Team USA has been eliminated from the World Baseball Classic after losing 4-3 to Puerto Rico on Friday. Since the inaugural WBC tournament in 2006, the United States has never finished higher than fourth.
There have been three World Baseball Classics. In 2006 team USA failed to make the top four, falling just short behind the Dominican Republic, South Korea, Cuba, and Japan. The results were better the second year as team USA advanced to the semi-finals and finished fourth, behind Venezuela, South Korea, and Japan.
Both years Japan won the WBC Championship.
With team USA being eliminated before the semi-finals this year, the WBC continues to prove the international growth of baseball. A number of major league players relish the chance to play for and represent their home countries in the worldwide competition.
This years roster on team USA was filled with super stars including Ryan Braun, David Wright, Giancarlo Stanton, R.A. Dickey, and Jimmy Rollins to name a few. They entered the WBC as heavy favorites to finally win.
After barely surviving the first round, David Wright left the WBC with a rib injury and team USA lost to the Dominican Republic 3-1. On Friday the United States needed to beat Puerto Rico to stay alive.
Puerto Rico jumped out to a 4-0 lead and it proved to be too much for the United States. A late game bases loaded rally gave team USA hope, but that was it. All the United States would be able to muster was three runs.
Now Puerto Rico will play the Dominican Republic Saturday to determine semi-final seeding. One team will go on to play Japan, and the other will face the Netherlands. The semi-finals and championship match are being held at AT&T Park in San Francisco, home of the Giants.
After being eliminated, the members of team USA are free to head back to their respective team camps to finish spring training. The disappointment of elimination shouldn’t last very long with opening day just around the corner.
Are you surprised team USA was eliminated without making to the semi-finals of the World Baseball Classic?