Last night Puerto Rico defeated Netherlands in walk-off fashion to claim their place in the finals for the World Baseball Classic. More importantly, this game was super fun to watch because PR doesn’t give a shit what people think about their flair and bravado on the diamond, they just have fun and I love it.
Eddie Rosario was the hero but he was hardly the only highlight in this one. The game started with possibly the best bat flip of the tournament after Wladimir Balentein’s titanic blast into the left field bleachers. Forget the 111 MPH off the bat measurement, give me the Statcast that shows the RPMs that bat was flying through the air at after Balentein knew this ball was gone.
Not to be outdone, Carlos Correa then sent an absolute missile to left center that left the yard convincingly.
Next we have Yadier Molina casually making Jurickson Profar look like an absolute fool. While Profar was busy celebrating a single, Molina snapped a throw back to first after to pick Profar off and end the inning.
— WBC Baseball (@WBCBaseball) March 21, 2017
Finally, what’s a post about flair if we don’t include Javy Baez? I feel like I’m going to be writing something about some ridiculous play that Javy made almost on a daily basis once the season starts. Not only did he throw a runner out at the plate on a relay throw late in the game, he also stole third in the most Baez way ever. He basically just auditioned for The Matrix reboot movie and put a great swim technique on tape for NFL scouts.
After the US defeats Japan tonight, I can’t wait to watch PR and USA square off again. Now that a few players like Adam Jones have broken out of their shell for the US, this game will be absolute entertainment. And since this type of behavior gets you ear-holed during the regular season because baseball players are stupid, this is the last time you’ll see guys having fun while playing baseball until the playoffs.