Like it or not, the World Baseball Classic was the star of the sports world yesterday. Highlighted by USA's nail-biting victory over Canada and the Netherlands' improbable upset of the Dominican Republic, it truly felt like October in March for a baseball fan.
In an unexplored angle of the day's action, former New York Yankees were key contributors everywhere you looked.
In the Netherlands' win over the Dominican Republic, everyone's favorite fat guy, Sidney Ponson earned the win for the scrappy Dutchmen. As we saw last year with the Yankees, on days when lady luck is on his side, he can be a viable option.
Down in Puerto Rico, Pudge Rodriguez made a big splash, smashing two homeruns in a 7-0 Puerto Rico rout. In his few months with the Yankees last year, Pudge hardly hit the ball out of the infield, let alone longballs, so color us surprised. It is amazing what players do when they are playing for a contract (also see Ponson, Sidney). Lets not forget Puerto Rican hero Bernie Williams pinch-hitting and scaring the Panamanians into an intentional walk. There is little truth to the rumor that Mariano Rivera (on the bench for Panama as an ambassador), was paid to convince his manager to call for this unlikely intentional walk.
At Skydome for the nightcap of day one festivities, Bobby Abreu had a huge two run single to break the game open for Venezuela. Prior to the fifth inning, the fighting Piazza's of Italy were hanging around and making the Venezuelan crowd a bit nervous. The highlight of this game was easily the Venezuelan crowd reprising their 2006 chant in honor of Endy Chavez and against dictator Hugo Chavez: "Endy si! Chavez no!" In other news, Venezuelan women are ridiculously attractive, so be sure to check that out.
The USA/Canada game did not feature any key contributions from former Yankees, but Derek Jeter had a single and a double before being lifted for a pinch-runner.
Did we miss any ex-Yankee heroics in day one of the World Baseball Classic? Please remind us in the comments section!
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Sunday, March 8, 2009
World Baseball Classic Recap - Ex-Yankees Rule The DayPosted by Ross at 10:37 AM
Labels: Bernie Williams World Baseball Classic, Derek Jeter World Baseball Classic USA, Ex-Yankee players starring in the 2009 World Baseball Classic
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