Japan Wins second World Baseball Classic!
The 2009 World Baseball Classic (W.B.C.) is over and Japan has won again beating their Asian rivals and Beijing Olympic champions South Korea for their second consecutive W.B.C. championship! Watching this game on television with the entire country of Japan, I could feel the tension mounting as Japan stranded several runners in scoring position and clung to one run lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning. With only a one run lead and a 22 year old young pitching superstar Yu Darvish coming into the game to close it out, I had a feeling there was more drama yet to come… Darvish looking shaky under the immense pressure walked two batters and gave up the tying run before finally retiring the side providing extra innings for Korea. As Japan came up to bat in the top of the tenth tied with Korea 3-3, a script that could only be written by the Japanese baseball gods was being played out. With two outs and runners on second and third, Japan’s favorite son, Ichiro Suzuki came to the plate with the weight of an entire nation’s hopes and dreams on his shoulders… Having been in this position before, as expectations were high as the first Japanese position player to ever play in the Major Leagues, Ichiro responded in 2001 by becoming the American League’s Most Valuable Player, the Rookie of the Year, winning the Batting Championship, and a Gold Glove all in his first year with the Seattle Mariners! And on this final day of W.B.C. baseball at the age of 35, Ichiro added to his legend in Japan and to his Cooperstown Hall of Fame induction resume by coming through in the absolute clutch lacing a hit up the middle scoring two and giving Japan a 5-3 lead, good enough to capture its second W.B.C. championship!
The peace symbol still takes precedent over throwing up a #1