Team USA Moves on to the Second Round of the World Baseball Classic
Team USA is officially taking the baseball world by storm. The World Baseball Classic has returned in 2013, and the American team looks like a powerhouse. For those of you assuming that the USA should just run through world competitors, like in other sports like basketball, consider that more than a quarter of the players currently in the MLB are from foreign countries. Baseball is a global sport, and the USA team has never been to the finals of the WBC, losing out to more talented Asian and Latin American teams.
This year, Team USA is playing up to their ability. With a roster that pales in comparison to teams like Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, the US squad is getting the job done. After an initial loss to Mexico, team USA defeated Italy and Canada to move on to the second round. The USA offense has been led by New York 3B David Wright and Milwaukee Brewers OF Ryan Braun. Team USA is young, energetic, and committed to putting USA baseball on the world map.
Pitching has been key for Team USA through the first round of WBC play. Manager Joe Torre has been taxing the bullpen, only allowing starters to go 5 innings. Though Team USA has some very viable starting pitchers like NL CY Young R.A Dickey and Washington Nationals' young stud Gio Gonzalez. Atlanta Braves' closer Craig Kimbrel leads Team USA's bullpen. Kimbrel is considered the best closer in the game right now, and could prove to be one of the best in the world.
With a victory over Puerto Rico in their first game in round 2, Team USA will take on the Dominican Republic on March 14th. The DR is led by Yankees star 2B Robinson Cano and is made up of mostly MLB players. If Team USA can get past the Dominican Republic, they'll be in a great position to reach the championship round.
It's safe to say that not all baseball fans have taken notice of the WBC just ye, but if Team USA can continue playing, fans around the country will be more intrigued by the games. As the WBC ends towards late March, players and fans alike will be looking forward to the beginning of baseball's regular season on March 31.