Thursday, March 09, 2006
The USA got beaten by Adam Stern!
Yeah, there was some pitching involved too, but Adam Stern! It was Adam Stern who had the absurd inside-the-park homerun that had me squealing like an idiot. It was Stern who played center field all day like he was a kangaroo with rawhide magnets in his hands, diving all over the field and stealing the whoop right out of Chase Utley's run 'round the bases. Adam Stern!
Do you know how many homeruns Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Johnny Damon combined to hit in this game? Exactly zero. Do you know how many Adam Stern hit? That's right, one, and it was a doozy. And yes, I just said 'doozy'.
It's OK. So the US lost, and yes, I was mortified that we lost, not to the Dominican Republic or Japan or something, which would have been completely understandable, but instead to Canada, a Rich Harden-less Canada, even (and to be without Rich Harden is a terrible, terrible thing indeed). But in the end, I just could not make myself root for A-Rod. Jeter, I could stomach that (Beth discusses the phenomenon here), Damon only played in this one as a pinch hitter so I didn't have to see him much.
By the by, I didn't even know we had Gary Majewski on the team. Sheesh. I saw the hair on screen and flipped out. He looks like he should be wearing a small pointy goatee and familiarly teasing D'Artagnan about his shirtsleeves.
I was rooting for Team USA in the sense that I was rooting, as violently as possible, for Jason Varitek, especially when he came up to bat with the bases loaded, the US trailing 8-2 (I think). All the times he's come up in that situation and freaked came to mind... after all, he only got his first grand slam last season. "Just get on base, Tek," I muttered at the TV. Shut up. I know you all talk to the TV when the Sox are playing. "Don't go all out for it if it's not there, just get on base."
Jason Varitek, proving for the 5,000th time that he knows more about baseball than I do, proceeded to hit the base out of the ball and crushed it into the stands for 4 runs.
The announcers, proving for the 5,000th time that we all know more about baseball than they do, immediately said that all Sox fans must have been expecting that. Right. We know 'Tek has a sliver of the mystical Clutcherification that so dotingly follows Papi around, like a great big debatedly-extant puppy, but a grand slam? What Sox fans know is how much 'Tek struggles to hit grand slams. Bloody announcers.
But as I said, in the end, it wasn't too bad. Because it's not possible for me to root against Adam Stern, even though he is a former Cornhusker, and I think we all know how I feel about them right now. And it's pretty hard to root against someone named "Stubby Clapp" too. And the Twins fans I know here are already salivating copiously about Morneau's performance.
It's now 3:25 am, and I'm watching another inning or so of the Netherlands/Puerto Rico game before bed. Not because I particularly care, but because I'm up anyways, and it's Pudge and Little Alex Cora and a whole bunch of people I've never heard of in my life for the Netherlands and real honest to gosh baseball. And that's pretty damn good.
Labels: Adam Stern, baseball, Canada, USA, World Baseball Classic