World Baseball Classic

Alright Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

It is Monday night, I just watched a pretty good episode of Heroes, and it is about past my bedtime.  So I figure its the perfect time for a post.  First of all today the pitchers had their first trial run at our running test. It is a mile and a half run in under 11 minutes. Now most of you probably say thats pretty easy, but for some reason it just isn’t. I struggle mightily with running long distances at a quick pace. However, I didnt disappoint, finishing in 10:40. So yay for me. Rinku can really run, he finished in 9:45, made it look easy.  I have another bullpen tomorrow, and I am really getting the itch to face some live competition.  One more point and then I will knock off the rambling.  How did Clemson not move up in the polls today? Instead they got jumped by an Arizona State team that plays in one of the weaker conferences, and that has maybe 1 or 2 quality wins. We beat a team by 30 points that just knocked off UNC, can we get a little respect.  Oh well, onto the main topic.

 

The WBC or World Baseball Classic.  I love the idea of the event, a great way to put baseball on the public stage, especially if they are going to remove it as a sport from the Olympics.  I have actually been to the field that hosts pool play in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  It is a magnificent stadium, and I was very surprised when I saw it.  Now coming into today, the odds on favorite to win the classic were none other than Team USA, followed closely by the Dominican Republic.  I found this to be a bit surprising, even though I like our chances as much as anybody elses.  We really underachieved in the last WBC, not even advancing from pool play. However, we do post a super-star cast on our roster, despite a few players turning down the opportunity.

 

A few fun facts. In first round action Japan is favored to beat China by 11 runs. Yikes.  Also Cuba is favored to beat South Africa by 10.5 runs. Thats a whole lot of runs for a World Baseball Classic game.  Also, I actually know personally a few players that are going to participate in the Classic. That is very exciting to me, getting to represent your country. I wish all of them the best of luck.  However, I still hope that Team USA can put together a Ryder Cup like performance and bring home the championship.

 

My questions to those out there are these:  Will USA come through and take home the championship? Will we disappoint? Will Japan repeat? Will there be a surprise team this year like South Korea last year?

 

As always input is much appreciated, and please feel free to post any of your opinions.

37 Comments

I think you know the answer to this. It comes down to pitching and USA got it!

Really? Your using correct punctuation because the girlfriend said so? I know, this is off topic but c’mon man! Someones pw!! haha i kid i kid.

Also, I got one of those player information cards from the Phillies today in the mail, how did you go about doing those? Did you answer everything honestly? I mean, why do they care about my favorite player?. Anyway, this is your blog so here’s a question for you.

If given the chance, would you pitch for team United States in the WBC? It would seem like a great honor to be selected but a lot of guys are turnign it down. What would you do?

I truly expect a “Redeem Team” like atmosphere for the United States. There is no reason why the United States shouldn’t be on top at the end of this.

I don’t think you can discount the underdog factor though for the rest of the world. There are a lot of young players who aren’t superstars playing for the other countries who have something to prove.

Still I see us taking it this year.

One pet peeve of mine about the WBC though is how lenient the rules are on what country you can play for. I have nothing against someone wanting to play for their country but it’s weird how Ian Snell is pitching for Puerto Rico when his father is Puerto Rican and that is it. Same goes with A-Rod, I can’t see how you can play for USA one year than the DR the next. Not a big deal just kind of weird.

Anyway I will certainly be watching the WBC Roster Special on MLB Network tonight at 6, I’m pretty excited to see the final rosters.

I love to see USA win, but I laughed out loud when I read the DR peliminary roster. That is a impressive team!!!!
Best of luck in your season.
http://kmcleod.mlblogs.com/

Md you are so right. They are loaded with pitching. I was looking at the roster some last night, and it is virtually a dream team that they are playing with. I have this eerie feeling that they might pull it off.

Kid- hahaha I know man, the things you do for love. Seriously though it was pretty brutal to try to read, and I want this to be professional looking. Hmmm I am not sure about the player info cards. I don’t remember answering questions for those, but if I did then I would have answered them honestly. Oh without a doubt I would play for USA. I got the chance to play for the national team while I was still in college. It was the experience of a lifetime, and I would never pass up the opportunity to play for my country.

Shamtown- I really expect to see the same kind of atmosphere, where the americans are playing like they have something to prove. Even though they are established super stars, in terms of international play they are somewhat unproven. I don’t really understand how those kind of things work either, I mean becuase I am Greek could I play for Team Greece? I do think it is interesting, not sure if I like it or not though. Wow that’s on tonight, I wish that I could watch that tonight. It should be interesting to see who’s on the final rosters. You will have to leave a comment on here with a link to see the final rosters.

Mcleod- I know what you are saying, I looked at their roster last night and my jaw dropped. I simply said Oh My God, that team is stacked. In terms of recognizable players and talent, I would have to say that USA and DR are the favorites. Do you know if they can meet in the finals? Or would they play before that?

If the USA and DR both survive the first round they would face each other in Round 2. However, if USA and DR survived Round 2(its double elimination), and both won their games in round 3 (they would not face each other this round), they could face each other again for the final.

Md- Oh I see. Well I tell you what, I wouldn’t mind seeing them play a couple times. Both of these teams are stacked. Can’t wait to find out what the final rosters are.

Dan, what about the issue of pitchers throwing competitive innings so early in the spring and the possible negative effect those extra innings could have on their season? I know the WBC has inning restrictions, but still.

Dan? Danny? Daniel? Mr. Moskos? Do you have a preference?

3 things I wanted to say/ask
First off, congrats to your girlfriend on being at MUSC. I used to deal with them at my old job and was always very impressed at how thorough and committed they were. I’m sure it is a first-class education that will be difficult to earn. I wonder if it helps that both of you are in demanding training programs. At least there is some sympathy, right?

Regarding the WBC, did it seem like anyone learned anything by the success of the Japan and South Korea last time? Obviously there are some very good Japanese players in the game now, but there was still a perceived talent difference. I can understand how, say, Greece did well in basketball because they play together so often. But baseball doesn’t require quite the same level of familiarity, right? I am very interested to see if those teams continue their success this year.
Finally, you talked about fatigue and pitch counts and limitations. How did you feel about the organization making you start games? Is it a non-issue because it’s all about getting work in and pitching? Does it change how you approach pitching? It just seems like it would be difficult to go from college which is obviously competitive and results-oriented, to the minors where results are secondary to preparing you for a big-league career, but still playing competitively. That is confusing when I read it. I’d just like to hear your thoughts on playing in a competitive situation (baseball games) where the results aren’t the most important aspect (you are limited in what pitches you can use and in what situations you can compete) . Is that weird? Easy to adjust to? Something you don’t really think about when you’re out there?
Sorry to be long-winded, but i don’t get to interact with prospects that often!

Re: Ian Snell playing for PR instead of the USA… I don’t understand why Puerto Rico has a team. They are a US territory, not a country of their own. This would be like having a USA team and a Texas team.

But to the theme of the blog post, I think the WBC is a great idea, and perhaps it was in baseball’s best interest that the Olympics (which are always overshadowed with an air of corruption anyway) cast off this sport. I can see the WBC being a great marketing tool for MLB and perhaps will allow for potential expansion of the sport.

It would be nice if the World Series was truly a world-wide event and not just the championship series of two US teams (apologies to the Blue Jays).

Hey Dan.
I’m not really here to post a specific comment about this post; I just discovered this whole blog today and was looking around.

I wanted to say that I am very impressed by all of this. It is good to see a player blogging about life in baseball and just life in general. Sometimes, it’s hard to realize that you ball players are just like us except you play baseball for a living. Keep up the writing.

As a Pirate fan, I hope to be seeing you in Pittsburgh sometime soon. Hopefully, you can help bring the Pirates back to the glory days. Being only 20 years old, I was too young to enjoy the team when they were last good, so I hope that players like you can help bring about that change in the near future.

Good luck this season!

Hey, Daniel, I worked the Olympics for us and was blown away by Korea’s ability in every facet of the game. They do nothing wrong and have power and finesse everwhere. That’s my team to beat. I think that nation’s talent just gets better and better on this kind of stage. Hyunjin Ryu was an animal on the mound against Cuba and everyone. He will be tough to beat. My story on the gold medal at: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080823&content_id=3354803&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

Canada will be a right-hander’s nightmare as usual, lefties up and down the lineup. They can be dangerous.

I still wonder if we focus too much on star appeal (ie Jeter at short) in this country, just my 2 cents. I just know that USA has to treat it like the World Series and not assume is is a favorite by any means. Davey just managed that bronze medal win for the USA and I know he will not accept the mentality we had in 2006. Go USA…be driven and check those egos.

BTW the last time pitch counts were the big hot topic throughout the World Baseball Classic. They never mattered whatsoever, so am looking forward to a lot more hot air about that topic.

Mark/MLB.com
http://mlblogs.mlblogs.com

USA! USA! I think the team feels they have something to prove. Heroes was great last night. But the plot does thicken!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Orrington- In all honesty, all of the pitchers going to big league spring training are ready to throw in games by now. A few extra competitive innings might do more good than harm. I know that for guys trying to make the team, every inning they throw is competitive so I wouldn’t read too much into that, IMO.

False account- Daniel is just fine, but thanks for asking. Thank you for the kind words about the girlfriend. It does help, but at the same time it is frustrating because we hardly get to talk because we are always so busy. Also, it is like rocket science trying to plan a trip for her to come see me. I am going to love that she has a job, and the fact that she is motivated is something I love about her. I agree about Japan and Korea. I am interested to see if it was just a fluke, or if the are that good of a TEAM!! It is definintely something that is different for me. The college atmosphere is one where winning is everything, the only thing. Pro ball is about the process, its black and white. At least it was the first year. This year should be different in terms of limitations and lack of results. I was not opposed to starting at all. It allows me to use all of my pitches, deal with adversity, and work on repeating my delivery. It was difficult for me to adjust, and I would get very frustrated. That led to thinking too much instead of just playing the game. I finally stopped over thinking the last month of the season, and the results were a little better. Don’t worry about being long winded.

Brian- I completely agree, that one makes no sense to me. Hawaii doesn’t get a team, either does Alaska. So why Puerto Rico? I have no clue. I hope the Blue Jays don’t take offense. But yes indeed it is a great idea, take the best from each country, the winner is a true world champion. I think that it will open up the sport even more so than it already is. I am unaware of the corruption in the Olympics, you can elaborate if you woul like.

Ising- Thanks for stopping by and giving your input. I will be posting all year, so make sure to keep up with the blog. I also think that your point was exactly the point that MLB was trying to get across. That we are people just like everybody else.

Mark- First of all Wow, that is awesome, I would have loved to have been a part of the Olympics. Second of all thank you for that input. That is really good info on the Korean team. I know that the Asian countries pride themselves in discipline, but was unaware of the talent. Very good to hear, but I did know that Ryu was a beast on the mound, that could not go unnoticed. The one thing that I would really like to see is USA play as a team, you know one unit mentality, where losses are not acceptable. Play the game like there is no tomorrow. I guess that’s just my opinion, but they looked unmotivate in 2006, thats my $.02. Couldn’t agree more about the pitch counts, I think they will be a non-issue on the field, but a hot topic of discussion off the field.

Julia- Finally, it took like 15 posts, but someone finally starte the USA chant, hahahahha. I agree that they do have something to prove, and would love to see them come out and just lay some wood to some of the teams in pool play. Yea it seems like every week the plot thickens, just when you think you have something figured out, something else happens. I guess that’s why I enjoy the show so much.

Ummm ..Puerto Rico is not actually a state and…how many players have Hawaii and Alaska sent to MLB>?

Jp- I know man, I was only kidding about Hawaii and Alaska. You know not being part of the continental United States. I think the reason Puerto Rico has a team might be because their stadium is used during pool play. Thats my best guess.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/2009_World_Baseball_Classic_(Rosters)

All the rosters are there.

I seriously don’t think that with the current rules in regards to pitchers, the DR can get it done. They have plenty of bats, and a ton of speed, I just don’t know if they have the pitching.

Nice to see a few Pirates represented though.

Chi-Hung Cheng of Taiwan
Gift Ngoepe of South Africa
Ramon Vazquez of Puerto Rico
Ian Snell of Puerto Rico
Ciro Rosero of Panama
Eliecer Navarro of Panama
Diomedes Garcia of Panama
Luis Cruz of Mexico
Ray Chang of China
David Davidson of Canada
Jamie Romak of Canada
Josh Hill of Australia

I could see Canada possibly being a sleeper in this years tourney.

Looks as if Rosero and Garcia of Panama only made the prelim roster.

Luis Cruz of Mexico only made the prelim roster.

Jamie Romak also didn’t make the final roster.

Add Paul Mildren to Australia’s team.

Thank you for the update shamtown. I will definitely be looking at the rosters tonight, and making my predictions. That’s a bummer about my buddy Romak. I was hopin for him that he would make the final team.

I wondered about the Puerto Rican issue myself. From what Ive read on sportspages, and Mr Selig’s own comments, they were included as a distinct and separate entity because PR has a national baseball league, independent of American baseball (as opposed to, say, the Texas League with MLB affiliation). And there is a tradition of PR representing itself on a national stage, like in the Caribbean World Series, for example.
Hope that helps.

Meant international stage, obviously. 🙂

orrington- You are the man. Thank you for the clarification. That makes things alot easier to understand. I should have known to just ask Mr. Selig, hahahaha.

I pretty much suck at running long distance and am much better at sprints. About the WBC, I saw Ian Snell is playing. Have you talked to him about his thoughts on it and if not, are you interested in talking to him?
USA! USA!
-Ellie
http://mrmetbro.blogspot.com

Ellie- I have not spoken with him about the WBC. But I do speak with him often, and he is real nice to me. I probably should ask him about that though

USA USA!!

Somehow this slipped my mind, but congratualtions to all the Pirates that made the rosters for the World Baseball Classic. It is truly and honor to represent your country.

Daniel, awesome blog and good luck during the 09 season. I haven’t been able to make it to one of your games yet but hopefully that will change this year! With all the talk about players playing for different teams, it got me thinking, do you play fantasy baseball or are the players even allowed? Lets Go Bucs and USA USA!!!!

Jwh- Thank you for the kind words. I hope you can make it to a game this year. I have played fantasy baseball in the past, but I think I am going to sit it out this year. It is way too time consuming, especially with this blog goin on. I don’t think there are rules against participating though

I was pretty bummed about Romak too. He was left off the Olympic team last time too. Hopefully next time he can make it. I was rooting hard for him though.

So what do you think, in a few years are you going to be playing in the WBC? Is that something you would even be interested in doing?

Yea I was rooting pretty hard for him too shamtown. Maybe next time. I would be honored to have a chance to represent USA in the WBC. Whether that is an option we will just have to wait and see, but I can promise I would never turn down the opportunity.

Hopefully there is no drop-off in the play of the participants. Seems like many teams are holding their players out.

I’d actually like to see the rosters be minor league players anyway, I don’t see it happening though because it would be tougher for the MLB to sell. Not because of the risk to star players, I’d just like to see the younger “amateurish” guys playing. With all the Major League players it has a All Star game feel to it.

Shamtown- I hope that there is no drop in play as well, and there is no reason that there should be. I actually like that it is just big leaguers because it does create an all-star ir drean team type feel to it. I looked at the rosters for a little while last night and I have to say that their are a bunch of superstars representing their countries. I don’t know how many players were held out, but I think wee are gonna see some really good games.

Yeah I’m sure the games will be outstanding. I truly think Canada is a team to look out for though, they could disrupt things in our pool. The only “pushover” team in our pool is Italy.

Pool B looks to be the easiest pool. Panama, Mexico, South Africa, and Cuba.

Shamtown- I completely agree. Canada is kind of my sleeper team as well. Although I am not sure how much pitching they have. Their lineup is sick, definitely going to put up some runs. I was also suprised to see Philippe Aumont on the final roster, I thought that he was hurt all of last year.

OK granted Puerto Rico does not have statehood like Texas, Alaska or Hawaii, but it is not its own country either. Perhaps I should have used the comparison that the District of Columbia doesn’t have its own entry in the WBC to make my point.

Regarding Olympic corruption: one can just Google “Olympic corruption” and find a plethora of articles on the subject. Most notable:

-Salt Lake, Syndney officials bribed International Olympic Committee members to buy their votes (common practice). Generally IOC itself is corrupt. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/297030.stm

-White House report charged that up to 80% of athletes in some sports used performance enhancing drugs. http://www.speakout.com/activism/issue_briefs/1381b-1.html

– Wresting controversy in Beijing -http://www.nbcolympics.com/wrestling/news/newsid=218404.html

– Just in case you think all corruption is over – Chicago 2016 http://www.aroundtherings.com/articles/view.aspx?id=31327

I don’t know of any corruption necessarily linked to baseball in the Olympics unless you tie in the substance abuse issue which is common between both, but I don’t wish to speculate on that. My point wasn’t really that Olympic baseball was corrupt, but that the Olympics are corrupt at the highest levels of the IOC and baseball is best served to get as far away from that as possible.

I am looking forward to the upcoming WBC and think this will be a better quality than Olympic baseball was.

Brian- All I can say is wow, I just didn’t want to believe that something so sacred like the Olympics would have so much corruption. That really saddens me.

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