
Many baseball fans in this country scoff at the World Baseball Classic. Many say they hate it and hope it will go away. But when the 2013 WBC concluded Tuesday night, MLB declared it "an unqualified success, a home run."
The Dodgers have another injury concern, after Hanley Ramirez left Tuesday night's World Baseball Classic championship game with a jammed right thumb. Team officials said they don't think the injury is serious, but Ramirez is expected to undergo an MRI exam Wednesday in Arizona.
Miguel Tejada has been part of Team Dominican Republic for each of the first three World Baseball Classics. Tejada will be 42 the next time the tournament is held, but he has already told Team DR general manager Moises Alou that he'd like to manage the team in 2017.
Four years ago, the Dominican Republic players treated the World Baseball Classic as more of a joke than most American fans. And it showed. This time around, the Dominican players have embraced the tournament. And it shows. Now, with the help of a lot of talent and one lucky plantain, Team DR has advanced to Tuesday night's WBC championship game.
With one more improbable win, this time over Japan, Puerto Rico has advanced to the World Baseball Classic's championship game. How do the Puerto Ricans do it, with a pitching staff filled with guys you barely remember or never heard of? It's catcher Yadier Molina who changes everything.