Team USA catcher Mychal Harrington has been one of the most consistent hitters for the Americans in this year's WBC and his defence in the crouch has been a stabilizing forces for his team's young pitching staff.
Just the fact Harrington is still playing baseball is a story in itself. There was a time his ability to even walk was in serious doubt.
Two seasons ago while playing centrefield for Cowlitz Black Bears of the West Coast Baseball League, Harrington collided head-first with the leftfielder running for a ball and broke two vertebrae in his mid-back.
"We were both just trying to make the team and there was no communication and we both slid at the same time and his head hit the side of my head and broke the T-5 and T-6 vertebra and he broke his collar bone," said Harrington. "It was a stress fracture. I got pretty lucky. I was walking right after it happened but I didn't walk much for six months.
"It feels fine now. No problems. I wasn't sure if I would play again but I just needed bed rest and back brace for a year. I was very lucky."
Harrington did not require surgery but his rehab kept him out of baseball for about 18 months. But as anyone who's seen the 23-year old native of Vancouver, Wash., play this past week can attest, his recovery is complete and he's preparing for his next assignment, having signed a letter of intent to play at Concordia University in Portland, Ore., in the 2014 season.
"He's a very gifted athlete who can play anywhere on the field," said Team USA manager Rick Skinner. I know Mychal and I've seen him play through high school and college and every success he has on the field is a great story. He's gone from not walking for awhile to saying he might not play again to being healthy again two years later."
Through four games, Harrington has a .267 batting average with three hits and two RBI.
n They were dancing in the streets in Cuba in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Cuban people are as passionate about baseball as Canadians are about hockey and they were in a party mood after their Ciego de Avila Tigres defeated Team USA 3-2 with a ninth-inning single from second baseman Mario Jorge Vega.
All the Tigres games at the WBC are being broadcast on TV and on a Cuban website.
n Team USA wasn't catching any fly balls Tuesday. They were too busy catching trout.
A day off from the tournament allowed the Americans to head to Ferguson Lake for a day of fishing arranged by Josh Young. Freshwater Fisheries supplied the rods and tackle and Young, a local outfitter, arranged for the boats and set up a barbecue where the players got to taste their catch.
The word is each player on the U.S. caught at least one fish. Young set up the same arrangement on Saturday for the major league scouts. In 2009 he took the German national team to Ferguson Lake.