If being an Orioles fan leaves you primed to root for a team that wears orange and black, it’s probably not going to be hard for you to pick a team you want to win tonight’s World Baseball Classic semifinal between the Netherlands and Puerto Rico. It doesn’t hurt that Jonathan Schoop is on the Netherlands team, while PR does not have any Orioles.
Up until this round, Schoop and his teammates have been toiling in time zones that have made it tough to follow the action. The Netherlands went 2-1 in their first round in Seoul to qualify for the second round. They went 2-1 again in Tokyo to qualify for the semifinals by finishing in second place in that pool.
Now it’s finally time for some action in North America for Schoop and the gang. They’ll only have to face Puerto Rico, who went 3-0 to win its first round pool and 3-0 again to win its second round pool, including victories against both the loaded United States and Dominican Republic lineups.
It’s one game to settle everything tonight. The winner moves on to the final round on Wednesday.
Netherlands will be without Didi Gregorius. They will be with former Oriole Rick van den Hurk, who we once wanted to like on Camden Chat so that we could call him The Incredible Hurk, but he wasn’t incredible. So good luck to him against the Puerto Rico lineup - he’s going to need it a lot.