Last night’s game was must watch TV for me as number 1, I had my favorite guy pitching for Puerto Rico and number 2, I rep the USA in anything we do. I will be honest the World Baseball Classic captured my imagination this season. The only reason for this was because I saw how much it meant to the players this time around. Maybe I was not paying attention enough before but I felt the passion this time around not only from the other countries but for team USA. It reminded me of the Olympic hockey format where everyone cares and it means something to win. This is a good sign for the World Baseball Classic because for the first time it felt to me real because every team playing the player’s cared.
Last night I was engaged, first I wanted to see my country win and second I wanted to see Seth Lugo pitch well. Lugo’s final line does not look great to the casual observer but let’s be honest here, he was pitching against an all star team and struck out 7 guys through 4 innings. His stuff looked great to me and I could not be happier with the result. Any lineup where Giancarlo Stanton is batting 8th and you can K 7 is quite the accomplishment.
It was also nice to see team USA win this tournament. Yes I am American and root for Team USA in everything but I also think it contributes to the future of this tournament. It was great to hear team USA had numerous guys call and say they are available to pitch even thought manager Jim Leyland turned them down to stick with the guys who have been there since day one. To me the big criticism of the tournament is that the best American guys do not play which is calling out Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Clayton Kershaw, and Madison Bumgarner. I have to imagine the guys calling to pitch where probably Kershaw and Bumgarner and this only benefits the tournament. I respect Jim Leyland for sticking with his guys and Marcus Stroman clearly stepped up but it is nice to see other guys now interested. I now must say I look forward to this tournament and expect some of the bigger US name to play which will only improve this tournament.