Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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David Price could be throwing again by this weekend

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A few days ago it seemed like David Price‘s season could be over before it started. He had an MRI on his elbow and paid the infamous Visit to Dr. James Andrews.

But then he got good news: now surgery or treatment needed. Just rest. Now Red Sox manager John Farrell says that Price will be allowed to throw on Friday or Saturday if he feels up to it.

It’s still unknown how his elbow will respond once he ramps up again, but with this stuff it’s one step at a time. Given the delay in his program for the spring there’s still a very good chance he begins the season late even if he doesn’t experience any problems, but so far so good.

Chris Archer hopes the U.S. World Baseball Classic team can unite America

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Chris Archer and Team U.S.A. begin play in the World Baseball Classic on Friday. They stand as good a chance at winning as the U.S. team ever does. That chance: decent enough, given their talent, even if they don’t have the best available U.S. talent.

Archer, however, has greater aspirations for the Team U.S.A. than merely winning the WBC. He wants it to help unite America. At least for a while. Via ESPN.com:

“Given the timing and the circumstances of our country, I think it’s a great opportunity for us, temporarily, to show we are united, regardless of the turmoil and things going on here and other places in the world. So it’s always been a dream. And what’s going on in the country right now makes it even better.”

Archer didn’t get super specific about that turmoil, but he expanded a bit on what he hoped the U.S. team could show:

“Just that we are all unified, at least in my opinion. And it is a beautiful country of diversity and freedom and a lot of other things that other countries don’t have. So for this moment in time, for this next two weeks, we’re going to put on this jersey with pride and show we’re diverse, we’re united, and what USA is really all about.”

It’s an admirable sentiment. And the idea that sports can help unify people is an admirable aspiration.

I suspect, however, that a baseball tournament that many actual baseball players don’t care about isn’t going to register very strongly with a great number of Americans. And I fear that our divisions are so strong that virtually nothing can break through them. At least for the time being.

 

Netherlands, Israel advance to 2nd round of WBC

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TOKYO (AP) Jurickson Profar drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Netherlands to a 6-5 win over Taiwan on Wednesday in the World Baseball Classic.

The Netherlands improved to 2-0 in Pool A and advanced to the second round in Tokyo along with Israel, which also has a 2-0 record.

South Korea and Taiwan failed to advance to the second round, which starts on Sunday at Tokyo Dome.

Designated hitter Didi Gregorius contributed three doubles, including the game-tying hit in the eighth inning, to power the Netherlands offense. The New York Yankees’ shortstop had three RBIs.

Israel has been the surprise of the tournament so far, beating South Korea 2-1 in its opening game and overpowering Taiwan 15-7 on Tuesday.

In Pool B, Japan improved to 2-0 with a 4-1 win over Australia at Tokyo Dome. Sho Nakata hit a solo home run in the seventh inning and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo added a two-run homer in the eighth for the two-time champions.

In an earlier game, Roel Santos hit a two-run triple as Cuba scored four runs in the fourth inning in a 6-0 win over China.

Former major leaguer Bruce Chen held Cuba scoreless over the first 2 2-3 innings but a pitching change gave the Cuban batters the spark they needed.

Yoelkis Cespedes drove in the first run in the fourth off Luo Xia, and Santos’ clutch triple to center field made it 3-0. Santos then scored on Alexander Ayala’s double to left.

Cuba starter Vladimir Banos went five innings and allowed only one baserunner on a single from Yang Shunyi with one out in the fifth.

Cuba improved to 1-1 to keep alive its chances of advancing to the second round.