I'm not sure about you the reader, but I absolutely loved this year's World Baseball Classic. It was the first time I really paid attention to the tournament in detail and appreciated the passion and international atmostphere at each game demonstrated by both the fans and the athletes.
The overall quality of play was terrific as well. Titilating storylines evolved as the tournament progressed. Israel came out of nowhere and began the tournament 4-0 before being eliminated in the second round. Japan looked like a juggernaut again, rolling to a 6-0 mark before losing to an underdog United States team in the semifinal. Puerto Rico scored 55 runs on the way to an undefeated record, before suffering a shutout loss in an 8-0 United States triumph in the WBC final. I truly hope that the WBC continues in the near future, even with the news that baseball will return to the Olympics.
A total of eight Phillies (two position players and six pitchers) represented their home nations in the 2017 World Baseball Classic: Odubel Herrera and Edubray Ramos (Venezuela), Hector Neris (Dominican Republic), Pat Neshek (United States), Jorge Alfaro (Columbia), Nick Pivetta (Canada), Nick Fanti (Italy), and Kenny Koplove (Israel). Neither Ramos nor Koplove appeared in competition.