The Medal Rounds


August 20, 2008
Well we are in the medal rounds for sure. Thank goodness, because I was extremely nervous after the way we started. Getting those early losses was not what I was planning on from this team. However, after a ridiculous game against China and a 4-2 win over Chinese Taipei, we are going to play for a medal. We have a game against Japan tonight which doesn’t mean much except whether or not we are going to be the third or fourth seed for the semi-finals. That will determine if we play Cuba or Korea first. Either one is tough so I don’t think it matters that much, then again we need to win so it means a great deal.

China’s game was absolutely absurd. For those of you that watched it, and for those of you that really understand the game, we did nothing wrong. Well, except at the very end when Blane Neal ran over to tag the runner, which is actually okay, but then rolled the ball into their dugout. That, we should not have done. But both collisions at the plate were okay in the game of baseball. I know some of you are thinking that the second one was probably cheap but if you watch the whole play, the ball was cut off from the outfield by the first baseman and then the catcher is standing right next to the plate if not on top of it. But if you see his body language, he is trying to fake out our runner by making it look like there is no play and then when the first baseman throws home the catcher is going to try and tag our runner. When Nate hits him, the catcher is trying to catch the ball if he hadn’t already. So that play is clean. Not to mention the fact that right after LaPorta ran into the catcher, Donald was hit. Then we were hit again, and again. 

The game got really out of hand when their guy hit LaPorta in the head, basically knocking him out. I believe, along with many other guys on the team, that it was called from the dugout to hit him. I would like to think that China’s coaches are smart enough to not call for the ball at his head, but who knows. What I think happened is that the China team is young in the game and doesn’t know how to play it right yet.  That is why I think it got out of hand. Especially the way the guy who hit the homer acted. celebration.jpg

You would have thought he just hit a walk off the way he was acting. Running with your hand in the air and then stomping on home plate is unacceptable and Blane Neal showed good composure not to absolutely light up the next hitter. In the States, that is what would have happened. We restrained ourselves a lot and people might not really know that.
We did win that game and the game against Taipei so we are now in the medal rounds. After tonights game we will see who we play first on our long and grueling trip to try and get gold.



    It has been so fun keeping up with your olympic journey (even if it means sneaking in my plam and headphones to the back row of anatomy class). Keep up the good work v Japan tonight- I’ll be cheering you on from “the good life”, maybe even from your couch (if I can remember the garage code). Go USA!


    That was a Great victory for you guys! The China player running around the bases after he hit that home run with his arms in the air…. You would have thought he just won the World Series! Ha ha It is clear that they do not know the does and don’ts in baseball. I was glad to see LaPorta was OK after taking that shot in the kitchen! You all again should class in what a lot people in baseball would not have. I was glad to see my boy Jeremy Cummings get some more innings or work in. He did GREAT! You all played a great grind it out game. Good Luck in the medal rounds!

  3. os1girl

    Thanks for all the blogs Brian! And congrats on the win last night. I’m looking forward to the upcoming games!

    While I wasn’t able to watch the China game, I followed online as best I could (I was cheering for Jake, as I’m an O’s fan!). I’ve never understood, or liked the fact that people get hit in retaliation for something that’s happened previously, but some people say, “Well, that’s just baseball.” Whether it is or not, I’ll never get it. However, I think everyone knows you do NOT go for a guy’s head – that’s just totally wrong & unacceptable. Hope Matt’s OK – best wishes to the whole team! Go USA!


    Have really enjoyed the blogs, pictures, and your pitching! You are something else! Watched the China game on tape. Wow! Kudos to all of you guys for maintaining composure and representing USA well! They deserved a few cheap shots, but everything looked clean to me! I have to set a tape, but I still sneak in the break room at work and watch anyway cause I can’t wait! Just finished holding my breath through the Japan game. Wow again!!! We are soooo proud of you guys! You deserve a medal. Keep up the great work. I always have to watch for Taylor Teagarden cause I’m a Rangers fan and although I think we only got him for 1 game w/his HR, here’s hoping he’s coming back! He looks great! Everyone keep up the good work! Good Luck!


    It’s been so awesome to watch you and the USA team in action! You have so many fans back here! I can’t tell you how many people have come up to me or called asking about you and the team and wanting to know the times you guys are on TV!! We’ll be glued to the internet for the next two games and will watch the replays on TV. Enjoy this fantastic time in your life!!!! Thanks for keeping the blog! It’s great to get your point of view! Best wishes to you and the team for the next two games!

    Denise & Dick


    Hi Brian,

    Congrats on your win today against Japan!!!! You are doing a Great job representing not only the family, Husker Nation but, the entire USA!!!! Tell your parents Hello. Enjoy your time and Go for the GOLD!!!!

    Linda Gerdes


    Wow this is so exciting!!! Team USA has fans of all ages back here in Kansas cheering you on. My little kindergarden niece came home and said her teacher , Mrs. W. was,”So excited she couldn’t breath!!!” Everyone is so proud and happy for you. Good Luck!!


    One more step toward that podium of GOLD!
    Good work – we are all holding our collective breath at AGP, trying to keep track of everything while working on limited sleep as we stay up late or get up early trying to catch the games and the chance to see you pitch.
    Good luck – although Team USA already has enough talent to do this!
    Hope you can sense everybody back here cheering you on and pulling for you and the entire team.
    Go USA!


    I hope you can read this, tell Stephen Strasburg not to be afraid of the cubans, they can’t hit fastball more than 93 miles per hour, becarefull about A. Bell, he likes to swing to the first pitch, don’t walk cepeda, good luck to all of you, i know you guys can win it all

  10. darcy0923

    Thanks for your Blogs, Brian. I’m a die-hard Texas Rangers fan and a die-hard baseball fan! I wish the best for TEAM USA! I won’t wish the team luck because I believe in the team’s ability! Make us proud!


    Thank you for all your updates Brian as I am sure this is a wonderful experience for you and your teamates. As a die hard Twins fan I look forward to you helping out on our way to many great Twins teams in the years to come!


    Sure wish they would have showed the game today.

    This is Tim Duensing, from Kingwood, TX, I think I would be
    your 3rd cousin. My Dad is Clair Duensing from Beatrice, NE.

    Win the Bronze tomorrow…. I’ll be looking for any info.

    Tim Duensing


    Thanks for all the updates from China. It has been great for us Husker fans to follow you and your team mates through your words. My wife’s 5th grade class has started the yr. with the Olympic theme and is cheering you on to make the USA proud as you bring home hardware. I was up a bit late last night listening to our Twins take a 2-0 series lead over Hunter’s Angels and I can’t wait to see YOU in a Twins uniform. How great is it for you to play for the 3 coolest teams ever…. Huskers, Twins and of course USA. Good luck Brian!
    Kevin and Kelly and the WHOLE 5th grade class at O’Neill- 🙂



    And now to the list of “titles” under your name, you can ad “Olympic Bronze Medal winner” – congratulations!

    Rick Fox


    Hi Brian –
    Congratulations on your Bronze Medal! We have enjoyed watching you progress through your baseball career, starting at Millard South, then with Nebraska, and now the Twins. (Schuyler still has the autographed picture you gave him when you were with the Huskers). When you get back to Omaha don’t forget to stop in at PepperJax.
    – Mark & Shari Burrus


    Brian, congrats on the Bronze Medal. Greg, Brian, Tom, and I played our family golf outing Saturday. A lot of the discussion was about the power of your experience and how hopefully we are to get a chance to hear of your experiences in greater depth. Actually I am on line tonight to try and buy one of the white driving hats you guys wore in the opening. After my cancer, I bought a little Miata roadster and just need one of those. I hope I can get an autograph if I am able to find one. Safe travels and we SO proud of you and the team!! Pat and Linda Geary

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