So I’m reading my Twitter feed this morning and I see this:
“Bases now loaded with 2 out. Éric Gagné will now come out the bullpen to pitch for Canada. #wbc2017”
Excuse me? Éric Gagné ? The Éric Gagné that notched 84 consecutive saves for my beloved LA Dodgers? That Éric Gagné? Quick ! Where is my phone! Hit the At Bat app, click TV on, Chromecast and wait. “Commercial Break in Progress”. Did I miss it? Stream buffering…..and there he is. Pitching in a crucial spot after nearly a decade away from the game. Wow. Just wow. Looking like the Eric Gagne of old (not an old Eric Gagne), gassing it up in the 90’s with movement. Tough spot for a reliever who generally started the 9th inning with a clean slate. But he managed to get his team out of a bigger jam, though surrendering a run on a walk to the first batter he faced. I imagine my Dodger fans friends here in L.A. were enjoying it, as much as my fastball friends in Canada.
So the news is out. There is a time machine in Miami. And Eric Gagne is driving it.
For baseball fans, Miami is hosting Pool C of the 2017 World Baseball Classic, first round, pitting the WBC defending champions, the Dominican Republic, the USA (who will square off today at 6:30pm EDT), Canada and Columbia.
Columbia is an exciting team to watch, qualifying for their first WBC this year, nearly upsetting the USA last night, with starter Jose Quintana (Chicago White Sox) tossing no-hit ball for 5 and 2/3rds. The USA, with many familiar major league players on their roster, had to rally for a 3-2, 10 inning win.
The camera pans to the Columbia bullpen, and it’s Ernesto Frieri, former Angel’s closer is warming up. Another player who had disappeared from the radar not long after leaving the Angels a few years back. Ernesto will alway have a special spot of honor with the Flanagan family. It was Ernesto who arranged to get my late brother Bobby, his son Riley and daughter Delaney into the Angels dugout just before a game in the summer of 2013, on Bobby’s last trip to California.
Editor’s note: For fans that want to watch the games, they are being streamed on the MLB Network and via the At Bat app. If you have Google Chromecast, you can stream directly to your TV. (plug the Chromecast into your HDMI on your TV, then hit the little TV screen icon on your phone)