Balentien relishes a Classic ending

The cheshire grin coming from outfielder Wladimir Balentien’s face this morning said it all.

He was camping out on cloud nine inside the Mariners clubhouse, a happy camper if there ever was one. He had watched his World Baseball Classic team, The Netherlands, oust the powerful Dominican Republic in the Classic.

“I tried to contact Adrian (Beltre), but I don’t have his phone number with me so I was unable to call him. I had to wait until he got here (today). I put a couple of notes in his locker. I wrote ‘Nice game Dominicans.'”

He laughed. And laughed again.

Beltre, who wanted to play for his country again this year (he was on the Dominican Republic team in 2006) but was rebuffed by the Mariners organization because of concern with his surgically-repaired left thumb and shoulder, also watched Tuesday night’s game, won by The Netherlands, 2-1, in 11 innings.

“I am glad I wasn’t part of it because if he was, I would be really disappointed. More than I am.”

As for Balentien? He was reveling in the moment.

“And now we are ready for Venezuela” he chirped, “I want to see Ronny (Cedeno) cry, too.”

— Jim Street

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