International Upset? Or enjoyable shock?

Netherlands.jpg

Did any of you really think that the Netherlands would even win one game? I’ll be completely honest with you– I didn’t. I thought that teams would walk all over them– especially the Dominican. You know, the team with all the All-Stars? 

Here is was their lineup:
1. Reyes (SS)
2. Taveras (CF)
3. [Hanley] Ramirez (DH)
4. Ortiz (1B)
5. Tejada (3B)
6. Guillen (RF)
7. Cano (2B)
8. Cruz (LF)
9. Olivo (C)
Hanley Ramirez.jpg
They have the two best short stops in Major League Baseball, Miguel Tejada (if that even is his real name), not to mention David Ortiz.
Here is the Netherlands lineup: 
1. Kingsdale (CF-RF)
2. Schoop (SS)
3. Simon (1B)
4. de Caster (3B)
5. Engelhardt (LF)
6. Adriana (DH)
7. Van’t Klooster (RF)
8. Jansen (C)
9. Duursma (2B)
I don’t know who ANY of these guys are! So the Netherlands are making the trip to Miami where they will meet Puerto Rico, Venezuela and the USA. I think that this shocked the world, and that is the beauty of baseball. I counted them out– I really did but you can’t do that in baseball. The Netherlands are kind of like the Rays of 2008. They came out of no where, and now their skills will be put to the test. 
It’s not like it wasn’t a close game though. It went scoreless into the 11th inning when the Dominican scored a run in the top half, but the Netherlands rallied in the bottom half to produce a walk-off victory. 
The Dominican Republic team is like Team USA of 2006–disappointing. So what went wrong? I think there are a few things that are significant. 
1. Overconfidence. Everyone expected a lot out of the Dominican Republic, especially with that lineup of theirs. They may have gotten a little too self-assured. 
2. Since most all of the players in their lineup play in the Major Leagues, none of their guys have had much practice. If it wasn’t for the WBC, they would be at Spring Training getting into baseball shape. Some of the guys on these other teams have been playing baseball in the winter, so that gives them some of an advantage. 
Albert Pujols.jpg
3. Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez were both unable to play. I can definitely see Albert Pujols making a big impact, but seeing that this tournament is similar to the playoffs, I don’t know how well he would have done. 
I think that I will be lucky enough to get to a few of the WBC games. In fact, my weekend looks to be absolutely filled with baseball. On Saturday, I plan on heading to Fort Lauderdale to see the Red Sox play the Orioles, then go to the Puerto Rico vs United States game at 8:00 pm. Then on Sunday, the fantasy baseball draft!! I’m nervous about that, I have NO idea what I’m doing. 
 In the Realm of the Red Sox 
Clay Buchholz 2.jpg
Clay Buchholz had a successful outing against the Orioles earlier this week. He fired three scoreless innings and struck out two. There is even better news though: he says that he has never felt more confident before a game.
John Smoltz 2.jpg
Where does this confidence come from? Veteran starter John Smoltz. Not only did the Red Sox pick up an established talent, but they also picked up an adviser. And for the abundance of young pitching that the Red Sox have and will rely on in the future, it’s great to have a Hall of Fame shoe in to guide them along. 
I have heard that Randy Johnson is kind of mean, and I don’t think that does anyone any good. What if Tim Lincecum needs advice? That’s a bit discouraging, or at least I would find it to be. 
Josh Beckett had a successful outing today going four scoreless innings with two strikeouts. This week, Josh Reddick has been on fire! I think he is gaining confidence at the plate, which is what I noted that he needed to work on when I saw him a few weeks ago. Something tells me that he won’t be in the Majors this year. 
I can see him tearing up Double-AA ball though. I think I’m going to make him my future project– he has a guaranteed spot next year and will be on my radar! I have been very happy with the production of my projects thus far this Spring. 
Mike Lowell 4.jpg
Mike Lowell finally returned to the lineup against the Orioles, and he went 1-3. He would not have gotten that hit if he hadn’t asked Terry Francona for another at-bat. I’m glad that he did, and I’m glad that he felt good. I know that it will take him a year to fully recuperate from the surgery, but I am confident that he will be fine if he can adjust. 
We signed all of the guys without contracts yet to one-year deals. This doesn’t mean that long contracts can’t be negotiated. As far as I can tell, Jon Lester’s deal is still in the works. This includes people like Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, Justin Masterson, etc. 
I am hoping that I can get you guys some more information about Junichi Tazawa this weekend. I’ll bring lots of pictures from the WBC– I will be sitting in the upper-deck though. I know that a few of the guys from MLB Network are going to be there, and I want to meet them! 
-Elizabeth

23 Comments

You’re so lucky that you’re going to all those games! Pix, please. And don’t forget to tell us which players you yelled at and who yelled back to you. :)

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Jane: Lol you know that I will :)

-Elizabeth

I am secretly cheering for the Netherlands to win everything. That way Mark DeRosa can come back to Goodyear and get over the flu (he is sick). I am being very selfish but at the same time I think unselfish. The Netherlands winning would be good for the whole sport not just the US. Now I will be cheering for the US but if the Netherlands beats them and goes to the Final Four I won’t be too sad.
Congrats on your ranking!
Melissa
http://clemsongirlbaseball.mlblogs.com

A spring training game AND a WBC game – what a weekend you have coming up! Write all about it so we can live vicariously through you!
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

I am envious of your weekend! It should be very enjoyable! It will be fun to hear your updates. Enjoy!

Scott
http://fotr.mlblogs.com

Have a great time Elizabeth! And I couldn’t even believe that Netherlands/Dominican Republic game!!! Oh man!!! 11 innings, two outs, and a full count later, who would’ve thought?
Emily
http://deconstructingthoughts.mlblogs.com/

Melissa: Thanks! And I think it would be really interesting and incredible to see the Netherlands win.

Sue: I love that word vicariously. I will take lots of pictures and notes :)

Scott: Sometimes it pays to live in Florida!

Emily: It must have been so exciting! I wish I could have seen it!

Elizabeth

Elizabeth,Your analysis of the Dutch upset is pretty spot-on. I too think they are a little more lucky than good, though they do have some very good pitching. Although I would love to see them win it all, I doubt they are going to make it any farther. Have fun at the WBC game, it should be a good one!
-Erin
http://plunking-gomez.mlblogs.com

The Netherlands win was very interesting! And seriously, I have never heard of any of those guys in the lineup! Great anaylsis! I am so glad that you get to go to some games this weekend! Have lots of fun! That’s great that Beckett got some good innings in! I hope he does much better this season!
http://kaybee.mlblogs.com

I know, who imagined the Netherlands was hiding all that secret talent?? And the DR does seem to have an advantage with all those big guns….but ya never know. :O)

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

Erin: I agree, I think it was a lot of luck, and the overconfidence of the DR team. I can’t see them making it any further. Thanks, I’m hoping to see a great game!!

Kaybee: Me too! And from reports thus far, it sounds like he will.

Jenn: Exactly, you never know!!

-Elizabeth

Jansen is so great, I wish he didn’t play for Them…if only!
I don’t think Randy Johnson is mean exactly, he is just bad-tempered and angry most of the time. He isn’t a bad guy, though…although I never thought of Lincecum as the ask-for-help guy, maybe one of the other young guys will need it. If you asked the right way, RJ would give help…
http://imbringingdiamondback.mlblogs.com

But perhaps I’m just making excuses for him.
http://imbringingdiamondback.mlblogs.com

Go Nederlands! At the time of my comment, the Red Sox are beating the dreaded Yanks 8-4. Congrats!
Aaron
http://mlbtribefan.mlblogs.com

Caroline: Jansen is really good, I might put him on my fantasy team!

Aaron: They looked pretty good out there. although Wakefield was a bit shaky.

Have fun at those games! I, too, am a bit nervous for our draft, considering I have never ever done this. But I think we should all be OK…we all know who’s good and who isn’t.
Jen
http://ajroxmywhitesox.mlblogs.com

Hy, Elizabeth, it was cool having you blog with us on Brownie Points during the game. I hope you get the opportunity to do so again sometime!
During the game, I asked about your paper, when Julia interrupted before you could answer. How did you do? (If you posted your result elsewhere, I’m happy to read your answer there. Otherwise, I’d love to know, and I can check here, or you can post on Brownie Points. Thanks, take care, and GO SOX! :)

P.S.–no hurry to respond, but when you get the chance (you know, in between important stuff, like blogging! :) Take care, and have fun at the game!

Sure King Gregory, blame me for interrupting! lol! I hope you have a great time at the game!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

You have to hope Buccholz gets back and good, listen to Varitek!!!! And you don’t know who Randall Simon is?
http://thewrightway.mlblogs.com/

That would be great for the Netherlands to win the World Baseball Classic, especially since they barely have any major leaguers, and no all-stars. But, somehow, they have been able to hold off teams with big names by a run or two, and have been producing runs without the long ball.
http://bronx-awesome.mlblogs.com/

Jen: I think we did okay, right?

Greg: I have yet to get it back, but I’ll be sure to let you guys know!

Babu: Small ball is great isn’t it?

read your blog a lot, and besides the fact that youre absolutely gorgeous, youre a sox fan. we’re meant for each other. honestly.

but more to the point, we gotta get it going for this season. i was wondering what your thoughts are about moving jacoby to left. can mike cameron be an everyday player? personally, i think we should move reddick to left and keep jacoby in center, but thats just me. reddick got enough time last year to know what he is doing. just me.

youre still pretty. and GO SOX

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