Don't ask me how, and don't ask me why, but the Netherlands have a pretty good team. I watched yesterday as team Dutch took on team Puerto Rico and made a 1 run lead stick until the 8th inning. Team PR scored 3 runs to win the game, but it left me impressed nonetheless. Other things that impressed me about the WBC:
-Team Italy eliminated Team Canada. Canada had a pretty good lineup including Justin Morneau, Russel Martin, and Mark Teahen, but they were no match for a Mike Piazza-less Italy.
-Australia beat Mexico by mercy rule with nearly no big leaguers on their team.
-The African team is nearly all White.
-The Dutch team is nearly all Black.
-Korea is the Pool A winner after defeating Japan 1-0.
-Dominican Republic has a chance at revenge against the Netherlands today, and the loser is eliminated. I want Puerto Rico to play the Dominican Republic, but its hard to cheer against a team like the Netherlands. They play hard, and they play smart. Overall, I've been impressed with them.
-If Cuba losses to Australia, Raul Castro may start diverting money from Cuba's exceptional health care system into their baseball operations. I wonder if you can get bole as easily there as you can in the DR.
Now, this of course is a Yankees blog, and that's what we love and do so in an attempt to combine this post to the Yankees I think its a good idea to speak to the praise received by a young Francisco Cervelli. For those who don't know or can't remember, Cervelli was the catcher who had his arm broken in spring training last season. He also caught the game where the Italians beat team Canada and Mike Piazza gave him a lot of praise for his efforts. He says that Cervelli can call a good game, and his bat will get there too. So there you have the official Mike Piazza scouting report on Francisco Cervelli.