Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/20/14
Mariners-saunders-leaps
Blame Canada! Michael Saunders the Mariners outfielder absolutely destroyed pitches over the weekend in Phoenix, earning the top player award for round one. How sweet is it to say that eh? Mariners fans? The World Baseball Classic may have been criticized or downgraded in previous years, but the competition appears ready to stay. Although the WBC is not doing well for television in America, it is a very popular event around the world as fans get to see their local talent against some of the worlds best. This weekend will be remembered most in North America for the brawl that took place Saturday night at Chase Field in Arizona (home of the Diamondbacks). With a 7-run lead in the 9th, Canada’s Chris Robinson bunted for a single. Mexico did not take this lightly and hit the next batter igniting a brawl that saw punches thrown and fans and players tossed from the park. This weekend will be remembered differently for Mariner’s fans and probably OF Michael Saunders as well. This could be the start needed for Saunders to cash in on a career year. Saunders was 8-for-11 over the weekend, including a 4-for-4 night Saturday against Mexico. Canada failed to advance to the second round behind Italy and team USA, but Saunders production could not be overlooked, and he was awarded the Pool MVP honors. “It’s definitely an honor, however it’s kind of a sour taste in my mouth right now,” Saunders said in his press conference Sunday. The maturation of this player really took place a year ago, when he finished one HR short of a 20/20 season for the Seattle Mariners. Despite a packed outfield with quality players, the Mariners will be relying on Saunders to continue his progression and be a catalyst for this young team. Later in the press conference, Saunders talked about the increased validity and importance of the WBC now that baseball is no longer a part of the Olympic games. This is now the top competition for country in baseball, and Saunders treated it as such. Saunders finished his WBC run with a home run and 7 RBI. Although it would have been fun to see Saunders continue this torrid place on an international scale, having his bat at Mariner’s camp won’t be half bad either. This could be the start needed for Saunders to cash in on a career year. O Canada, Mariner’s fans truly hope so. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE MARINERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Keenan Lewis: Saints preparing 'funeral' for Falcons

Report: Lakers offered Nash, draft picks for Rondo

Chris Christie defends being a Cowboys fan

Celtics co-owner: 2024 Olympics would be 'boon for Beantown'

Harbaugh turned down Michigan money in 2011

Why the Saints pose a legit threat to any playoff team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Matt Kemp reportedly has arthritis in both hips

Danny Ainge: Celtics 'having a lot of discussions' about trades

Eagles fan posts on Craigslist seeking help for team

Michael Vick has almost paid off all his massive debt

Russell Wilson changes agents ahead of big payday

Dolphins CB: Brady needs to 'wake up' about playing into 40s

Game of the week: Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Chicago Bears are the Monstrosity of the Midway

Tom Brady's TD celebrations frighten teammates

The impact of normalized U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Dwight Howard kicks Nuggets mascot Rocky

Report: Bears in disbelief over Cutler benching

Is Titans-Jaguars the worst prime-time game this century?

Ranking the most underrated players in the NBA

Darrelle Revis feels sad for Rex Ryan

Five reasons why Oregon will win College Football Playoff

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason so far

Report: Celtics in serious trade talks involving Rondo

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Andrew Hawkins and other athletes gain support for social statement attire

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

C's in serious trade talks about Rondo

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.