By Stubby Clapp We have officially eliminated ourselves from medal contention by losing yet another one run game to Japan.
Frustrating, sad, upset, overwhelmed ... etc. There are several other words I am sure I could come up with to describe our feelings but I don't think any one word could be better suited beside EMPTY.
We will be leaving Beijing with an empty feeling in our hearts and a whole lot of what ifs. When you lose four games consecutively by one run there are a whole lot of unanswered questions about situations that had passed by us in games and we didn't get the job done or we didn't catch a break.
What could have happened if we would have held on to one of our leads, or if we could have scored first before the other team, or if we could have had a shut out inning? Where could we have been sitting in the tournament rankings if just one of those things would have happened in our favor?
These questions will linger forever now and we will have to wait another eight years before the next possible Olympics if baseball gets reinstated. In the press conference afterwards one of the reporters asked what's next. As I held in every bit of anger I had, I replied "We still have two games left and I am still wearing CANADA across my chest, we will still come to play." As if we were going to come to the field and lay down!
After the tough loss to Japan last night we had to get up and play this morning. I am not going to lie, I was still in a very bitter mood and it was awfully hard to get motivated right away to play a game that would not lead to us getting into the medal rounds. But as I said yesterday in the conference, we are still wearing Canada on our chest and it still means a lot to our program to finish strong.
We managed to pull ourselves back together and beat Netherlands 4-0 in nine innings. We have one more game tomorrow against Chinese Taipei and that will finish our Olympic run for 2008.
It's not going to be easy knowing that this could possibly be the last time I will ever wear a Team Canada uniform as a player but I can promise you that I will treasure it's every moment like I did the first time I put on a uniform in 1991 as a Junior!
Stubby Clapp Houston Astros Hitting Instructor CooperReese Childrens Boutique cooperreeseboutique.com Owner