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The Netherlands Beat the Dominican Republic AGAIN!?!

There's no way that actually just happened. The Netherlands beating the Dominican Republic once is a huge upset. Beating one of the pre-tournament favorites is a monumental, earth-shifting upset.

Not only did the Netherlands knock off a team loaded with major league stars, it did so for the second time in five days ... in the pressure-packed realm of extra innings, leaning on unproven pitchers -- the Netherlands' starter was a Twins prospect named Tom Stuifbergen -- and a crop of minor league bats to eliminate the likes of Hanley Ramirez, David Ortiz, Miguel Tejada, Willy Aybar, Jose Reyes and, well, the list goes on and on.

So what now for the Netherlands? Who knows. They've come this far, and they actually held a lead for most of the game against Puerto Rico (in Puerto Rico, mind you) before capitulating on Monday night.

Regardless of what they achieve from here out, the team in orange has proven that this tournament, ceremonial though it may seem, really does have the magic dust to warrant a quadrennial spot on the March stage.

It's also proven one other thing: Someone needs to hire Netherlands manager Rod Delmonico now. The man is spinning gold out of thin air.

By Cameron Smith  |  March 11, 2009; 8:47 AM ET
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What the hey, somebody should also circle Bert Blyleven and hire him as pitching coach...

I'd not seen the previous match-up but last night's game was amazing! I couldn't believe that the young Dutch team actually pulled it off, and I was shouting at the tv with glee when it happened. A stunning upset.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Typical case of a bunch of old, overpaid, egomaniacal "stars" who think all they have to do is show up and they can win. I bet the Dominican Republic could have put together a team of young, athletic, hungry players who would have won this tournament hands down. This team is a prime example of why watching professional athletes who don't care participate in tournaments like this (see US Basketball most of this decade) is a waste of time.

Posted by: virtueandvice | March 11, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

How about Blyleven? His pitchers have been unbelievable.

Posted by: pondaz | March 11, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I had the same thought about young and hungry players, v&a, although who's to say how young a "young" Dominican team would actually be?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

"Spinning gold out of thin air"??? After only three games?!? Last time I checked, most baseball league seasons lasted more than 80 games, depending on the class level. Who's to say that magic wouldn't flame out after 10 or 20 games?

That said, last night's game was absolutely incredible.

Posted by: Juan-John | March 11, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

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