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Ode to Pat Neshek, American WBC Champion


World Baseball Classic - Championship Round - Game 3 - United States v Puerto Rico
A stoic American celebration.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Funky arm-thrower Pat Neshek became a World Baseball Classic Champion last night as team USA defeated Puerto Rico 8-0 to win the 2017 WBC Championship. Pat, of course, is a former Minnesota Twin (they actually drafted him in 1999), the only former Twin on the USA roster, and he also grew up in the Twin Cities area.

Park Center represent!

Don’t worry, though, Pat definitely represented in this year’s WBC. In his four innings of work, which included back-to-back outings in Tuesday’s semi-finals and Wednesday’s finals, Neshek posted a 0.75 ERA. That seems pretty darn good, especially if you’re a Twins fan these days.

Pat also worked out of some jams and looked all sorts of excited.

I must admit, the above graphic is from earlier in the WBC, not last night’s final game against Puerto Rico. See, Puerto Rico was being all exuberant about the tournament with dying their hair and whatnot, but exuberance is not team USA’s style. As second baseman Ian Kinsler explained in some highly controversial comments before the game:

Some have argued maybe Kinsler meant, “I hope the kids can appreciate our less-flashy style of play too,” but who knows.

Anyway, the entire Team USA stuck to Kinsler’s word, especially Pat Neshek—who, as soon as Team USA won, went and got the big bald eagle statue from the dugout and solemnly ran around with it on the field.

He wasn’t the only stoic eagle-haver either. The whole team was into it.

Let’s get real. Watching Pat Neshek, or really any baseball player besides maybe a Yankee, jumping around for joy makes me feel good. It’s like watching videos of adorable puppies accomplishing things. That’s why the WBC was fun. Heck! That’s at least part of the reason why sports are fun.

Congrats to Team USA, Team Puerto Rico, Team Japan, Team Honkbal, and all the other teams in the WBC. It was a great tournament this year for all of exciting, noisy games.

But most of all, congrats to Pat Neshek, since this is an ode to him! Or is an ode supposed to be a song? Crap. If someone else wants to write that, be my guest.

Anyway... USA! USA! USA!