If there's anything that makes me immensely patriotic, it's the way we Australians place our imprint on the world stage. It doesn't matter whether it's David Wenham being Faramir, Jimmy Little doing U2 covers, Steve Waugh snubbing GW Bush, or the Puppetry of the Penis simply existing. And then there's the Australian baseballers beating the Japanese Dream Team.
Sunday was the last day of the round-robin in the Olympic baseball competition. Stubby Clapp went 1 for 4 as Canada beat Australia 11-0. The semi-finals on Tuesday will be Japan v Australia (6.30pm Sydney time) and Cuba v Canada (2.30am Wednesday AEST). Here is the ONS report of day seven action:
As if winning Euro 2004 and hosting the Olympics isn't enough, the Greek national rugby league team beat the VRL 24-18 on Sunday. That's the Victorian Rugby League. It was the early game to the Melbourne-Canterbury NRL fixture.
The Dutch baseball team scored two runs against Australia on Saturday. Unfortunately for them, the Australians scored 22. This is a new Olympic high. At the middle of the first, Australia was leading 9-0. You know you want to read the play-by-play so here it is.
Canada lost their unbeaten status in the Olympic Honkbal tournament when competition resumed on Friday after the rest day Thursday. The Australians made heavy weather of their game against Greece, while Italy knocked off Taiwan. The following is the ONS wrap of the day's action:
Men : Day 5: Japan, Cuba, Canada on top of standings 20 Aug. 2004
When it comes time to select the best name of the Athens Olympics, Stubby Clapp will be up there in the running. The 31 year-old infielder hit 2 RBI's against Greece as Canada continued their unbeaten run in the Athens 2004 Honkbal tournament.
The third day of the baseball competition (or honkbal as the Dutch call it) on Tuesday saw Japan and Canada remain unbeaten.
Canada beat honkbalers The Netherlands 7-0, Taiwan beat the winless Greeks 7-1, while Australia got off the mark with a 6-0 win over Italy.
Japan shot to tournament favouritism with victory over Cuba. This is the Olympic News Service report of that game:
Australia's hopes of a baseball medal in Athens had gone pretty much out the window on Monday after their second loss in two outings, done by Taiwan.
This is the Olympic News Service's wrap on Monday's baseball action.
Day 2: Canada, Cuba, Japan continue winning ways 17 Aug. 2004
ATHENS, 16 August - Cuba, Japan Canada continued their winning ways to remain the only undefeated teams in the preliminary round of the Olympic Baseball tournament.
I had the pleasure of being at the Sydney Showground in November 1999 to see Australia beat Cuba in the semi-final of that year's International Cup. There was no repeat on Sunday when the two met in their opening game of the 2004 olympic baseball competition. Cuba beat Australia 4-1. The rest of the opening day's games were fairly one-sided.
This is the wrap of the first day of the Olympic Baseball issued by the Olympic News Service on Sunday night. I've added the links to Baseball-Reference.com where available: