I thought an equally brutal heartbreaker was the baseball team's final at bat against Cuba. The Canadians had fell behind their North American socialist brothers 8-3 after the eighth inning. The Canucks didn't give up though and had Kevin Nicholson up to the plate in the ninth representing the tieing run. He cranked it but a wind coming into the park kept the ball from going out - the Cuban fielder made a nice catch up the wall to end the game.
I should say I started following the baseball team a little more closely after reading this in the recent Maclean's:
The crowds at ballgames have been thin, even by the spotty attendance standards of these Games. None of that matters to second baseman Stubby Clapp of Windsor, Ont., who first played for Canada at the 1999 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg. "If there's 50,000 or there's two, we're going to play hard every day," says Clapp. "We play because we love the game and because we love representing our country."
Nor have they forgotten to have some fun. Clapp has taken to carting around the team mascot, a bobble-head doll he painted in Canadian colours, bearing the likeness of erstwhile teammate Justin Morneau, who was called up to the Minnesota Twins before the team left for Europe. Ballplayers, and occasionally the bobble-head, have popped up at water polo, diving and softball, cheering for Canadian teammates and downing a beer or two -- unlike most of their abstentious fellow athletes.
Hey - I don't like dwelling on negatives - young Despatie's silver and old Lori-Ann Muenzer's gold were fantastic. My problem is that I guess I value certain medals more than others - the wrestling, trampoline, diving, gymnastics, and cycling medals are great but just don't hold as much weight as a swimming medal would have - or a track or baseball medal. It's like in the Winter Olympics - who cares if the Germans pile on the one and two man luge medals - if we win the hockey medals - they 'mean' more.