As baseball fans sat on the edge of their seats watching yesterday's extra innings World Baseball Classic game between the Dominican Republic and the Netherlands, Major League Baseball's general managers were also most likely cheering very loudly for one team -- the Netherlands.
With the Dominican Republic's shocking loss and exit from the WBC, 21 players will make their way back to their team's spring training, shortening the time they will miss due to the classic.
All-Star Hanley Ramirez will be back for the Marlins, who have gone 3-6 in their last games. They could use his hitting on a stretch of four games in a row this weekend.
The Cubs are happy to have Carlos Marmol back, and continue to work with him to figure out his role in the team's bullpen. Manager Lou Piniella said that Marmol is aiming for the closer's role, and his stint in the WBC wouldn't affect that.
Pitcher Edinson Volquez is jumping right back in the saddle, as he will take the mound for the Reds on Friday. The Yankees could definitely use some extra time with Robinson Cano, and as Willy Aybar showed with his costly error in Tuesday's game against the Netherlands, it could not hurt him to spend a little time in fielding drills with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Not all managers wanted their players back so quickly. Dusty Baker, Cincinnati's manager, said that he would have been happy to wait:
It might be hard on teams to be out of some of their best players for the next week and a half, but it is worth it. The World Baseball Classic has been riveting to watch, with extra inning games, national pride and seeing superstars play for the love of country. It's tough to argue with that, unless you're the guy paying these players millions of dollars.