U.S.A!

 

I know as a flag-loving American and blogger that it's my duty to be critical of just about everything, especially something new and different. But I just can't find the energy or a good reason to hate on the World Baseball Classic. The set-up certainly is not ideal, the biggest problems being the inability to get all the top talent and the schedule, but I'm not sure how to fix either situation. They could try playing in November after the World Series, and maybe a few extra bodies would show up on rosters...or maybe not. Teams and players would still have injury issues to deal with and most of the top pitchers would be wary of adding extra innings to their arms. At least having it in March, the pitchers are on their normal spring training schedule. Having it in March also capitalizes on the enthusiasm of not having any baseball for the last four months, put it in November and the average fan has been a bit burned out over the last seven months and probably already moved on to football (either version).

As far as I see it, it's competitive baseball in March with some of the best players on the planet. That sounds a lot more fun than watching So Taguchi getting four at-bats a game. 

I'm going to go get my face paint and flag as Team USA takes on Canada at 1pm CST on ESPN today...I'll try and stop by Parachat for the festivities.

Comments

Netherlands trying to shock the world...up 3-2 going to the 7th.

Will this be a lead-in to the upcoming war with Canada as envisioned by South Park? One can only hope.

USA WOOO!

i keep all my shit there...it rules!

Sidney Ponson hasn't pitched that well against a big league lineup in 5 years.

Fuck Canada.

down 1, man on 2nd with 1 out and Tavares on 2nd base...Hanley Ramirez up.

tries to steal third and is thrown out...Ramirez walks, tries to steal 2nd and from his knees the catcher guns it to second. Looks safe, but Netherlands starts celebrating...ends up being strike 3 on the batter and game over.

Canada up 1-0 already....could have been a double play but Youklis fumbled it and then decided to tag 1st and go for the throw and hit the runner in the helmet.

uh oh.

watch out lockerroom...the bearded baby will destroy your stuff.

seriously, youkilis has to be one of the most self-centered guy in the game. at least tony gwynn could be self-centered without the extreme outbursts.

Wonderful finish to the Netherlands/DR game....

*Marmol comes in the 9th, faces 4, K's them all, HBP-Randall Simon

...the mighty DR team has problems. Very little offense against a bunch of thumbers. Will face either Panama/Puerto Rico in an elimination game. DR just looked lathargic all game long.

good game fwiw...

6-4 heading into the 9th, doubles by Martin and Votto make it 6-5. Putz gets a groundout by Morneau...

Jason Bay up with 2 out...

What a fantastic, fantastic game.

And now, a Julio Zuletta sighting in the Panama/Puerto Rico game! sweet.

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  • 2nd in defensive WAR, NL.

    6th in NL in RBI

    Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.

    The E-Man 2 hours 34 min ago view
  • Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.

    billybucks 3 hours 50 min ago view
  • Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.

    billybucks 4 hours 33 min ago view
  • There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!

    billybucks 4 hours 34 min ago view
  • Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.

    billybucks 4 hours 35 min ago view
  • Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.

    Jackstraw 4 hours 38 min ago view
  • Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.

    Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.

    billybucks 4 hours 39 min ago view
  • Baez still learning

    jacos 5 hours 7 min ago view
  • heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.

    he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.

    crunch 6 hours 11 min ago view
  • stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.

    that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.

    crunch 7 hours 17 min ago view
  • brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.

    crunch 8 hours 6 min ago view
  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 12 hours 36 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 1 day 3 hours ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 1 day 3 hours ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 1 day 3 hours ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 1 day 4 hours ago view