The 2nd edition of the World Baseball Classic is underway in 4 sites across the globe. This international baseball tournament features Major League baseball players representing traditional baseball powers like the United States, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. This year, the team from the Dominican Republic was one of the favorites to take home the championship and whose roster was filled with professional All-Star talent.
The tournament also features countries with less tradition playing this sport, such as the Netherlands. Tapping into other territories like Aruba, Netherlands Antilles and Curaçao, the squad featured only one current Major Leaguer, several others who are no longer playing, and other younger players with little experience.
It had all the makings of a lopsided mismatch. However, the Dutch team pulled off a 3-2 upset in their first meeting. In a game that was crucial for the Dominican team to remain alive in the tournament, the Dutch team squeaked out a come-from-behind victory to eliminate the Dominican team from the tournament and leaving their fans stunned in the process. Twitter user Trompeta sums up the mood across the country:
Me imagino que toa la bandera dominicana tan a medio palo hoy…
Joan Guerrero of Duarte 101 [es] reported on the scene on the street during the highly anticipated game:
Perdimos. No somos dignos de decir comentarios sobre este Clásico Mundial que, desde el principio, se encontraron todas las debilidades del mundo para que nuestro equipo pasara al menos, su tercer y último juego, en una derrota que le está doliendo a más de 10 millones de dominicanos en estos momentos. Sin embargo, los colmadones —sin importar la crisis— estuvieron repletos de fanáticos a la espera de que el equipo dominicano hiciera su mejor esfuerzo.
We lost. We're not worthy of commenting on this World Classic where, from the beginning, all of our team's weaknesses were shown in the third and final game, a loss that is hurting more than 10 million Dominicans right now. However, the bars and restaurants – no importance to the (economic) crisis – were filled with fans hoping that the Dominican team would put forth their best effort.
However, the result was the least expected by the Dominican fans and they are left to wait for the next edition of the World Baseball Classic or even try another sport altogether.
Como decía una amistad, durante la noche de hoy: «mejor nos pongamos a jugar fútbol, de ahora en adelante. A ver si les ganamos a los holandeses»
Like a friend said to me tonight: «it's best that we start to play football, from now on. Let's see if we can beat the Dutch»
Some bloggers and baseball fans also analyzed why their team lost in this fashion. Luis Corcino of Dominicana en el Mundo [es] sees a big difference in the motivation of the two sides:
Para un jugador dominicano, jugar en este encuentro no les aporta nada en terminos económicos, excepto el amor a la patria, encima de eso se consideraron superiores; los holandeses por su lado, querian demostrar que podian con un rival como el domincano, se armaron de valor y ahi esta el resultado.
Los holandeses estaban mas motivados!!
For a Dominican player, to play in this tournament does not provide anything in economic terms, except for their love of country, on top of that they thought they were superior; the Dutch, wanted to show that they can play against a rival like the Dominican team, they were armed with courage and you see the result.
The Dutch were more motivated!!
The next round of the World Baseball Classic continues with 8 teams that have qualified from their group.