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 World Baseball Classic results

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laprimamirala
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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:12 am

Geez, I feel special. Because I defended Magglio on the tigers.com board, I was called a moron, a couch potato, and ignorant. Guess I'm in a blissful state! Big Smile
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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:17 am

laprimamirala wrote:
Geez, I feel special. Because I defended Magglio on the tigers.com board, I was called a moron, a couch potato, and ignorant. Guess I'm in a blissful state! Big Smile

Oh Lord Rolling Eyes A couch potato even? I still love ya Big hug
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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:18 am

Yup, at 5'7 and 125 pounds!
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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:23 am

laprimamirala wrote:
Yup, at 5'7 and 125 pounds!

lol! I Heart people Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:35 am

I don't know why politics has to enter into EVERY aspect of life!
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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:36 am

laprimamirala wrote:
I don't know why politics has to enter into EVERY aspect of life!

I try not to let in enter into ANY aspect of my life. whistle
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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:41 am

Especially beisbol.
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Happy St. Pat's!
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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:43 am

LMAO Nod
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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:53 am




Tuesday, March 17, 2009 5:07:00 AM
Cuba knocks Mexico out of Classic
Quest to reach 41st consecutive international final still alive

By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com

Box score >
Recap: CUB 7, MEX 4: Watch

SAN DIEGO -- Never count Cuba out.

Facing elimination from the World Baseball Classic on Monday night at PETCO Park, the Cubans sent the Mexicans home instead with a 7-4 victory.

The big blow was a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double with none out in the fifth inning deep into the right-center-field gap off the bat of left fielder Frederich Cepeda, who had four RBIs in the game. The shot chased Mexican starter Jorge Campillo and eliminated Mexico, which also didn't make it out of the second round three years ago in the inaugural Classic.

Cuba will now face another elimination game on Wednesday night against the loser of Tuesday night's Japan-Korea tilt. It was the second time in this tournament that Cuba had defeated the Mexicans, whipping them, 16-4, at the end of the first round in Mexico City.

In '06, Cuba lost in the finals to Japan and was put on the brink of elimination by losing, 6-0, to the Japanese and right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka on Sunday.

The Cubans haven't missed the finals for 40 consecutive international tournaments, dating back to 1951, and they don't aim to do it this time, either. The finals in this Classic are slated for March 23 at Dodger Stadium.

On Monday, Cuba got a strong starting performance from veteran right-hander Norge Vera, who stifled the Mexicans on two runs and three hits while whiffing five over the first 4 2/3 innings. He also walked three and hit a batter.

Vera had to be pulled from the game when he fell off the mound with what seemed to be a twisted ankle after tossing a ball to Mexican second baseman Freddy Sandoval. It was the 14th pitch to Sandoval from Vera, who was lifted to his feet and helped off the field. It was also the second time in the at-bat that Cuban trainers came out to check Vera, who earlier was visibly limping around.

Vera was replaced by another veteran hurler, right-hander Pedro Lazo, who walked Sandoval on a full-count pitch and then ended the inning by whiffing Oscar Robles, Mexico's shortstop.

Cuba led, 2-0, early on RBI singles by Yulieski Gourriel and Cepeda. But Mexico came back to tie on Sandoval's third-inning single and Scott Hairston's based-loaded, fourth-inning grounder that came after Vera walked Adrian Gonzalez and Jorge Cantu.

The tie didn't last long, as Campillo fell apart in the fifth. The Cubans loaded the bases on a Leonys Martin single to center, a bunt single by Hector Olivera and a walk to Michel Enriquez.

Cepeda followed with the double that essentially kept Cuba alive in the tournament. Cespedes put the game out of reach with a two-run, seventh-inning triple.

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:00 am

Let's hear from some of the Cuban players about PROPAGANDA!
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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:03 am


Tuesday, March 17, 2009 1:31:00 AM
Venezuela's battery charges past P.R.
Felix fans seven, Ramon hits solo homer to lead country to semis

By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com


MIAMI -- Star power was everywhere on Monday night at Dolphin Stadium. Ultimately, a 22-year-old dubbed "King" made a huge difference.

"King" Felix Hernandez of Venezuela struck out seven in 4 2/3 innings, and he provided an inspirational lift that helped his team pull off a 2-0 victory over Puerto Rico in Round 2 of the World Baseball Classic.

Hernandez silenced a Puerto Rican lineup that had outscored its opponents, 26-2, in four games prior to Monday. Venezuela now is guaranteed a place in the semifinals, and it will play on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET for seeding purposes.

"That's the biggest game I've ever pitched," Hernandez said. "To pitch in these kind of games, that's what I like. I'm just proud to represent my country in this great tournament. Today was the most exciting day of my life."

Puerto Rico, 4-1 in the Classic, had been so dominant. But the setback means it will play on Tuesday against Team USA in an elimination game at 7 p.m. The loser goes home, while the winner will also be headed to the semifinals.
Venezuela improved to 5-1 in the Classic, and it will be headed to Los Angeles for the semifinals, a goal after the country fell short of that expectation in 2006.

"There will always be some pressure," Venezuelan manager Luis Sojo said. "I think the mere fact that we won and we're going to L.A. was perhaps the most difficult task, because in 2006, we were left out of this round, and today we pleased Venezuela. We're extremely happy."

There was a festive atmosphere at Dolphin Stadium, where an energized crowd of 25,599 was nearly split with fans rooting passionately for both teams.

Francisco Rodriguez of the Mets sealed the victory by working 1 1/3 innings, retiring all four batters he faced for the save. After the game, the Venezuelan players poured onto the field and celebrated for several minutes.

"This means a lot," Rodriguez said. "That's one of our goals, to reach the semifinals, and of course, make it to the finals. It's a big deal for us. Today, we came out and we gave everything we've got to get this win and get to L.A.

"Now, we have to start it over once again, to be able to bring it to the field and make it to the finals. That's our goal right now."

A key run came in the seventh on Ramon Hernandez's home run, which initially was ruled a triple.

Hernandez connected on a long drive to left-center off Giancarlo Alvarado. The ball cleared the high wall, and it bounced back into the field of play. The umpires weren't sure if it cleared the wall, and taking no chances, Hernandez raced to third. In what appeared to be the first Classic game featuring the use of instant replay, the umpires reversed the call and ruled it a homer.

However, in an interview following the game, crew chief Ed Rapuano said instant replay was not used to reverse the call.

"The replay was not reviewed," Rapuano said. "They couldn't get me the replay in the locker room on the replay board."

Rapuano said the final decision was made by consensus, because third-base umpire Hitoshi Watarida told Rapuano that he was "110 percent sure" Hernandez's homer sailed over the wall.

As Hernandez waited at third base, he wondered, "'Why me?'

"I was thinking, 'Why does it happen to me?'" he said.

Hernandez says he's hit the ball hard, but at people. And when he cleared the wall, the umpires weren't sure if it went out.

"I was like, 'OK, why is this going to happen to me again?'" he said. "I was just hoping it would be a homer."

Puerto Rico center fielder Carlos Beltran tried to decoy as if the ball was still in play.

"I knew it was a home run, but I tried to play it like it wasn't, and the umpires got together and it basically showed up that it was a home run," Beltran said.

Even though there was an 85-pitch limit on both starters, Felix Hernandez threw 86, because he was able to exceed the number as long as it was during a sequence with a batter.

Hernandez exited in the fifth inning with two on and two outs. Ramon Vazquez tripled with two outs, and Hernandez walked Beltran after a seven-pitch showdown.

Left-hander Carlos Vasquez replaced Hernandez and faced Carlos Delgado with runners at the corners. On a two-strike pitch, Delgado swung through a slider, ending the threat.

For the second successive game in Miami, Rodriguez was called upon to record a four-out save. K-Rod inherited a 2-1 count from Ramon Ramirez in the bottom of the eighth. Puerto Rico had runners on first and second. Facing Felipe Lopez, Rodriguez used three pitches to record a swinging strikeout. The Venezuelan team met him in front of the dugout to celebrate.

Hernandez of the Mariners had some electric stuff, striking out seven in 4 2/3 innings, but he walked four and allowed four hits.

Some nice two-strike, two-out hitting by Carlos Guillen gave Venezuela a one-run lead in the third inning. Bobby Abreu walked and stole second. Puerto Rico starter Ian Snell went ahead 1-2 in the count to Guillen, who slapped an 86-mph slider into center field to open the scoring.

One run was all that Venezuela would need on a night Felix Hernandez was masterful.

"He's pretty special," Snell said of his pitching counterpart. "Seattle's got a good pitcher. I just watched him, the way he pitched, and it was amazing. It looked like he was in trouble, and all of a sudden, he comes back and strikes two, three guys out and that's the inning. He's something else."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:14 am

Tuesday, March 17, 2009 1:02:00 AM
Braun, Lindstrom nursing injuries
Slugger has tightness in right side; righty has strained right rotator cuff

By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com

MIAMI -- Add two more Team USA players who project to be out for the remainder of Round 2 at Dolphin Stadium.

Reliever Matt Lindstrom of the Marlins underwent an MRI exam on Monday and has a strained right rotator cuff. He has been advised not to throw for seven to 10 days. Left fielder Ryan Braun of the Brewers is sidelined by tightness on his right side.

Lindstrom has a strained right rotator cuff, according to the MRI. He has been advised not to throw for seven to 10 days.

Braun is dealing with tightness on his right side. It's not considered serious but, erring on the side of caution, Team USA manager Davey Johnson will not use the All-Star outfielder in Tuesday night's elimination game against Puerto Rico.

Team USA needs to win on Tuesday to advance. If they do, Johnson noted that Braun would probably not be available on Wednesday, when the U.S. would play Venezuela to determine the seeding for the semifinal game in Los Angeles.

Both players experienced discomfort in Sunday night's 9-3 win over the Netherlands.

They join a growing list of Team USA players dealing with injuries. On Sunday, Chipper Jones left the club with a right oblique strain. On Saturday, Dustin Pedroia was placed on the disabled list with a left oblique strain.

Mounting injuries is the biggest fear of the Classic.

"That's the one conversation from Day 1 that I told this group. I don't want anybody being a hero," Johnson said on Monday afternoon during Team USA's workout at Dolphin Stadium. "If you have anything slightly bothering you, I want to know about it. I don't want any heroes here. Don't go out there with a chance to injure yourself in any way, shape or form."

In Lindstrom's case, he entered the game in the eighth inning with a sore shoulder. He felt discomfort warming up in the bullpen, but he didn't say anything.When he got to the mound, he told catcher Chris Iannetta that his arm wasn't completely right.

But Iannetta didn't alert the bench, and Lindstrom pitched two-thirds of an inning. The first pitch he threw, a 95-mph fastball, was crushed into the right-field seats by Bryan Engelhardt for a homer.

Engelhardt admired the drive for a few seconds, which upset Lindstrom, who sailed his next pitch, a 96-mph fastball, behind Vince Rooi. Lindstrom said he was sending a message, and the Dutch team wasn't happy.

Order was restored before benches cleared.

Lindstrom threw 12 pitches total, and he was lifted after Johnson detected him trying to loosen up his right shoulder area. The flinching motions were Johnson's signal to replace the hard-throwing right-hander.

"In Matt's case, I just wish he'd said something, but that's the nature of the player; he went out there injured," Johnson said.

Because Braun's injury apparently is similar to the one that dogged him during the second half of 2008, Brewers officials considered bringing Braun back to Phoenix for a visit with team doctors.

Instead, he will remain in Miami, where Marlins doctors have been busy with a number of injured U.S. players.

Officials from Team USA suggested that Braun undergo an MRI exam. After consulting with the Brewers, he will simply rest and rehab for now.

"His comment was, 'If I was feeling like it was something serious, I'd be glad to take an MRI.' I don't feel it's serious," Johnson said of his conversation with Braun. "We can't force him to do anything, but he feels like he's going to be fine."

Braun initially wanted Johnson to "keep an open mind" and make a determination at game time if the slugger could play.

"I said, 'I know ballplayers and you remind me of myself. I know you're lying to me,'" Johnson said. "I also got word from the Brewers that he might not be honest with how he feels. So we will definitely err on the side of caution."

Dealing with players who are determined to play and hide ailments is part of the challenge for Johnson and his staff.

And players get bumps and bruises. For instance, David Wright got popped in the head at second base with a knee on a slide. He continues to play.

And Kevin Youkilis tweaked a muscle in his shoulder and neck area.

"These guys are all used to playing through little, nagging injuries. When you play 162 games, players are used to going out there not being 100 percent," Johnson said.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:22 am

Tuesday, March 17, 2009 12:55:00 AM
Team USA focused despite injuries
Club has sights set on advancing to semifinals with depleted roster

By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com

MIAMI -- Injuries aren't deterring or distracting Team USA's focus in the World Baseball Classic.

In the past two days, the United States has seen four players go down with ailments -- Dustin Pedroia (left oblique strain), Chipper Jones (right oblique strain), Ryan Braun (right side) and Matt Lindstrom (strained right rotator cuff).

Only Braun has a chance of returning.

Those subtractions will leave Team USA with a shorter bench and bullpen when it faces Puerto Rico in an elimination game on Tuesday night at Dolphin Stadium.

Of the four injuries, Lindstrom's shoulder appears to be the most serious. An MRI exam on Monday revealed a rotator cuff strain, and the Marlins closer will be further evaluated after not throwing the next seven to 10 days.

The risk of injury, however, hasn't hindered the enthusiasm of the remaining players. In fact, several high-profile Team USA stars would eagerly agree to play in the next Classic, scheduled for 2013.

Asked if he would do this again, David Wright of the Mets immediately responded: "One-hundred percent. I'd sign up right now. This has been one of the best baseball experiences I've had in my career. This is an incredible honor. I've had a tremendous amount of fun. I'd recommend it to anybody. If you'd let me sign up right now, I'd do it."

Derek Jeter of the Yankees has worn the Team USA jersey twice now.

"I did it three years ago," Jeter said. "You answered your own question [if I would play in 2013]."

Team USA manager Davey Johnson now has to be creative working his lineup.

Johnson tipped his hand that Jeter will start at shortstop, and Jimmy Rollins will be the designated hitter. The top five hitters are shaping up as Brian Roberts leading off, followed by Jeter, Rollins, Kevin Youkilis and Wright.

Ted Lilly is projected to be the starting pitcher.

Mark DeRosa will be the utility player, expected to see time at third base and the outfield. Catcher Brian McCann of the Braves played left field for an inning on Sunday after Braun was lifted. That's a scenario Johnson is hoping to avoid the rest of the tournament.

Before McCann went to left field, Johnson gave him some advice.

"I did give him clear instructions," Johnson said. "Lob the ball in. Don't run into the fence and stay loose."

McCann and Chris Iannetta are Team USA's two catchers. Johnson did concede that if he had an emergency situation in which both went down, he would consider forfeiting rather than ask a non-catcher to catch.

"I sure wouldn't want to be lynched or hung up in some city if I put [Boston first baseman Kevin] Youkilis behind the dish or something," Johnson said. "I would definitely had to gone out and said we had to forfeit this ballgame. Yeah, I'd forfeit it."

Bottom line, Johnson noted, is that injuries can happen at any time and any place.

"Hopefully, there is no severity," Johnson said. "Everybody had quite a bit of training and stretching. But when you swing the bat hard, and you throw and you play, things can happen. They happen all through the year. It can happen in Spring Training, and it can happen in October."

Wright, for instance, absorbed a knee to his head on Sunday while trying to break up a double play.

"My eyes got watery a little bit," the Mets' All-Star third baseman said. "But I was all right."

Youkilis felt some tightness in his neck area, brought on partly from sleeping in different beds and playing in various climates in Toronto and Miami.

"You just have to take care of yourself," Youkilis said. "I got treatment today. It feels great.

"I think you're going to have injuries regardless. In Spring Training, there are probably more injuries. If you go down over Spring Training and see how many guys sit out more than a couple of days at a time, there are probably 30 guys in camp who sit down with something for two days with something that is tweaked and things like that."

Wright added that one thing players can't do is play cautiously.

"Once you start going out there and worrying about staying healthy, that's when little things start to find you," he said. "I'm going to go out there -- I think everybody in here is going to go out there and play hard -- whether it's Spring Training or whether it's the World Baseball Classic.

"You can pull an oblique here, and you can pull an oblique in Fort Myers, [Fla.], or Port St. Lucie, [Fla]. It doesn't matter where. When you start to go out there and purposely play 75 percent, that's when you're more susceptible to injury. You've got to go out there and play like you are in Spring Training."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:24 am

NOT ENOUGH OUTFIELDERS.... they better Censored play Curtis and not let him sit on the bench! He already is getting short changed in playing time!!!


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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:53 pm

laprimamirala wrote:
Geez, I feel special. Because I defended Magglio on the tigers.com board, I was called a moron, a couch potato, and ignorant. Guess I'm in a blissful state! Big Smile


Hug
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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:29 pm

GoGetEmTigers wrote:
NOT ENOUGH OUTFIELDERS.... they better Censored play Curtis and not let him sit on the bench! He already is getting short changed in playing time!!!

omg I Heart your avatar!!
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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:32 pm

At least Granderson can't get injured on the bench
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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:03 pm

gs78 wrote:
laprimamirala wrote:
Geez, I feel special. Because I defended Magglio on the tigers.com board, I was called a moron, a couch potato, and ignorant. Guess I'm in a blissful state! Big Smile


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thanks! I needed that! Kiss
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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:47 pm

SoulRat wrote:
GoGetEmTigers wrote:
NOT ENOUGH OUTFIELDERS.... they better Censored play Curtis and not let him sit on the bench! He already is getting short changed in playing time!!!

omg I Heart your avatar!!

Thanks, I found it on the tigers MLB store site. I was looking for the St. Pattys day stuff. It is a lawn banner!


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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:03 pm

It's awesome! I need one of those whistle
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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:36 pm

SoulRat wrote:
It's awesome! I need one of those whistle

I'd be happy to buy one for you...just mail me a check for twice what it costs.

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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:42 pm

catbox_9 wrote:
SoulRat wrote:
It's awesome! I need one of those whistle

I'd be happy to buy one for you...just mail me a check for twice what it costs.

Spoiler:
 

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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:12 am

SoulRat wrote:
catbox_9 wrote:
SoulRat wrote:
It's awesome! I need one of those whistle

I'd be happy to buy one for you...just mail me a check for twice what it costs.

Spoiler:
 

Spoiler:
 

Spoiler:
 


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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:24 am



Tuesday, March 17, 2009 3:16:00 PM
Sojo giving players some needed rest
Mora, Hernandez, K-Rod will not face USA-Puerto Rico winner

By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com

MIAMI -- Qualifying for the semifinals early is making for some easy personnel decisions for Venezuela's manager, Luis Sojo.

Since Wednesday's game at Dolphin Stadium is for seeding purposes, Venezuela has the luxury of resting some tired players.

Sojo said after Tuesday's workout that third baseman Melvin Mora (left hamstring), catcher Ramon Hernandez (left knee) and closer Francisco Rodriguez will not play against the winner of Tuesday's Team USA-Puerto Rico game.

Rodriguez is fine, physically, but because he was asked to record two four-out saves in three days, he will be given the night off.

"Melvin has a hamstring issue. He's not going to play tomorrow," Sojo said. "And Hernandez has a knee. And there is no doubt we're not going to use K-Rod tomorrow."

Venezuela locked up a place in the semifinals by beating Puerto Rico, 2-0, in an emotionally charged game on Monday night in Miami.

The win advances them to the semifinals, which will begin on Saturday in Los Angeles.

"It's a big relief, to be honest," Sojo said. "The biggest thing is, these guys want to be in the lineup. They want to perform. They want to do it for their country, and they're excited about that."

Mora is dealing with some stiffness in his hamstring, but he is not letting it slow him down too much. The Orioles third baseman took batting practice and fielded on Tuesday afternoon.

It was obvious that something wasn't right with Mora as he was running the bases in the first inning. He singled and labored to third base on Miguel Cabrera's double off the wall in center field. Not at full speed, Mora was held up at third on a play he normally would have scored on.

"The first thing I said to the trainer was, 'Get over there. He doesn't look too good.' That was a big concern," Sojo said. "I know how the Orioles feel.

"Now he's looking good. He has four days before the semifinals, and hopefully, he's going to be all right."

Asked if that is a play he usually scores on, Mora replied, "Easily."

Mora is determined to continue in the World Baseball Classic.

"I feel good," he said. "It's been a little tight."

Hernandez, meanwhile, has some stiffness in his knee, which was initially caused by playing on artificial turf in Toronto during Round 1.

During the fourth inning on Monday, Hernandez told Sojo to make sure that backup catcher Henry Blanco was ready to go. Blanco caught the ninth inning on Monday.

Hernandez, formerly with the Orioles and now with the Reds, hit a home run in the seventh inning on Monday that gave his country a two-run cushion.

"It's not pain. He's tired," Sojo said of his catcher. "He doesn't have any problem with the knee."

Then there is the hot-button issue that Sojo is dealing with regarding K-Rod.

How much is too much? Because of the magnitude of the games, Sojo hasn't hesitated using the Mets closer for four outs. That's not a role he would normally have during the regular season.

Last year, when he was with the Angels, Rodriguez set a Major League record, with 62 saves. None of them was a one-plus inning appearance. The last time he had a one-plus-innings save was on July 1, 2007.

Thus far, Sojo hasn't heard from the Mets, and he would respect their wishes if they said to limit K-Rod to solely one inning. But that request hasn't come.

Tony Bernazard, the Mets' vice president of player development, was at the game on Monday, and he spoke to K-Rod. But the issue of trying to get four outs was not brought up to the Venezuelan staff.

In the fourth inning on Monday, Sojo asked pitching coach Roberto Espinoza to see if K-Rod could go more than one inning.

"He's been pitching good. He hasn't been using too many pitches," Sojo said. "The Mets aren't going to be using him like that, because they have [J.J.] Putz over there."

K-Rod threw 20 pitches on Monday and 22 on Saturday.

"I know the way he thinks. He's representing his country, and this is very important for him," Sojo said. "As long as he says, 'Yes,' we're going to be OK with him."

So Sojo will try to avoid four-out situations for K-Rod, but until told otherwise, he would still use him in that role.

"We've got guys who can get one or two outs," Sojo said. "But in that situation, with the game on the line, I just need an out. Not that the other guys can't do it, but he's the best closer in baseball. No doubt in my mind that I want to use him."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:53 am

Team USA actually looked like a TEAM yesterday! And they were all happy and congratulating each other after! It's as if they collectively woke up!
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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:39 am





03/18/09 12:45 AM ET
You can Wright it down, USA is in semis
Americans put up dramatic three-run rally in ninth to beat Puerto Rico

By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com

MIAMI -- Chants of "USA! USA! USA!" rang through Dolphin Stadium as Team USA players piled on David Wright near second base.

The calendar may say March, but the celebration on Tuesday night resembled October.

Wright blooped a dramatic two-run single, capping a three-run ninth inning, that lifted Team USA to a 6-5 win over Puerto Rico in an elimination game at the World Baseball Classic.

For Wright, the Mets All-Star third baseman, it was the ideal finish to a 3-for-4 night in a game in which Team USA struggled to find the big hit.

With the victory, Team USA is guaranteed a place in the semifinals in Los Angeles. It will join Venezuela from Pool 2 in making the trip out West. Team USA wraps up its six-game set at Dolphin Stadium on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET against Venezuela in a game that will decide seeding.

"The celebration was pretty wild," Wright said. "I never thought that we'd be dogpiling in March, but it was pretty special and something I'll always remember."

After squandering chances all night, Team USA responded in its final at-bat.

Shane Victorino opened the inning with a single off his Phillies teammate, J.C. Romero. Brian Roberts singled, and the drama began to build. Derek Jeter lined a long fly to right, and Victorino tagged and moved to third. Roberts swiped second, and Jimmy Rollins walked in an eight-pitch at-bat, loading the bases and bringing the 13,224 to their feet.

Fernando Cabrera relieved Romero to face Kevin Youkilis, who homered in the third inning. On five pitches, the Red Sox All-Star walked, closing the gap to one run.

"To me, the fan support was the best it's been the whole entire tournament," Youkilis said. "I think that it was unbelievable, the feeling of the 'USA!' chants, and it just actually felt for once that we were the home team, and that was a great sign."

The park had its share of Puerto Rican fans, and everyone on the night was treated to a high-quality game.

For Team USA, Tuesday was sweet revenge. On Saturday night, Puerto Rico swarmed Team USA, 11-1, ending the game by the 10-run rule in seven innings. The crowd on hand Tuesday was treated to a more competitive and compelling contest.

"Well, I really wanted to play Puerto Rico," conceded Team USA manager Davey Johnson. "I didn't want to say it in the press conference the other day, but both clubs had beat us. But we hadn't beaten Puerto Rico."

Team USA split two games with Venezuela in the first round in Toronto. And it was embarrassed on Saturday by a strong Puerto Rican team that now is going home after Wright slapped his opposite-field single on a 2-1 pitch to become the hero.

Puerto Rico built its lead on Carlos Delgado's two-run homer and two RBIs and a homer from Alex Rios. Rios scored an insurance run in the ninth inning, giving his country a two-run cushion.

"If you are a baseball fan, you had to enjoy this game," Jeter said. "Regardless of what country you are from, which I'm sure if you are from Puerto Rico you were a little bit disappointed, but it was still an exciting game to watch."

Walks allowed hurt Team USA's pitching staff on Tuesday. Of the seven combined walks issued, Puerto Rico converted three of them for runs. Still, Team USA was able to prevail.

After overcoming a two-run deficit, Puerto Rico reclaimed a one-run lead in the sixth inning. Capitalizing on a leadoff walk issued by reliever Heath Bell to Ivan Rodriguez, Rios slapped an RBI single to center.

Team USA missed on several chances, stranding runners on second and third in the third inning, a runner on second in the fifth and runners at the corners in the seventh.

Down by a run in the seventh, Victorino singled and went to second on Roberts' sacrifice bunt. Jeter walked, and Rollins lifted a fly ball to right field. On the play, Victorino advanced to third when right fielder Rios' throw deflected off him while he was standing on second base.

Puerto Rico protested briefly, claiming Victorino obstructed the ball. Their argument was denied. Reliever Saul Rivera entered and retired Youkilis on a groundout to shortstop.

Again in the eighth inning, the United States left a runner at second. Wright singled to open the inning. But with two outs, Romero struck out Brian McCann, stranding pinch-runner Curtis Granderson on second. Granderson ran for Adam Dunn, who reached on a fielder's choice.

In the third inning, Youkilis gave Team USA a 3-1 advantage when he launched a shot to left for his third homer of the Classic.

"When you have the fans and the adrenaline rush from the fans getting into the game, it helps out a lot," Youkilis said. "That's a big reason why we won today, I think."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:54 am


03/18/09 3:57 AM ET
Korea clinches spot in Classic semis
Spirited first-inning outburst holds in victory over rival Japan

By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- Korean outfielder Yong-Kyu Lee dug into dirt near the back of the batter's box with his left foot with the wiggling motion familiar to baseball players in any nation. He tapped the top of his left wrist with his right hand and then pushed down his helmet as he squatted into a crouching position.

Lee cocked his back leg, he tapped his front foot and by the time Japanese starter Yu Darvish was into his delivery, the outfielder had recoiled into hitting position.

Lee's bat, his distinct leg kick and Darvish's pitch all came together at the same time at home plate and the result was a sharp single to left field.

The crowd at PETCO Park went wild. It was the first inning and the first of many times Korea faithful would cheer during Korea's 4-1 win against Japan on Tuesday. With the victory, Korea secured a spot in the World Baseball Classic semifinals in Los Angeles. It will face the winner of Wednesday's matchup between Cuba and Japan on Thursday to determine the Pool 1 winner. The loser of the Cuba-Japan contest will be eliminated from the tournament.

"The most important thing is we became one of the four finalists," Korea manager In Sik Kim said. "I think Japan is at a higher level than us [in baseball], but that doesn't mean you always win. Sometimes they lose."

Korea doesn't lose often. The country is 5-1 in World Baseball Classic play this year.

"As always, the important thing for the Korean team is concentrating," Lee said. "Every player is happy about this [win], but this is not the end of it. There are more games left for us to play, and we will keep on doing our best."

After the single, Lee stole second base with the next hitter, Keun-Woo Jeong, at the plate. Jeong followed with a ground ball to second base and raced down the line in a full sprint. He safely slid headfirst into first base, again sending the crowd and his teammates into a frenzy.

Lee came home on a ground ball by left fielder Hyun-Soo Kim for Korea's first run. Jeong and Kim both scored on a single by Jin Young Lee to give Korea a 3-0 lead.

"I thought we were going to win this game," the manager said.

Darvish, the talented 22-year old Japanse pitching phenom, was human after all. Korean starter Jung Keun Bong did his best Superman impression, outpitching Darvish and limiting the Japanese offense to one run on three hits in his 5 1/3 innings pitched.

Bong's only blemish came in the fifth inning, when Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome hit a single to right field and eventually scored on a ground ball by Ichiro Suzuki.

Darvish recovered after the shaky first inning and finished with a respectable pitching line: three runs on four hits in five innings.

"The first three runs, that was big," Japan manager Tatsunori Hara said. "Tomorrow, we will just have to do our best to win."

Should Japan win Wednesday, the two teams will face off again Thursday and possibly again in the semifinals. Korea has defeated Japan two out of three times in World Baseball Classic play this year.

"There is a destiny," Ichiro said. "It's like a girl you said goodbye to, and then you bump into the same girl again on the street so many times, because there's a destiny to meet again. Maybe better, might as well get married if we are going to meet this frequently."

Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:02 am

"There is a destiny," Ichiro said. "It's like a girl you said goodbye to, and then you bump into the same girl again on the street so many times, because there's a destiny to meet again. Maybe better, might as well get married if we are going to meet this frequently."


Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:18 am

laprimamirala wrote:
"There is a destiny," Ichiro said. "It's like a girl you said goodbye to, and then you bump into the same girl again on the street so many times, because there's a destiny to meet again. Maybe better, might as well get married if we are going to meet this frequently."


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PostSubject: Re: World Baseball Classic results   Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:12 pm

is he married? Maybe a subliminal way to say "I'm available"?
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