Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The Netherlands? Yes!
This was, quite possibly, the biggest upset I have ever seen in baseball. Not once, but twice did the Netherlands whip the mighty Dominicans. Two wonderful ballgames. The best games a fan could ask. Thank god for the World Baseball Classic.
The Dominicans? I thought their chest pumping antics after they finally scored a run in the eleventh inning, for goodnesssakes, was premature. Way premature. No, immature. It is impossible to avoid the cliche here: Some of these Netherlander's probably work day jobs. They just whipped a team with at least 20 millionaires on the roster.
This just shows what you can do when you want it, when you're hungry. And it shows what can happen when you figure you've got the world by the tail.
And this just reminds me why I love this game. It has a way of getting even, baseball does. It's just too hard, too long, too unforgiving one minute, too forgiving the next. Across all its years, through war, depression, racism and cheating, from a Civil War fought with cannonballs to the automobile, the atom bomb and humans exploring outer space, hitting a baseball safely just once in every three chances is still good enough to vote you into the Hall of Fame. Nohitters are still rare and the cycle is even more rare. The spitter has been replaced by the splitter, but winning 300 games actually seems to have grown more difficult.
Despite steroids and entourages, wanting it still wins big games. Once in a while, anyway. Often enough.
John R. Tunis would have loved this one. The Kid from Tompkinsville came through. A whole bunch of kids from Tompkinsville. Tompkinsville must be somewhere in the Netherlands.