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The World Baseball Classic is over, and despite a slightly soggy, anticlimactic finale, it was actually a rather outstanding event, especially because of the championship run of the Dominican Republic, whose players and fans made the tournament feel like something genuinely important, thanks to their infectious enthusiasm. Also: Jose Reyes.

Congratulations to him, Edwin Encarnacion, Moises Sierra, Ricardo Nanita, and would-be/will-be teammates Jose Bautista, Melky Cabrera, Emilio Bonifacio and Esmil Rogers. Save some champagne for October, boys.

And congratulations too to Puerto Rico, about whom much the same could be said, and who had their own terrific tournament run as runners-up.

A few more pictures after the jump. Click on each for a larger look. Also: Jose Reyes.

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Images via Getty Images.

Comments (25)

  1. I went to the WBC games when they played in Toronto last time, and still paid way more attention to the tournament this year. Last time I kind of stopped watching after Canada got knocked. This time all the Jays players involved kept my interest.

    The final of PR vs DR was the perfect match for final. Really hope this revives baseball in PR. You’re bang on with saying DR’s enthusiasm made it feel important.

  2. I never liked Rodney until hearing about what a joker he is during this tourney. I started liking him.
    Then at the end of the final game, when the team rushed the mound for a pile up, the catcher looking like he wanted to leap on his closer, and Rodney kills the jubilant momentum to do that arrow launch crap. It killed the pileup mayhem I was expecting.
    I get they did as a team throughout the tourney, but this time it really felt self-indulgent
    Like he paused their celebration to make the team do his schtick.
    Now I don’t like Rodney again.

    • Agree, Rodney’s an asshole. So is Raphael soriano for doing that stupid ripping his jersey out of his pants thing after every save. I’m somewhat Impressed with shutdown closers. I’d be even more impressed if they could develop a third pitch and go 7 innings.

  3. You forgot Emilio Stoeten…

    • I feel like Emilio Stoeten was the most underrated piece to come over in the trade with the Marlins.

      • Emilio Stoeten will be the center of this team in a few years, you watch! Go ES!

        • An Emilio Stoeten hybrid would be a nasty animal that could whip out twice as many posts in half the time. It would curse at you in 3 different languages and completely come in spikes-up at the mention of Cito Gaston.

  4. The American’s not taking this seriously is an absolute joke and hopefully the DR enthusiasm will poke the bear.
    Baseball got the boot from the Olympics, so this is their international stage to promote the sport. If the USA can’t be bothered to promote it, why would the IOC include it?
    The players do owe the sport to promote it, which will actually benefit them as well.
    Hockey players get this.

    Americans talking about how they have the best players and yet can’t field a team that wins the only international tournament is kind of hilarious. Like a guy bragging he’d kick your ass at poker and whenever it’s game night he comes up with a lame excuse not to play. Of course the USA probably does have the best players, but they should form a team to prove it.

    Noticed how everyone laughs at the notion of playing it in October. I’d say hockey puts a lot more strain on a player yet at the end of every season the players on non playoff teams rush to Europe for some tournament.

    Congrats to DR. That country deserves to party tonight!

    • I’ve got no prob with October/November. Someone said in a post the other day the players wouldnt want to play after a 162 game season. I tend to think if you give them 2 weeks off and then do it , you’d get your pick of more players and and you wouldnt have to worry so much about pitch counts.

      • I really like Dave Cameron’s idea (from Fangraphs) to change the tournament to a 1 week March Madness-style 16 team tourney. it would last a week so you could hold it much later in Spring Training which would hopefully get rid of some injury concerns. The commitment isn’t as long so more players would want to do it.

        The sudden death format would make every game important and that would be awesome.

    • You could easily play it in mid-November. For two decades MLB sent its biggest stars on November all-star tours of Japan to play Japanese all-star teams. The players loved doing it, and embraced it. So if they could play that series, they can play the WBC in November.

  5. Last night’s game was really the only one I watched, and it made me wish I had seen more. It’s awesome when players show genuine enthusiasm and emotion for a game they claim to love.

    Also, this is really good news for Jays fans. Having so many players go through a winning experience (albeit one much different to the MLB) can only be a positive thing come the fall. Say what you will about Farrell, but he did at least say he wanted to create an atmosphere of winning during spring training last year. I can get behind that kind of thinking

  6. At first I was all “Hey Eddie isn’t in that group picture.”
    But then I was all like “awww snap there he is.”
    And then I laughed.

  7. After watching Reyes play…I’m excited about the start of the season. I think the guy could be a real plate-setter for this team.

  8. Yo mark this post and we can compare it to the photos when they win the dance this year. Popppinnn them bottttlllles.

    Jays in 6

  9. Fans in TO need some of that DR passion! The Dome would be a lot more fun with some colour. Hope interest in these guys brings it out this year

  10. Oh the photoshops that will be had with that last Reyes picture!

    it was a pretty cool tournament, would have been even better if more star players from all countries would have participated. I think its pretty cool seeing a stacked batting lineup like the Dominican had going in this thing.

  11. estoy white and hungry. i have a larger penis then andrew. i get buckets

  12. Awesome pics.

    Good for the Dominican Republic. They seem like a cool group of guys.

    They deserved it.

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