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Golden Opportunity

Ben Sheets
Ben Sheets
Photo: Larry Goren

The 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba, gave the world a glimpse of what international baseball would look like with pros dotting the rosters. The Olympics proved a lot of things, first and foremost that the United States could bring a team and staff of professionals and win an Olympic medal. Team USA took advantage of the new Olympic realities.

On the other side of the coin, however, Cuba faces a difficult transition after proving to be vulnerable after years of dominance. The loss in the gold-medal game was a blow for millions of Cuban fans. Now the soul searching begins to learn what went wrong.

Sheets Leads Team USA To Gold Righthander tosses three-hit shutout as U.S. tops Cuba, 4-0
John Manuel, Sydneyside: Our man on the scene's take on the Games
Complete Results
Standings and Statistics

The Games At A Glance

Team USA Daily Roundup Notebook
Sept. 17 Team USA 4, Japan 2 Cuba no-hits South Africa Lasorda in top form
Sept. 18 Team USA 11, South Africa 1 Cuba comes from behind to top Italy Wilkerson doing his best in center
Sept. 19 Team USA 6, the Netherlands 2 Japan holds off Australia Murphy enjoys side project
Sept. 20 Team USA 4, Korea 0 Dutch stun Cuba
Japan tops Italy
U.S. brass can only sit and watch
Sept. 21 Starters drive Team USA
Sept. 22 Team USA 4, Italy 2 Cuba slips past Aussies Krivda gets call against Cuba
Sept. 23 Cuba 6, Team USA 1 Korea knocks off Japan Burroughs waits his turn
Sept. 24 Team USA 12, Australia 1 Korea clinches medal-round berth South Africans encouraged despite 1-6 showing
Sept. 25 Medal-round preview
Sept. 26 Team USA 3, Korea 2 Cuba 3, Japan 0
Sept. 27 Team USA 4, Cuba 0 Korea 3, Japan 1

Team USA

Flag

Pitching Was The Key For Team USA
Ainsworth, Oswalt, Rauch and Sheets provided more than just impressive radar-gun readings.

Power Outburst Makes Mientkiewicz An Olympic Hero
Twins first baseman's clutch hitting spurred Team USA to gold

Team USA Roster

Team USA Trims Roster To 24
Mike Coolbaugh, Shawn Gilbert and Matt White are dropped.

Indians Pull Sabathia From Team USA
Cleveland upset with his role as swingman.

Exhibition Results

Team USA Crushes Korea 15-0

Former Big Leaguer Leads Holland Over Team USA

Team USA Cruises Past South Africa

George, Mientkiewicz Make U.S. 3-0

Oswalt Shines In Exhibition Win

Team USA Defeats Italy In First Pre-Olympic Exhibition

Archive Of More Olympic Stories

International


Olympic Rosters

Team Previews
Australia
Cuba
Italy
Japan
Korea
The Netherlands
South Africa

Indecision Could Prove Costly For Japan
A split decision on whether to send professionals means Japan left many of its best players at home.

Korea Looks To Redeem Poor '96 Showing
After a 1-6 showing in Atlanta, Korea has taken measures to put its best team on the field.

Loyal Veterans Lead Cuba
In sea of change, Cuba stays on course.

Home Team Will Be Dangerous At Olympics
They may have lost a few top players, but the Aussies won't be pushovers in Sydney.

Korean Team Loses Two For Olympics
Korea will take a strong team to Sydney, but it lost two of its top reserves when the players refused to take the Olympic drug test.

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