Monday, March 23, 2009

I want to hear from you WBC apologists today

Seriously... how heartbreaking was this game?

Junior... you are one of my loyal readers.
You wrote in my comments section "I would rather see USA win the '09 WBC than the Yankees beat Boston in the ALCS."

So today must be one of the most heart breaking days in your baseball viewing lives.

As a Yankee fan, this must be up there with Edgar Martinez's double in the 1995 Division Series...

This must rank with the pain of the last inning of the 2001 World Series, the mighty collapse of 2004 and the absurdity of the midges in the 2007 playoffs.

This must be one of those mornings like after the Aaron Boone homer when people just knew NOT to e mail me.

I mean does it really rank up there? Are you going to be replaying that Jeter error that broke open the game in your head over and over again?

"Man, we HAD them!"

Or are you thinking "Rats... we could have won that. Oh well, the real season is starting soon"?

Those games I mentioned above... they didn't involve insane pitch counts. They didn't involve teams dictating "This player needs to rest."

They involved starters coming out of the bullpen (Randy Johnson pitched in relief in the finales in 1995, 2001 and 2005!) 

Think Schilling's sock would have blood (or cocktail sauce) on it in March?
Think Kirk Gibson would limp to the plate before Easter?

Would Jeter dive face first into the stands for Team USA?
That wasn't even a playoff game... but it was Red Sox/Yankees.

The WBC is a nice idea... but it carries no weight. And no matter how much excitement people try and manufacture for it, it will remain an exhibition at half speed.

At one point when Roy Oswalt was being beaten like a drum last night, one of the ESPN voices said that Oswalt was getting his pitches in that the Astros would have required.

Getting his pitches in? This was an elimination game... supposedly in a World Wide Tournament! (Where Mark DeRosa is the best first baseman in America.)

I guess today is the wrong day for pointing all of this out.

What I am saying is, for my readers like Junior who think I am too harsh on the WBC and that it IS a meaningful title... check Sully Baseball in June.

I'll ask you if you even remember the final game.


  1. I think the main issue is that team USA was treating it like spring training (you acknowledged 'getting pitches in') whereas every other team seemed to be playing like it was the WS/Olympics/Castro had their families at gunpoint. Actually, that isn't fair to the players. I believe management was under too much pressure from the MLB teams and that took most of the wind from team USA's sails. Perhaps a mix of veterans and amateur/young players would give the team more chemistry in the future, but I am far from an analyst.

    That being said I thought the WBC was great for baseball and a good watch, is that being an apologist? Yeah team USA didn't take it all, but they were damned if they did and damned if they didn't. Japan and Korea deserve to be in the finals, they are both playing white hot baseball. I'm going to be one of the 200 people that watch the game tonight, should be a doozy.

    And no, team USA winning wouldn't be nearly as emotional as when my sox won in 2005, or even when they made the playoffs last year, to answer your question. That doesn't make it any less interesting (it is more interesting than exciting after all) or make me like it any less.

  2. Yep, it was heartbreaking, but the US team got what they Matt said above, they did treat it like a Spring training game. I don't think that the US deserved to beat PR to go to the semis. I mean, why hit Longoria, when Victorino was the obvious choices. Why keep in lame-ass Dunn in RF or at 1B? Keeping in Peavey and Oswalt needed to get their work in? What kind of tournament did Davey Johnson really think that he was playing in? With all of that said, Japan vs. Korea in the finals was the perfect finish to the '09 WBC. I wish that the US played like all of the other 15 teams in the tournament. I was really disappointed in USAs half-ass approach in their 2nd WBC failure. It sucked seeing Jeter's error, and it really sucked seeing all of the errors that gave up runs. It was ONLY the USA playing at half-speed...the other 15 teams gave it their all, and I applaud their competitive efforts for it. I only wish that team USA had done the same.Ask Ichiro if he thinks that the WBC title is meaningful. Remember what he said about winning the '06 WBC? His feelings aren't alone among his teammates and the WBCs importance is apparent among all of the non-USA 15 teams' players. Sully, as a LA guy, you should've made the drive from So. Pas to Chavez Ravine to watch that final game. It was one of the best baseball games that I have ever watched. I believe that it just may have changed your perspective on the WBC as a whole.