January 27, 2006

The World (Little League) Baseball Classic: Mercy rules. Pitch counts. Ichiro could knock a pitcher out in one at bat!

posted by BullpenPro to baseball at 08:40 AM - 6 comments

Those are some crazy ass rules.

posted by ProSam at 09:17 AM on January 27, 2006

I can't wait to see how they enforce the rule setting limits on representation from any one Major League team throughout the tournament. Weird.

posted by BullpenPro at 09:35 AM on January 27, 2006

I like this one: "A player can represent a country if he is a citizen, qualifies for citizenship, holds a passport or is qualified to hold a passport, is a legal resident, was born in the country, has a parent who is or was a citizen and has a parent who was born there." Gosh, that's pretty open. How about we do away with the national links altogether? We can set up each team with a sponsor -- let's call them "owners" -- and let them choose the players they want from around the world. We could maybe set one day where they take turns picking players to make up their teams. Then they could trade the players around, say, if they thought they had a particular imbalance that they needed to address. Each "owner" could choose a uniform and a team name, and then the teams could all play a big tournament to see which owner's team is best. That'd be cool. I bet people would pay to watch that.

posted by Amateur at 10:27 AM on January 27, 2006

I am curious as to whether the pitch count limits will influence strategy. If I were a manager of a team getting smoked by an opposing pitcher who is the ace of his team and that pitcher was getting up towards the limit, I might send my batters up there with the instruction to not swing at anything that's not right down the middle. If a pitcher is within 9 pitches of the limit, you could send your guys up there in an inning with the instruction to not swing at all -- worst case scenario, the pitcher strikes out the side on 9 pitches and is out of there by the end of the inning. With respect to Ichiro knocking out a pitcher in one at bat, note that Ichiro was only 111th in Pitches per Plate Appearance in MLB last year.

posted by holden at 10:53 AM on January 27, 2006

I have to admit that using Ichiro as an example of someone who draws a lot of pitches was a totally unresearched guess on my part. I am kind of stunned by that list -- not at all what I would have guessed. As for the rules influencing strategy... it sure is going to alter decisions about the final rosters. I suspect teams are going to stock up on more starting pitchers and use them as long relievers, particularly in the first week of the tourney. I'm guessing (though I'm not sure) that they are using the DH, so teams will need fewer bench players for subs. That issue of stopping teams from taking too many pitchers from a single MLB organization is likely to be a big one.

posted by BullpenPro at 11:13 AM on January 27, 2006

BullpenPro -- the DH is being used universally in the WBC.

posted by holden at 11:19 AM on January 27, 2006

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.