The 3-9 loss to Team USA on Sunday had a some kind of a sour taste for the Netherlands. First the late-second edition of Brian Roberts seemed to energize the American offense, deciding the outcome early. Roberts replaced Dustin Pedroia in the lineup, who was scratched from the roster shortly before the start of the second round on Saturday due to an injury. Some voices say that Roberts was added too late to American team, but the Dutch delegation didn’t file a protest after some discussions.
Later in the game, Florida Marlins closer Matt Lindstrom nearly created a brawl between the two teams, when he responded to Bryan Engelhardt’s solo homerun with a fastball behind the back of Vince Rooi, though not head-high, like some indicated. It was not the homerun itself, which irked Lindstrom, but the little Manny Ramirez moment by Engelhardt after hitting the pitch over the fence at the Dolphin Stadium in Miami. The hard-throwing right-hander acknowledged after the game that the following pitch to Rooi was a little bit of retaliation, but also said it simply got away.
Netherlands manager Rod Delmonico wasn’t happy about it:
“I think it’s one thing to throw inside, establish a ball inside,” Netherlands manager Rod Delmonico said. “But to throw it up around someone’s head and throw behind his head, there’s no room for that anywhere, especially at the World Baseball Classic. I thought that was classless, to be honest with you.”
Lindstrom later left with a sore shoulder.
However these two little things didn’t take away anything from the more than just successful World Baseball Classic for the Netherlands. Rogier van Zorn of the Honkbalsite.com reports that the European portion of the roster will return home on Tuesday, arriving at 9.45am CET in Amsterdam. The Minor Leaguers will report to their teams in Spring Training.
More reading material after the Netherlands Elimination from the World Baseball Classic:
ESPN.com: U.S. bounces back, dispatches Dutch
MLB.com: Dutch run out of steam in Classic
USA Today: World Baseball Classic has globalized game
San Francisco Examiner: World Baseball Classic: Team USA ends Dutch Cinderella story
NY Times: Trouncing Dutch, U.S. avoids unspeakable
NY Times: Lindstrom’s ill-advised pitch
Missourian: Global Journalist: World Baseball Classic more than just exhibition play (including Q&A with Robert Eenhoorn)