With all this talk about Mount Rushmore (ESPN’s sports list gimmick), I propose a Mount Rushmore of Netherlands baseball.
My votes are for Randall Simon, Eugene Kingsale, Sidney Ponson and manager Rob Delmonico. They are the only ones I’ve heard of, so they get my votes, but hey, they should erect a statue to the whole team somewhere in the Netherlands for their remarkable upset wins over the powerful Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.
Tuesday’s extra-inning 2-1 win was the second by the underdog Netherlands over the Dominican, and eliminated one of the favorites in the tournament. I am sure this is a day of mourning on the island — far bigger of an issue than Smiley Gonzalez’s age (by the way, they should get Jose Rijo to manage the Dominican squad next time. He may not be great on birth certificates, but he would have lit a fire under that team to wake them up).
The WBC has proven to be very entertaining and again, a worthwhile endeavor. It has warts, sure, but it is accomplishing its goal of getting more worldwide attention for the game. And when a David like the Netherlands defeats a Goliath like the Dominican, it puts baseball on the front page during the sleepy spring training period. Delmonico called it “Ali-Frazier,” but this was Buster Douglas beating Mike Tyson — and doing it twice.
Getting back to the Mount Rushmore promotion, I was listening to The Locker Room on Tuesday on ESPN 980 and they were compiling the Mount Rushmore of starting pitchers. How you could not include Cy Young on a list (they don’t call it the Sandy Koufax award) and how you could include Roger Clemens, whose career and dominance was extended by cheating (see the latest news about the proof of his steroid use) is beyond me.
I think they should have a Mount Rushmore of Racing Presidents.
I will be on The Sports Reporters on ESPN 980 AM on Monday, March 23, from 5 to 7 p.m.
To learn more about Thom Loverro, go to www.thomloverro.com
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