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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Neem me aan het balspel

The Netherlands beat the Dominican Republic today in the World Baseball Classic.

Let that sink in for a moment.

This seemed blog-worthy on a couple of levels.

First, the fact that the Netherlands HAS a team in the World Baseball Classic strikes the Solipsist as noteworthy.  Isn't the Netherlands that country that's actually below sea level?  Must make for some interesting rain delays.

What's the team name?  The Oranges?  The Dikes?  The Wood Sox?

But the fact that they beat the Dominican Republic?!?  This raises things from the ridiculous to the sublime.

For those not "in the know" (which YNSHC realizes includes most of his faithful readers), the D.R. was (and probably still is) a favorite to win the whole tournament.  The team's roster includes such perennial Major League Baseball All-Stars as David ("Big Papi") Ortiz and Miguel Tejada.  The New York Mets' shortstop Jose Reyes, who has led the Majors in stolen bases and won a gold glove, is the DH for the team because he's arguably the D. R.'s SECOND BEST shortstop, behind Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins.  About the most notable name the Netherlands has is Sidney Ponson, who started today's game and has pitched for the Yankees, among other teams.  But to put this in perspective: Ponson isn't even currently signed with a Major League team.

To call this an upset is an understatement.  When the Giants beat the Patriots in last year's Super Bowl, THAT was an upset.  In fact, if the Giants had beaten the Dominican Republic in today's game, it probably would have been less shocking than what actually transpired.

Some will point to the fact that all three Netherlanders' runs were unearned as a sort of asterisk on the results.  Of course, all that really means is that not only was the D.R. outhit and outpitched, it was also out-fielded.

No, any way you look at it, this was a true shocker.  And it just goes to show why the Solipsist enjoys sports.  They ain't over 'til they're over, and you never know when the fat lady will be singing the praises of a tulip-toting underdog.

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