The United States clinched a berth in the WBC semifinals last night as they scored three runs in the ninth inning for a thrilling 6-5 win over Puerto Rico. David Wright's bloop single with the bases loaded gave the US the win. Kevin Youkilis drew a bases loaded walk in the ninth to set up Wright's heroics, and he also went deep earlier in the game, his third blast of the WBC.
The United States will now play Venezuela tonight to see who wins the round.
I watched the game at home last night, as I'm not one of these amateurs who has to go out and get bombed on St. Patrick's Day. (I also had spaghetti for dinner last night, as just the smell of corned beef and cabbage makes me nauseous. I'm damned proud of my Irish heritage, but I don't need to prove it with alcohol.)
The Red Sox released Josh Bard today, and it appears that George Kottaras has won the backup catcher position. The Red Sox guaranteed only 1/6th of the deal they signed Bard to this winter ($1.7 million for one year), and had they kept him one more day it would have been 1/5th (that's about a $50,000 saving). They would have been on the hook for the whole thing had Bard made the Opening Day roster.
Bard was having a terrific spring, hitting .462 with 1 HR and 4 RBI. But Kottaras was out of options and five years younger than Bard.
Sorry to hear that Aaron Boone needs open heart surgery to put an aortic valve in his heart. It will probably end his 12-year playing career. We all know what we remember him for (and I won't mention it here), but we wish him all the best.