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Of Course: Someone Found a Way to Compare the Netherlands Victory to George Mason

Before I proceed, I’d like to preface this by saying that I’ve been enjoying the World Baseball Classic. I really have. Mostly because I love baseball. If you aren’t a fan of the game, I can understand how this series of Bud Selig-manufactured exhibition games is easy to mock. Saying I enjoy the games is not a glowing endorsement of the tournament. Basically, it’s a shiny version of spring training baseball. ↵

↵All that brings me to this: The Netherlands ousting the Dominican Republic in dramatic, extra inning, walk-off fashion last night. You couldn’t help but feel good for the guys from Europe Curacao/Aruba. (Except for Sidney Ponson. No one feels good for him.) It was certainly a well-deserved special moment for them, and their homeland(s). But it was not some sort of historic occurrence. Actually, it was best described by Texas’ Michael Young thusly: ↵

↵⇥Young disagreed with the ESPN announcers who likened the outcome to some of the great upsets in sports history. ↵⇥

↵⇥“C'mon," said Young, a veteran of the 2006 World Baseball Classic, as he stared at a television inside the Rangers' clubhouse. "For those guys (the Dominican major leaguers), it's like the first week of spring training." ↵⇥

↵Sure, on paper, the DR has an all-star line-up of major leaguers, but the playing field is leveled by those last five months of offseason -- they’re still finding their stroke again. Play these two games between the DR and Netherlands again during mid-season -- you know, once the pros have actually seen a few breaking balls during real games -- and the outcome out likely be quite different. ↵

↵However, that didn’t stop FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal from making the most absurd sports comparison this side of calling this the second coming of the Miracle on Ice: ↵

↵⇥The back-to-back upsets of the D.R. are proof that the WBC can produce its very own form of March Madness. The appearance of the Netherlands in the second round in Miami will be the baseball equivalent of George Mason's appearance in the 2006 men's Final Four. ↵
↵Right, because anytime an underdog wins something in March, they have to be compared to George Mason. The closest baseball equivalent to Mason would probably be the ’07 Rockies who won 14 of their last 15 to just sneak into the playoffs, and eventually underdog their way to the World Series. What happened last night would be more like a mid-major winning the preseason NIT, or Maui Invitational. Even that might be overstating things seeing as those hoops tourneys count for something.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.