World Baseball Classic is Back

The World Baseball Classic is happening again this spring and the rosters are starting to take shape. MLB.com came out with an article on the Dominican Republic team and it sounds like Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Marmol will be playing for them. In Carrie Muskat's latest mailbag, she says that Carlos Zambrano will sit out for Team Venezuela this time. It doesn't appear any Cubs will play for Team USA unless the Cubs do land Jake Peavy. You have to hope that Rich Harden wouldn't participate for Team Canada, although I'd guess that Ryan Dempster would. Kosuke Fukudome has indicated he would be honorod to play for Team Japan if they ask. And that's all the Cubs I can think of off the top of my head for the major league squad.

As for the minor leagues, I assume pitcher Alex Maestri will play for Team Italy. The Cubs also signed two Australian pitchers Ryan Searle and Cody Hams and they may play. There are also a few Korean prospects in the system, Lee Hak-ju and Dae-Eun Rhee, so watch for them. And there's a good chance I'm missing a few players so fill in the gaps in the comments if you know of anyone else. (UPDATE: And there you go, Geovany Soto is probably a good bet for the Puerto Rico team).

In the 2006 WBC, Carlos Zambrano and Henry Blanco played for Team Venezuela, Derrek Lee and Michael Barrett played for Team USA. The 2009 WBC will start on March 5th.

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Comments

im all for Z sitting out...but i'm not taking it as good news.

Z sitting out has more to with internal politics about how the Venzulan team was run last time then injury. One story was that a post game spread was McDonald's because they did not have the budget for a usual MLB post game spread.

I am still a bit hazy on why Puerto Rico has a team, but wouldn't Soto be candidate for them?

completely missed him, good call...

P.R. would win the classic if the rules required nothing but catchers.

Agreed Neal. If PR gets to vote for President, how can they still get their own WBC team? Under these rules, the District of Columbia could field their own team.

Yeah, I sort of view PR as Hawaii without senators.

If PR gets to vote for President

They don't.

The parties "allow" them to vote in the primaries/caucuses, but Puerto Rico doesn't have any electoral votes, and also doesn't have any Reps or Senators. They have a "commissioner" in the House, but that position doesn't have a vote.

I teach high school government, big_lowitzki has it spot on.

They have a commissioner who sits in the House, and can voice his opinion, but he/she doesn't even have a vote in the House.

They vote in party caucuses, but essentially are meaningless in the parties eyes.

I'm sad that no one else commented on that other than lowitzki...the education system has failed again...

I didn't really feel their involvement or importance in American politics had much to do with them having a team in the WBC. Hence no response. Although I didn't know the commissioner bit. That's good to know.

Although your disappointment in public education is valid, I wouldn't point to our failure to respond to this particular comment as the telling moment. Plenty of us have provided much cringe-worthier instances.

I gathered my disappointment for the education system by two reasons.
1. the posts here.
2. the outrageous answers I receive on tests. Best one thus far "The three branches of the Federal Government are North, South, West. Not East because East of DC is the ocean"...

You are dissapointed in the education system because of answers that your students provide you on tests that cover material that you were responsible for teaching them? LOL.

There's some cultural academic suck going on--so I don't think it's fair to blame the teacher when his/her students don't perform, unless there's a pattern of students not learning in that teacher's class even though they do well in other classes.

But for all the complaints about students, the teachers, text book publishers, administrators, and school boards mostly aren't much better. Can we have a stat guy make a numbers argument here? Maybe we can study each group's iso stupidity, or apathy plus distracted percentage.

That is a large conclusion to jump to really...

All the teacher can do is portray the information in a way that is stimulation, involving, real-life, and "fun".

The problem is that students just don't give a fuck. If you were sitting in my class you'd be alarmed at how little any given student tries or cares for that matter. Regardless of what you attempt to do, or how you attempt to teach it.

The biggest problem in the schools today is that most parents don't care, and thus the students don't care. If their kid gets an F it isn't the students fault, the parents go to the teacher with their lawyer (yes, the bring their lawyer to ensure the teacher is using the IEP (individualize education plan) appropriately). When those kids with IEP's have IQ's ranging from 90-110 (around or above average, some higher, some lower, but that's the average). It isn't the Little Billy is a fucktard who doesn't turn any work in, but its somehow the teachers fault for not motivating Little Billy enough to want to do his work. Want to know motivation when i was in school? Not getting F's so my wouldn't get into trouble. But when parents are willing to go to bat for their kids so readily (which is a good and bad thing) and they cannot believe that their kid would ever do poorly, he's such a perfect angel, then its impossible to please both sides.

On the whole my students do well. Being a younger teacher they tend to listen when I talk and they relate to me, but the frustrating part is that when people see school districts don't do well on standardized tests or anything like that, its immediately poor teaching. I've see wonderful teachers are shit schools, and shit teachers are great schools. The difference between the two schools isn't the educators, but rather the community attitude about education. Plain and simple.

That's why I'm disappointed in the education system. Kids will be kids, some will know material because they'll care (for one reason or another, be it grades, college, or money in their future jobs) and some won't care. That's understandable. The outcry is when parents don't care, or care too much and make teaching their child impossible because the kid knows if they fuck up and do poorly, it's okay, mommy/daddy won't get mad and will make it all better by getting me more help through my IEP or by complaining to the teacher.

Argh, my rant is over..

Sidenote: IEPs are great and completely necessary for some students, so do not take offense if you, your kid, or anyone you know has/had an IEP. It's just outrageous when i get an IEP that says (17 year old male mind you) "Joe loses focus when he's with his friends. Joe needs more time on tests because he cannot stay on task and is often hyper and easily excited"...a 17 year old male..distracted..never..

I honestly think that education begins at home. How well a student does in school is reflective of the values taught them by their parents/guardians (i.e. character). You can have the biggest IQ in the world but unless you have the character to match it, you will always be just another kid who failed to live up to your potential.

I agree strongly, 10man.

I would go so far as to guess that IQ and life at home are correlated--if you're encouraged to think, read, write, etc. at an early age, you'll probably enhance whatever "innate" intelligence you have.

Education definitely begins at home, which is one reason why the "kids are going to screw off" argument is both true and problematic. Yes, kids are going to screw off, even good students screw off quite a bit, but kids who's homelives are conducive to thinking and learning are going to succeed a lot more than the kids who's homelives are not. I guess I'm saying that the books in my home and the discussions I had with my parents had a lot more to do with my attitude toward education than my experiences at school.

I still think public education is important for providing resources and a social environment intended to encourage learning. I guess what I'm trying to say is that think schools have an effect, but not nearly as strong an effect as parents and community do.

I read a book called Freakonomics in which the author basically states that smart parents have smart kids. The topic came up by some correlation studies that were being done and how they were flawed, but the main points are that 1) brain power is genetic and 2) parents who are educated will care about education and impress its importance to their kids. So if your parents are dumbasses that both work minimum wage jobs you're pretty well fucked. Obviously it's not a guarantee that you're fucked, but your odds of being fucked are incredibly high compared to children of doctors, lawyers, etc.

...so, you're saying that you are the problem?

I tend to agree, though, that our education system is weak. In many places in the world (and as it used to be here) the system looks to fail the weaker students. Here, they tend to hold your hand. For example, after a semester of Hebrew, two students in grad school still hadn't learned the alephbet (Hebrew joke). They both passed and one of them actually went to Hebrew II.

Yea, the schools hold students hands throughout life (see No Child Left Behind). As a teacher is impossible to both stimulate and challenge the gifted students (unless the school offers AP or Honors classes, something that most budgets wont allow for too many of) while holding the hands of students who have no business passing year after year.

Standardized testing also screws the system up because teachers are required to teach to the test (in Ohio for example we have the Ohio Graduation Test) which must be passed by all students in order to be recognized finishing high school. State funding is based on the results of these tests, so we're told to ensure our students pass these tests on the first try so we can get paid (School funding is in chaos in Ohio).

School shouldn't be required from K-12, it should be sink or swim. Pass or go learn a trade. There are plenty of jobs that need skills and know-how that aren't taught in normal schools (Mechanic, plumber, carpenter, electrician things that come to mind), school just isn't for everyone i guess.

everything CPH said in the last 2 comments is true...the Angel Fan Wife taught for 4 years in LA Unified. My sister-in-law is a vice-principal in a rather affluent suburb of Chicago. The focus on standardized testing is insane.  Funding revolves around it and prinicipals promotions revolve around it. So no matter what you do as a teacher, if you don't have great standardized test scores, you're pretty much fucking useless to the school.

That being said, the Angel Fan Wife was doing just fine but is a smart enough cookie to get out of that racket.

And all that stuff about the parents is true too. ..."oh, little Johnny won't do his homework Mrs. G, can you make him do it?"

Wait, wtf, you're the parent, you make them fucking do it.

"but he won't listen to me"

well there's a little problem you have on your hands...next time don't pro-create if you don't want the responsibilty

and they do bring their lawyers too, not much of a problem for my wife since she taught in an extremely poor area, but my sister-in-law got it all the time. You'd think the time it took hire one they could have helped their kid with their math homework.

My parents weren't really the most hands on when it came to my education, they just scared the shit out of me. Either method works imo, either help your kids out with their homework and stay on top of them or put the fear of God in them. I got a "C" once in high school, it was the fucking end of the world. Hell, I got bad penmanship grades in grade school and my parents were on my case.

/end of rant

Awwww you did listen to my daily rant of stories. Teaching and education is a mess right now everywhere but I can vouch personally its really BAD in California regardless of the area. I won't go in to all the reasons why, but its enough to keep me out of education, for the time being anyways even though I invested all I did to get my credential and Masters degree. So to all you teachers who are still in the trenches, I have the up most respect for you. Lawyers, lawsuits, politics, faulty government policies (ie, No Child Left Behind) has nearly destroyed the educational system...everywhere. Teachers were once teachers. Now they are test givers. Sad and true...

always a highlight when I can draw you out to make a comment...and don't fear, I'll do more helping out with the twins than scaring the heck out of them. We'll let the dog be the taskmaster...she's tough.

(actual "G" family dog)

Hey! i tried to post a pic and it didn't work. What gives?

it's reserved for special people and those who don't post false rumors...

Hahaha nice. 1. Wailea is worthless when it comes to anything somewhat productive (God love her) and will teach the girls to...well...ya that about covers that. And 2, I'm not worried about your involvement with the girls education, or lack of because you and I both know I'm pretty much capable handling math up until the 5th grade, then it gets a bit sketchy. So your involvement is a no-brainer. ;)

I also agree and was just giving CPH a little shit over his comment.

I was a secondary ed major for a couple years in undergrad and after my 60th hour of in-school observation I'd already had enough.

Now teaching at the collegiate level I do get to let student sink or swim so to speak and have no parental interference. Those who want to do well participate in section and come to office hours and study, and those who don't give a shit are disengaged and do poorly. To me that seems to be how it should be.

I am for giving every kid a chance early on. But when they are juniors and seniors in HS and don't care, not much one teacher who sees them 1 hour a day can do.

I see this a lot in my current company and in my former one. The 'no child left behind' stuff isn't necessarily bad in theory, but it practice it's not done well. It's a classic case of managing to the KPI's (key peformance indicators). KPI's in theory seem like a good idea, but if they're written/designed poorly and the managers who are in charge of them - in this case school administrators - aren't properly trained, they wind up building their procedures around getting good scores, which in the short-term usually works, but in the long term, the underlying processes that you're trying to measure the success of suffer. Then the admins say 'well, what worked for three years isn't working anymore' and the reach out to other administrators who stayed above the KPI for five years (still not managing the processes) and emulate what they do, which takes two years to realize that it doesn't work, and then they go back and check with those adminstrators to see where they went wrong, and at that point the guys who they were copying also have fallen below their KPI's.

The point being that the focus should be on education and not on the KPI's, but when you judge people's job performance on a score, or a set of scores, those people are naturally going to focus the majority, if not all, of their effort on those scores.

Adding to what CPH said my father taught for a long time, and he eventually would take less money working at a private school than working at a public one because it was so much more of a pleasure being with students who wanted to learn.

There's more problems in education than just the students and NCLB. No offense intended to anyone who's an educator, but it would probably help if teachers became more of a prestige position. The vast majority of public universities who have elementary eduaction schools, students are typically among the bottom in grades and test scores of incoming classes. If teachers were paid like MD's (and given their responsibility it's not really an unreasonable suggestion), you could bet your ass that wouldn't happen anymore.

As the old adage says, "those who can't do, teach."

Your stats about schools with elementary education majors are interesting, i haven't heard those before. But, let the record show that early childhood educators are not reflective of educators as a whole (picture Ms. Lipnicky from Billy Madison).

As with any major, there are always exceptions to the rule. Myself entered college with a very good SAT score and graduated with an outstanding GPA. But, as much as it pains me, there were a LOT of dumbasses who graduated with me in the EDU field, 95% of whom got jobs teaching after they graduated.

I like to believe that the trend is changing, the standards in which current graduates are expected to meet when finishing school are very high (in Ohio at least). When my Dad became a teacher in Ohio 40 some years ago, he majored in English, and took 3 education classes to get his teaching license. We now major in education, we learn a lot more about the learning process and how to support student learning and all that fun stuff.

Can't disagree with Neal though, if you were to raise the pay of teachers, there'd be more of the top of the crop going into the field and not into engineering/architecture/or whatever it is the kids do now-a-days. Then you get people who are doing it for the paycheck, and not out of desire to be an educator. A tough balance to achieve and maintain i suppose.

Actually that is not entirely true either. The Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico can vote in committees and in the Committee as a Whole. However, if their vote in the Committee as a Whole is decisive, there is a revote and they are excluded. The "limited vote" was given to them (Commissioner and delegates from DC, Guam, American Somoa, and the US Virgin Islands) in 1993. It was removed by the Republicans in 1995 but reinstated by the House in 2007 (HR 78).

So, they get to vote, but if their vote is meaningful, they get the privilege taken away...

Learn something new everyday.

Tim Brown from Yahoo has the Dodgers, A's, White Sox and Cardinals as the early front-runners on Furcal.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AltlpBk.5Rs_...

Mlb.com via the Boston Globe: RSox may trade Lugo to Motown for Robertson or Willis.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081116&c...

Trading trash?

Rsox don't need Lugo with Lowrie, might as well pick up an arm.

Obviously both teams are meeting needs, or else there'd be no deal, but I stand by my garbage-for-garbage assessment. At best, severely overpriced talent for ditto.

If anything, as bad as Robertson and Willis have become, the Tigers almost need them more than they need Lugo.

Lee hak ju and Rhee probably wont be participating also because of injuries and sugery!!

forgot about Rhee having TJ surgery...what's wrong with Lee Hak-Ju?

I wish Marmol would sit out also.

Anyone got the pitchers numbers the season they pitched in WBC compared to their career averages?

Sample size.

There was an article about how Santana and Zambrano were struggling after the last one.

Well, that was an exciting first weekend of the FA period. Even though my team made a move it still was disapointing.

How 'bout DeRosa and Maestri for team Italy? Maybe A-Ram for the Dominican, if they don't choose Beltre again.

I could see Fontenot and Theriot manning the middle of the infield for team France.

Don't forget Pierre and Jacque.

Lord knows I've tried.

Sometimes I forget to read all the words. Just realized you already listed Maestri, Rob.

Running the risk of being 3/44 here, but Yankees apparently overbid for CC. It looks like the Brewers won't be resigning CC after all. According to Doug Melvin, the Yankees offered 6/140 to the Brewers 5/100.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3706123

Nice.

"Why wouldn't you offer $110 million?"

Because their contract is for an extra year. $110m would be less per year than your 5-year deal, Doug. Idiot.

BP has some more blasting of the Gregg deal - for subscribers http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?arti...

but if the part about the Cubs makes as much sense as the part about the Yankees, I won't be too worried.

On Swisher:

"There was a slight uptick in his strikeout rate, but nothing alarming. What's missing from his season are 15 singles and 15 doubles, and there's not much reason to believe those won't come back in 2009. When they do, his contract, which pays him $21 million through 2011 with a $10 million option for '12, is going to look like an absolute bargain."

Except BP was telling us two years ago that Swisher has 'old man skills' and they don't tend to age well. And it's certainly OK for them not to take a 'company line' on every forecast they make, when they make one and it becomes true (Swisher's WARP1 has declined every year since they made that statement), maybe they should take a look at what's going on a little closer.

On Sabathia "When you combine Sabathia's workload with his size, there are so many reasons to wonder if he can make the next 180 starts and throw the next 1,200 innings, and at $23 million per season, a lost year could be crippling to a team."

Sure it could be a crippling to a team with a $100 million payroll. Sabathaia's contract is going to be a lower % of the payroll for the Yankees than for example, Gil Meche's contract is with the Royals. It's pretty typical for a team to have their ace starter make 11.5% of their total payroll in today's environment. It definetly will be crippling to the Yankees perception in NY if they go into the season with Wang as their ace and Hughes as their #2, which is where they're at right now.

So, Chad, can you have your boss check with his source again?

SEC has charged Mark Cuban with insider trading.

The ESPN.com article says "the complaint seeks to permanently enjoin Cuban from future violations of the federal securities laws, disgorgement (with prejudgment interest), and a financial penalty."

The charge looks to be easily resolvable, but the bad press won't help Cuban's bid to buy the Cubs. Since the losses he avoided were about $750K, I can't imagine this is really going to financially hurt him even with penalties. Any chances of that bid being accepted however, are out the window now.

CRAP! I was still holding out some hope that Cuban would be able to buy the Cubs.

Good to see the SEC has their priorities straight.

/sarcasm

Guess it's gotten cold enough where Chairman Chris Cox had to come in from the golf course.

Not that I condone insider trading or anything, but this is kind of like the police ignoring all reports of crime except jaywalking. It don't make sense.

I don't understand why what he did is illegal. It sounds like he simply caught wind of something they were planning on doing that was going to negatively impact their stock price, so he got out before it happened. Sounds more like smart business than anything unethical to me. Is it Cuban's fault that they didn't disclose it in a press release or something?

If you knew you were going to lose $750k tomorrow would you just sit on your hands and accept it? That doesn't make sense.

here's a primer...

http://deadspin.com/5090903/the-mark-cuban-scandal... 

I think the key is that as a public company, the information needs to be public to be acted on. If Cuban was told this is confidential info, which it sounds like he was, then there lies the issue. 

All good and well except Cuban claims that he was never told it was confidential so this is going to end up to being "his word against mine" kinda thing.

my guess is the SEC has something that they consider proof, I believe they would need some evidence to be able to file the lawsuit.

not really a big deal and if Cuban loses, it's a drop in the bucket to him.

not gonna help him with the Cubs sale though

"It sounds like he simply caught wind of something they were planning on doing that was going to negatively impact their stock price, so he got out before it happened."

... = Insider trading.

If Ryan Howard wins, the remaining thread of credibility will be gone. Dude hit .250 and couldn't field a phone call from his mom without dropping it.

John Beasley: and couldn't field a phone call from his mom without dropping it.

+1 John.

Don't forget Dwayne Kemp, a quasi prospect, I have no idea whether he is still with the Cubs after hitting only .200 for Boise, but he has played quite a few games for various Netherlands National teams.

Hey! i tried to post a pic and it didn't work. What gives?
--------------
Chad's boss said, NO PICTURES (due to the ramifications of insider information being exchanged)

It took some time, but I finally dug up this old photo of Chad's boss. It explains everything!

http://i33.tinypic.com/2qdpnrq.jpg

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