NY Sports Dog: Team USA has a Fighting Chance

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Team USA has a Fighting Chance

Despite being decimated by injury, Team USA, which includes Mets stars David Wright and JJ Putz, is 2 games and 2 days away from winning the World Baseball Classic.

Though American fans have yet to turn out in large numbers, my sneaking suspicion is that tonight's semi-final game against Japan will draw a large TV audience. Should Team USA advance to the final against Korea, the numbers will get even better.

Tonight the American's will face a familiar face in Red Sox righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka.

As Newsday reports, Derek Jeter is ready:

"We face him all the time," Jeter said of Dice-K, who joined the Red Sox in 2007.

"Playing Boston 20 games a year, we see him all the time, so I'm familiar with what he throws. I think at this point in the season, pitching is usually a little ahead of the hitters. So it's going to be a challenge for us."
Thus far the Classic has been up and down--for every upset victory of the Dominican Republic, you get a 5 error Venezuelan fiasco. That said, there have been moments of brilliance, including David Wright's walkoff hit that propelled Team USA past Puerto Rico.
"I don't think I've ever had so many phone calls and messages after a game," Wright said.

"That's something, no matter what team you play for or who your favorite team is in the big leagues, you're talking about representing your country and putting this uniform on and going out there and being able to do that. That would be a memory that lasts a lifetime."
So yes my loyal readers, I will be watching tonight. Thought I am opposed to the WBC from an injury standpoint, the prospects of meaningful baseball on a March Sunday night is just too big a draw.

U-S-A! U-S-A!
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