Quote of the day: 'The whole extra-inning thing, I think, is bogus'
Artificially ending a perfectly good and exciting Olympic baseball game between Cuba and the United States, Team USA was, in a way, victimized by a newly created rule that allowed Cuba to start the 11th inning with two men on and their choice of who to bat first.
A solution to make extra inning baseball games end quicker, the IOC implemented the new rule this year. Cuban fans celebrated because of it, and U.S. players, like Dodger farmhand Terry Tiffee, complained.
"The whole extra-inning thing I think is bogus," said Tiffee, who had two doubles in addition to his sacrifice fly, leaving him six for 12 in the Games. "But that's the way this competition is and you have to go out and play."
"I'm not a big fan of it," agreed shortstop Jason Donald. "Basically you get a base hit and you have a good shot at winning the game. Whereas in a normal game you just got a guy on first. You have to battle to get the guy home."
The game was forced into the 11th frame after Cuba squandered a lead-off triple. Unfortunately Team USA had a harder time pitching out of the controversial 11th, giving up two runs. When it was their turn to bat in the bottom half of the inning, the US had Jason Nix attempt to bunt the two runners over, but the ball ricocheted into Nix's face, sending him to the hospital. Brian Barden was called in to substitute, he successfully laid down a bunt, Tiffee hit a sacrifice fly, and the inning ended when Matt Brown fouled out.
Kevin Baxter has the full game story, including the controversy surrounding Nix's injury.
-- Tony Pierce
Cuban fans display a flag of revolutionary Che Guevara while celebrating their team's victory over the US in their men's preliminary baseball game at the Wukesong Baseball Venue during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 15, 2008. Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images