If there was any doubt regarding the favorite in the Maccabiah baseball tournament, let the USA's 30-5 massacre of Mexico be sufficient proof that the red, white and blue is the squad to beat.
The Americans put together an 18-run second inning to put Mexico in a hole - or rather, a crater. Mexico's combination of sloppy fielding and soft-tossing pitchers were a recipe for disaster, as the US sent 23 hitters to the plate in the inning.
"Our boys came to hit today," US head coach Denny Weiner said." Second baseman Brian Rivera's three-run home run to put the US ahead 6-0 in the second inning set the tone for the game. Rivera's shot was the game's only dinger, but it was the fifth of six consecutive hits to start the inning for the US.
The US came out of the dugout playing aggressively, swiping four bases in the first two innings. Weiner's "ground and pound" strategy kept Mexico's pitchers off-balance, and the team didn't have much of a chance to eliminate its 19-0 deficit after two innings.
"We like to set the table right away, move runners, be aggressive and put the pressure on the other team," Weiner said.
The Maccabiah baseball tournament is being held at the Tel Aviv Sportek and continues daily, with the exception of Shabbat, through the medal games on Tuesday, July 21.
In addition, there is a baseball opening ceremony scheduled for Tuesday, July 14 at 3:15 p.m., also at TA Sportek.
Ms. Jamie Luskin McCourt, the co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball, will be honored at Tuesday's ceremony with the traditional ceremonial first pitch. Other baseball people from both Israel and abroad will also be in attendance.
Of particular interest to Israeli baseball fans is the anticipated attendance on Tuesday of principals of a prospective Israel professional baseball league. The Israel Baseball League of 2007, of course, did not return in 2008, but there are serious negotiations currently going on between the IAB and a new group about the possibility of a new professional league beginning operations within the next couple of years.
The new group, who wishes to remain anonymous for the time being, includes individuals with considerable professional baseball or sports ownership experience.