Puerto Rico wasn't planning a championship victory celebration before the WBC final was even played, at least one team membersaid after USA players said a sense of being disrespected fueled their 8-0 win Wednesday night.
Third basemanCarlos Correadidn't deny his team's plan for a "caravan"and celebration in Puerto Rico, but said it wasn't because players were confident they would beat the United States. It was a matter of national pride.
"It's funny because they have been talking about that, but it's all about the country; it's not about our team," Correa said (via ESPN.com). "Our country has been behind us since we have started [the WBC]. When we were in Mexico, we told the governor in Puerto Rico that if we made it to the finals, we need to plane to get back and celebrate with our people."
However, shortly after Team USA's dominating win for its first WBC title, center fielderAdam Jonessaid from the victory podium that Puerto Rico's postgame planssounded premature.
"That didn't sit well with us," Jones said, "so we did what we had to do."
Other U.S. players concurred.
"It didn't sit well,"Andrew McCutchensaid. "We heard and we saw T-shirts were made and printed out for the Puerto Rican team. We even heard a flight was made for them for that parade because they said they were going to win. That ignited us, we were ready to go, and we showed that tonight."
Correa suggested the importance the teams placed on winning the event might have led to the misunderstanding.
"It's as simple as this: If you askAngel Pagan, if you askYadi Molinaif it feels better than a World Series, they would say yes," Correa said. "If you ask one of the American guys, they will say, 'No, not even close.' So that just tells you the way we play when we represent our country is a lot different than when they play. A lot of their guys say no to the baseball classic. None of our main guys say no to the baseball classic."