Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 3/15/13
The day before, Dominican Republic manager Tony Pena engaged in classic manager-speak, all but calling the D.R.-USA matchup "just another game." "We're going to play to win, no matter who we play," Pena told a group of American reporters. "We're going step by step, game by game." Pena was lying. And his reaction Thursday night, as he teared up in the postgame interview room, was proof. I caught Pena after he completed his interviews following the Dominicans' stirring 3-1 victory over the U.S., caught him on his way back to the victorious clubhouse. C'mon, Tony, just another game? "That was not," Pena said, laughing. "That was tense. That was a lot of stress." That, folks, was as good as baseball gets. And if you can't understand why all of this matters, why the World Baseball Classic is so meaningful to all of the other countries participating, consider that the Dominican is a country with a population of about 10 million, or about half that of the New York metropolitan area....
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