The tension-filled odyssey was nine innings from its end. No more worries about satisfying the sometimes conflicting allegiances of his country, his players, and the major league teams for which they play.
After 11 years, 27 games and repeated snubs from some of the brightest stars in baseball, the United States finally had reached its first World Baseball Classic championship game. No more politics, just one game to win, and so Manager Jim Leyland allowed himself a smile as he opened a pregame news conference.
“We’re trying to make America great again,” he said, chuckling.
And they did. The Yankees are the champions of the world, after an 8-0 rout of Puerto Rico...