Molina, Beltran advance to finals of World Baseball Classic
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - MARCH 08: Carlos Beltran #15 of Puerto Rico bats against Spain during the first round of the World Baseball Classic at Hiram Bithorn Stadium on March 8, 2013 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) By Al Bello
(BaseballStL) - Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and outfielder Carlos Beltran will play in the Championship Game of the World Baseball Classic after Team Puerto Rico defeated two-time defending champ Japan in the semifinals Sunday night.
Molina and Beltran have been gone from Cardinals camp for more than two weeks while participating in the WBC, a scenario that doesn't sit particularly well for manager Mike Matheny.
"Sure," Matheny said when asked if he was excited to see them advance to the finals. "I want the best for our guys, so I'll be pulling for Puerto Rico."
Matheny's response was somewhat sarcastic. Sure he'd like to see his players do well but he'd also like to have them back in camp safely and getting ready for the regular season with the rest of their teammates.
The Championship Game is slated for Tuesday night in San Francisco. Both Molina and Beltran could return to the Cardinals Thursday, leaving them a week of Sprign Training left before the regular season begins.