There is a World Baseball Classic Championship matchup we baseball fans need to see: Shohei Ohtani’s Samurai Japan vs. Mike Trout’s United States squad as Los Angeles Angels greats go head to head to claim the title of best in the world.
Japan defeated Mike Piazza’s Italy team to advance to the semifinals where they will face the winner of Friday night’s Puerto Rico vs. Mexico matchup. Both are great teams, but would seemingly be overmatched by Japan (at least on paper), even with Ohtani being saved to pitch the championship. Japan has been undefeated in the classic and barely contested in any game.
World Baseball Classic: Mike Trout
The United States squeaked out a win over Colombia to ensure a trip to the quarterfinals as Trout drove in all three runs in the 3-2 victory. Mike Trout and the United States will have a much more brutal fight to get to the championship. The first step will be Saturday’s matchup against a stacked Venezuelan team. Ronald Acuña Jr.’s Venezuela squad has been undefeated as well. Miguel Cabrera, Jose Altuve, and Gleyber Torres look to end the USA’s run as defending champions and are favored to do so.
If Team USA can get past Venezuela, they will have to face the scrappy Cuban team. Cuba has ironed out any of their early WBC mistakes and is putting up a ton of runs. Cuba could prove problematic for the United States as, so far, we haven’t seen a lot of scoring in any of their matches. If Trout can pull the United States through the WBC gauntlet ahead of them, we could see an unforgettable matchup baseball fans deserve.
World Baseball Classic: Shohei Ohtani
Shohei Ohtani is arguably this century’s greatest player, and he will be enshrined into Cooperstown and 野球体育博物館 (the Japanese Hall of Fame). He has been lights out, hitting 102 mph on the radar … and it’s still March. This matchup against his fellow Angel legend Mike Trout on the world’s biggest stage will be great for baseball if it happens. Baseball needs to see this, and MLB needs their most prominent stars to face off for maximum social media impact and exposure. Ohtani needs this to build his legend, and Trout needs this to immortalize his place in baseball.
Los Angeles Angels battle for destiny
As Hank Aaron said, “In playing ball, and in life, a person occasionally gets the opportunity to do something great. When that time comes, only two things matter: being prepared to seize the moment and having the courage to take your best swing.” What will Trout do when he is facing Ohtani’s 102 mph fastball? I pray we get the chance to see.