Following the exhilarating, draining way in which Team USA advanced to Dodger Stadium late Saturday night, with Adam Jones sailing into the California night to give manager Jim Leyland's team its signature victory, the schedule-makers kindly built a day of rest into the schedule for the World Baseball Classic.
Now it's down to the Final 4, with Team USA looking for its first title in the event and Japan, Puerto Rico and the Netherlands trying to stop it.
I have to go back to Spring Training [when this is over], but this is something very special." While it would have been great to see teams like the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Korea, Venezuela, Mexico or Israel at Chavez Ravine, can you beat a matchup like Puerto Rico -- with Javier Baez's warrior markings and all those bottle blondes -- going against the one entry representing Europe?
While the Dutch lineup includes Major Leaguers Bogaerts, Schoop and Profar, it's the Yakult Swallows' Balentien who has earned the cleanup spot.
This is no surprise to fans of the Japanese Central League, who cheered Balentien as he hit 60 home runs in 2013.