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Any hardcore hardball fan who has perused the rosters of the six Olympic baseball teams competing in Tokyo, particularly USA Baseball, has probably felt more than a little like the characters in the 1989 cinematic classic “Major League.”
“I never heard of half of these guys, and the ones I do know are way past their prime.”
And like the fictional Cleveland team of the silver screen, this lineup of seeming has-beens and not-yets is an easy group to support, representing the United States for baseball’s return to the Olympics from a 13-year absence.
Team USA, which has posted back-to-back wins against Israel and South Korea in the opening round of the Olympic tournament, consists of an even 12 pitchers and 12 position players. That list includes four former MLB All-Stars, including infielder Todd “The Toddfather” Frazier, who last pitched for his hometown team, the independent Sussex County Miners of the Frontier League. The night after he left for pre-Olympic training camp, some Miners got into a brawl with fans who poured beer on them during a hot dog eating contest (“Got out of there in the nick of time.”) He’s joined by hurlers Edwin Jackson, who threw a no-hitter for