Jacks Americana

9 03 2009
US Venezuela World Baseball Classic

Kevin Youkilis (right) is congratulated by teammates after his two-run bomb in the 6th last night against Venezuela

By Jim Chandley

Team USA advanced to the second round of the World Baseball Classic yesterday with a 15-6 beat-down of team Venezuela.  As the winner of their own pool, they await a match-up with the runner-up in pool C.  That spot is wide open and could be filled by the Dominican Republic, the Netherlands or Puerto Rico.

The United States is riding a set of very hot bats at the moment.  They are first in the tournament in total bases (50) and are second only to Korea in run production.  The attack has come from all different angles; Adam Dunn has two HR in two games, Kevin Youkilis (with two bombs of his own) has scored seven runs, Brian McCann drove in three runs in only two at-bats in game one.  Dunn is a force, slugging an impossible 2.2450.

The pitching has been solid as well.  Each team only plans to start two different pitchers.  While some would say Jake Peavy and Roy Oswalt have left something to be desired at the front end, USA’s bullpen has been too much.  Johnathan Broxton and J.J. Putz are just two of the Major League stars who are devastating teams late in games for USA.

Now Team USA has five days off before the second round.  They sit five wins away from international bragging rights.  Will the starting pitching be good enough?  Will the offensive onslaught continue?


Players Pack Their Bags for WBC

2 03 2009

Dustin Pedroia (left) and Kevin Youkilis will remain teammates with team USA

By Jim Chandley

15 Red Sox regulars left Fort Myers today for various new teams.  Sox fans don’t be nervous, the entire team hasn’t been traded away.

These MLB stars are leaving to compete in the World Baseball Classic.  It has been baseball’s substitute for Olympic play since the sport was removed from the Summer Olympic games after 2004.

The WBC is a 16 team tournament played in seven different cities, from San Juan to Toronto and on either side of the Pacific.  A winning team could play as many as nine games en route to the title.

With the world’s best talent assembled for this tournament, it promises to be high quality baseball.  But with so many games to play and so much traveling to do, MLB managers will watch intently, hoping that all of their players come back healthy and ready for the regular season.

Big name Red Sox who will be playing include Jason Bay, (Canada) Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, (USA) David Ortiz (Dominican Republic) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (Japan).