Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hope you are enjoying the second AND LAST World Baseball Classic!

Hope you enjoyed a tournament where players played for PRIDE OF COUNTRY!

I hope you enjoyed a meaningless exhibition where the best teams were playing at half speed, and over 50 American stars either said "No Thanks" or were forbidden to play by the teams who will pay them millions of dollars.

Because it isn't happening again. And like the USFL, I can't imagine it will be missed.

BE HONEST! You may have watched an inning or two, but mainly you were holding your breath that the guy on your team didn't get hurt!

When I saw Dustin Pedroia had an injury playing these silly games, I washed my hands of it.

I love America and I root for American teams in the Olympics and the World Cup. But guess what? I would rather watch the Red Sox win the April 17-19 series against the Orioles than see the USA win Bud Selig's little experiment.

Hey Met fans! Your team had their second straight monumental collapse last year. Don't you think having a little cohesion in spring training would be nice? Well, 12 of the Mets predicted 25 man roster are playing these silly games in front of empty seats.

Hey Yankees fans! With all the expectations and the craziness in Yankee land, wouldn't you rather have your captain playing with Cano, Teixeria and which ever shmuck winds up playing third base than high fiving Youkiliis and Pedroia?

And now after employing the "Mercy Rule" when the USA got their butts kicked the other day, manager Davey Johnson is talking about a possible forfeit of Team USA if the injuries continue to pile up.

And in the end, only Korea, Japan and Cuba will care! They have the most to gain either by picking up a nice paycheck (Dice-K cashed in on the last one) or reminding us there is a great untapped reservoir of talent in Cuba.

But once again America won't be playing in the final if the injuries keep up... once again the final game will be played with players that nobody has ever seen.

It looks great on paper but so did the new Star Wars movies.


  1. Am I the only person who loves the WBC? I know its a total clusterfuck and all, but is definitely more intersting than spring training (where people also get injured).

  2. It's more interesting than spring training!

    That's a great endorsement. It's better to watch than games that don't count.

    The problem is when someone gets hurt and will miss games that DO count!

  3. So Pedroia got a muscle strain. Isn't it possible that could happen during a meaningless Spring Training game just as easily? I'm not a big fan of the WBC, but an occasional injury isn't a reason to scrap the idea. People complain that baseball isn't doing enough to attract new fans. Well, the WBC was an attempt to do just that. Who knows it may not work, but I have a feeling there are a few more fans of baseball in the Nederlands.

  4. I am a huge fan of the WBC. We went to a few games at Angel Stadium in '06. This year we traveled from So. Cal to Toronto to watch all 6 games of the first round of Pool C. Also, we drove down to Petco Park on Sunday to watch Japan vs. Cuba. We are even going to the WBC Finals at Dodger Stadium, since it is in our backyard. This is great. It is a very disappointing to see the U.S. team not give 100% like ALL of the other teams did. I mean, leaving in Peavy in his second WBC start to get his work in??? What happened to Davey Johnson's the team comes first philosophy that he was preaching before the tourney started? It is very entertaining and important for the game as a whole, especially on the international stage, now that baseball is eliminated from the Olympics. I think that the U.S. team needs to take the tournament more seriously and the U.S. fans will get more into it. I hope that it isn't the last time we see the WBC. As a Yankees fan, I am proud of Jeter playing for the U.S. He said that he wants to play for them again in 2013, that says a lot. Also, Pedroia was sad and pissed off that he got hurt and had to be replaced by Robert, missing the rest of the WBC. You can't tell me that winning the WBC championship with your country's name on your chest isn't more important for the players than winning a WS for the team that they are playing for. Don't be mistaken Sully, but Venezuela, PR, DR, Cuba, Italy, Mexico, Korea, Japan, Australia, S. Africa, and Netherlands teams and fans were passionately giving 110%...sadly it is only the USA team that doesn't find this tournament important, and sadly it is reflected in your posting. MLB has already stated that the 2013 WBC will have 32 teams competing...so I seriously doubt that this is the end of it all.

  5. Junior... what would you rather see?

    Team USA win it all?
    The Yankees sweep the Red Sox in a regular season series?

    Be honest!

    And yes Bill, you could get hurt in Spring Training... but you aren't going top speed as early as the Team USA players are doing.

    It's a cute idea that isn't working.

    I'd take a Division Title over winning the next 23 WBCs

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  7. I would truly rather see the US win the WBC. The Yankees play against Boston too many times throughout the season. It's meaningless. Winning for your country is meaningful. I am a American first, before I am a Yankees fan! I will take it even a step further and say that I would even rather see USA win the '09 WBC than the Yankees beat Boston in the ALCS. I am being 100% honest on that one. Maybe you'd feel the same as I do if Boston ever won 26 WS championships. The US players should be going full bore like the other teams are...they should have started training back in January, if they know that they were going to play in the WBC to help avoid injuries.

  8. But where else can I watch Cuba (aka the White Sox farm system) play?

  9. Anonymous4:55 PM

    actually...when i found out tickets were only $25 to see cuba play in san diego i was kicking myself for not being there.
    i think the WBC is (potentially) the best thing to happen to the great game of baseball! i say potentially because the americans seem to not care...AND IT'S THEIR GAME!!!!
    i'm sure plenty of rednecks (that's what most of america is) would think it was great as long as their team was kickin' ass.
    i'm a huge soccer (futbol) fan and i liken this to the world cup...except with (unfortunately) less interest.
    i don't care which players get hurt. i wanna see world baseball. i even think the world series winner should play the WBC winner for true championship bragging rights.
    i absolutely love the game of baseball, but that means the essence of it, not the corporate MLB game. as great as the level of play is, i'm sick of being priced out of it. i like seeing the world (mostly impoverished nations) coming together on something, a lá soccer. the US, with its history and policy of aggression and destabilization of nations, wouldn't know anything about that. nor would their redneck fans.
    the WBC could be the best thing to happen to baseball in recent times (fantasy the next best), because MLB itself needs help in the "street cred" dept.

    viva cuba!!! yankees (yanquis) go home!

    great site, by the way. i love all the insight and fun history!

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  11. All in all, I like the WBC. The main reason being that it is hard to see the best of each country compete against each other in international baseball except for this tournament.

    "And yes Bill, you could get hurt in Spring Training... but you aren't going top speed as early as the Team USA players are doing."

    Actually, a lot of the position players do go top speed in Spring Training, particularly those who are trying to win jobs. Also, the pitchers are maintained both by the WBC rules and custom to significantly lower pitch counts than in the regular season that basically equate to what they would be doing as they stretch out their innings in the Spring.

    The WBC may have its problems, but injury risk is not one of them

    Edited to add: The WBC may actually be better than Spring Training, especially for position players, for preparing for the regular season. Instead of taking glorified batting practice against non-roster invitees and striking out some 30 year old journeyman who is flailing away in order to try and latch on as a pinch hitter, these guys are facing real talent.

  12. Two points:

    1. While great for other countries out there, it's lose-lose for the U.S. If they win, people expect nothing less. Lose, and people laugh at the U.S, especially the Europeans. Here's a comic

    2. Chipper Jones made a great point about players sitting around for 5 days with nothing to do or playing only 3 games in 7 days. Recipes for disrupting rhythm and risking injury.

  13. Anonymous1:17 PM

    I love the WBC. The games have been relatively entertaining and it is nice to see the passion other countries play with. The complaints against the WBC seem to originate from that same place in the American attitude that makes the rest of the world hate us generally. Major League Baseball may be the pinnacle of the baseball world, but it is not the only major league. Japan, Korea, and Cuba are all examples of countries that have competitive leagues. Injuries are just as possible there that could impact those leagues, but those countries have a sense of national pride, and not national arrogance, thay they want to play for.

    Injuries also bear the question as to why so manymore US players are getting injured than international players. Aren't MLB players supposed to be finely tuned athletes? And whoever made the point about injuries in the WBC vs. Spring Training was absolutely correct.

    It is time to admit that Americans hate the Classic because we feel it is below us and whatever else we do (ie.-Spring Training) is more important than any international event.

  14. Sully, you are probably hating the WBC even more today after Youk went down...First Dustin, then Kevin...that sucks for the Red Sox!