The "Republic of Baseball" lifts WBC Crown

The Dominican Republic finished an eight game blitzing if all it's WBC opposition to take the title of Puerto Rico last night 3-0. Puerto Rico starter and career minor leaguer Giancarlo Alvarado surrendered three first inning runs which was all the Dominican would need.

With notable players injured or electing not to participate, an Alvarado/Samuel Deduno matchup may not have captured the imagination of baseball fans, but Deduno silenced a Puerto Rican lineup that featured Carlos Beltran, Yadier Molina, and several other MLB regulars as the Dominicans defeated Puerto Rico for the third time in the tournament. Robinson Cano hit .469 with two homer runs to take MVP honors.

The pre-game ceremony was fitting of the occasion without being overly grandiose like the Super Bowl pre-game festivities. Instead of using it as a platform for some crappy artist like MLB does during the All-Star Game and postseason, they had musicians that honored both finalists. Lets all hope Canada never reaches a final only to be serenaded by Nickelback. The crowd was lively, if slightly below capacity. The weather was awful, but when MLB placed the Championship Round in San Francisco they probably anticipated one of the Asian clubs making the final like Korea and Japan had in 2009.

The WBC will always be an imperfect tournament as long as its in March. There are still things MLB can and should do between now and 2017 to take the tournament to the next level. The 2013 edition featured lots of compelling games. Players and fans who passed on the WBC are the ones who missed out.