When the Netherlands beat the Dominican Republic in World Baseball Classic action yesterday, Wladimir Balentien immediately tried to telephone Adrian Beltre.
Unable to reach his Mariners teammate, Balentien showed up early today and left a note in Beltre's locker: "Nice game, Dominican!"
Both men wanted to play for their country in the WBC. Beltre was told by the Mariners he couldn't play for the Domnican, and Balentien was invited to play for the Netherlands but decided against it.
"I have to try to make t his team," he said, "I'd have loved to be in the WBC."
No one was more surprised than Balentien when the Netherlands beat the Domican Republic in extra innings, 2-1.
"That's like winning the World Series for that team," he said.
Now, Balentien wants to see his team beat Venezuela.
"I want to see Ronny (Cedeno) cry, too," he said, with Venezuelan native Cedeno listening.
For Beltre, there was disappointment and a shrug.
"I'm glad I wasn't there – that would have been much harder to take, but there was nothing I could do," Beltre said. "We had a lot of chances to, but it's baseball. You can't explain why."
Did he get Balentien's note?
"Oh yeah," he said. "And I've been listening to him all morning."