Dominican Republic Winning the Classic is great for Baseball

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Last night, Dominican Republic completed their undefeated run in the World Baseball Classic, by defeating Puerto Rico 3-0 in the Championship game. It was a rainy night in San Francisco (sound familiar?) and it was a showcase of the the world’s best talent. Normally when speaking that sentence you might think of the United States or even Japan, considering they won the 2 previous World Baseball Classics. But this year was different.

Major League Baseball is in the middle of a power shift. While it has been no secret around Major League Baseball with the individual talent from the Carribbean and Latin America, we had yet to see them put it all together on the big stage. In 2006, the WBC was born and it was to bring the world’s best baseball talent together in one tournament to eventually crown a champion. The first 2 classic’s were both won by Japan, a country with a deep baseball history, so it almost came as no surprise. But here in 2013, there was a change.

Teams such as Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Cuba all put together juggernaut squads. Including players like 2013 Triple Crown Winner Miguel Cabrera, 2009 World Series Champion Robinson Cano, and 2013 World Series Champion Angel Pagan, these countries proved that their top talent was among baseball’s elite. Only Venezuela failed to reach the 2nd round of the tournament, unfortunately stuck in the same opening group as Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

With Latin America’s influence on Major League Baseball growing more and more by the day, it great to see some of their best suit up for their country. Even better to see players who normally face each other become teammates. Even more important, it shows he world what baseball is like elsewhere. Baseball might not be America’s most popular sport, but seeing the passion and pride that other countries brought to this tournament could help the sport of baseball in the long run. They taught us a few things about how to play the game, and even a huge lesson on sportsmanship.

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