I'll write more about this in a WBC wrap up later today, but if you didn't watch the Puerto Rico/Japan game last night you missed a great game and a huge upset. Additionally, you missed the greatest TOOTBLAN in baseball history since the great Fred Merkle. Or the worst, depending on whether or not you're a fan of Japan.
In case you haven't heard, the WBC is going to have a new champion.
- It's not exactly what Al has been arguing for, but the Baseball Hall of Fame is going to give special recognition honors at the induction ceremonies this July to Tommy John and Dr. Frank Jobe. Since they're not actually inducting anyone anyway, this is the best time to do something like this. It's not induction, but it's the next closest thing.
- David Wright has no regrets about his participation in the World Baseball Classic. He correctly points out that players get injured in spring training too, and he feels the ABs he had in the WBC will mean a shorter time getting back into playing shape. He also thinks his new nickname, "Captain America," is pretty cool. In a related note, I guess we need to start calling Ben Zobrist "Bucky" from now on.
- The WBC made Derek Holland sick to his stomach. Literally. He got a case of food poisoning.
- Vinnie Pestano is taking his rough outing in the final Team USA game hard. He knows relievers need short memories, but this one is hard for him to shake. At least he got a hug from Terry Francona.
- Twins pitcher Deolis Guerra's rib-removal surgery was successful.
- There's a good chance that Mark Teixeira is going to miss the entire season.
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports says that the Nolan Ryan problem in Texas is Nolan Ryan's fault.
- New Yankees outfielder Brennan Boesch is thankful the Tigers released him when they did.
- Awkward! The Phillies traded Mike Cisco to the Angels for nothing. They didn't even get a six pack of beer for him.
- An interview with Diamondbacks outfielder Adam Eaton has more info on his college teammate, "Nate the Video Guy." (I think he's legally changed his name to that by now.) He also reveals that last spring training he got $20,000 meant for the other Adam Eaton, who's been retired since 2009. No, he didn't keep it.
- David Lauria of Fangraphs has an interview with Ryan Dempster.
- Getting back to Tommy John, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune asks if someone on the Padres is to blame for the team's recent rash of TJ surgeries. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but the answer is "probably not."
- After 16 years in the Rangers organization, Michael Young has fit right in with the Phillies. He's working on improving his defense there with a pair of Hall of Famers, Ryne Sandberg and Mike Schmidt. OK, but if Chuck Norris starts working with the Pennsylvania State Police, I'm going to be really disillusioned.
- The Reds want Aroldis Chapman to start, but he wants to stay as the closer. I used to think that the right move was to make him a starter, but it doesn't seem like either he or Dusty have the right attitude towards this to make it succeed. Leave him in the pen.
- The Nationals are talking like champions, at least. Now they just have to play like champions.
- The Blue Jays, being Canadian, aren't as brash as the Nationals. But they are telling people that they like their chances.
- Mariano Rivera, Mariners ace? Scott Miller of CBS Sports explains how it almost happened. For Felix Fermin, no less.
- Beer+Ice Cream=Beer Milkshakes. What could possibly go wrong?
- Finally, here are two photos from the archives of the LA Times that you'll enjoy. The Cubs play the Pacific Coast League Los Angeles Angels in 1925. These photos even pre-date Wrigley Field Los Angeles.
Here is where I usually talk about the University of Iowa, where I met my wife. But before she went to Iowa, she graduated from Gonzaga, who received the number one seed in the NCAA West regional. True story: while I had been introduced to her earlier, the first time I ever spoke to her was at the Iowa Field House. We talked about the Iowa women's basketball team and she said "I don't even think my [undergrad] school has a basketball team." I immediately told her about John Stockton, which was ironic since we discovered she'd been to his dad's bar many times. She's now a big Bulldog fan.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster, because we're going to crown a new WBC Champion.