March 07, 2006

Classic a Good Show for Baseball: Around the World, especially in Latin American Countries, where Baseball has become a National Passion, the New Tournament had a compelling name before the first pitch was thrown. If you can only set up your TiVo for one game on Tuesday, forget Mexico-U.S. The game to watch on the first day of baseball's version of March Madness (those Pool A games from Tokyo were all night games, at least in the U.S.) is Venezuela vs. the Dominican Republic. The matchup of Johan Santana vs. Albert Pujols, Miguel Tejada and David Ortiz, has been greatly anticipated since the brackets were announced in December.

posted by skydivedad to baseball at 07:51 AM - 31 comments

I'd be a lot more excited about this if it weren't pre-empting coverage of the Arsenal/Real Madrid Champion's League match tomorrow. That said, the Dominican Republic should be the favorite and I'm curious about the how the Japanese team matches up against Major Leaguers.

posted by trox at 09:23 AM on March 07, 2006

Venezuela will come out on top of this matchup vs. the Dominicans... They have the best pitching staff out of any othe team in the competition - hands down - and pretty good offense to go along with it, plus, they are all in shape since they have been playing all of winter ball. -If the Dominicans had Manny + Pedro, I would give them as top favorites to take it all... Still, they are capable of beating anyone any day... What a game this will be, I hope it lives up to all the hype! These two teams should end up going forward in this group.... I'm just curious to see what the Cubans can do against real major league baseball star players....

posted by zippinglou at 09:44 AM on March 07, 2006

Sorry dad but the link went bad. Here is an article that talks about how Venezuela, Dom. Republic and USA are the serious contenders in the tournament. I agree that the most exciting game today is going to the Dom. Republic/Ven. game.

posted by skydivemom at 10:19 AM on March 07, 2006

Seems the Chicago Tribune decided to remove the page this link was tied to, I wouldn't have used it if I had known they were going to do this...... It was in today's issue, who would think they would remove it that quickly. Unfornuately, I can't replace it on the FPP. Here's another link to read on the subject. So, before you smash me to bits for posting a bad link it wasn't when I put it up and I will never trust another Chicago Tribune article link. Back to the WBC early round show-down between Venezuela and Dominican Republic.... Let's hope the Passion on the Field lives up to the hype......

posted by skydivedad at 10:23 AM on March 07, 2006

Welcome Back Baseball! It's Good To See YOu Again, in Any Form

posted by Ultim8 at 11:09 AM on March 07, 2006

Don't dismiss Mexico, the 2005 & 2002 Caribbean World Series champions. No big surprise if they beat the US today.

posted by catfish at 12:09 PM on March 07, 2006

Changed post to use skydivedad's second link.

posted by justgary at 01:20 PM on March 07, 2006

Damn, those Dominicans can hit!!!! As a RedSox fan - I love you big Papi... As a Venezuelan - I hate you today!!!! wow...

posted by zippinglou at 01:51 PM on March 07, 2006

The Dominicans are gonna win it all, their lineup is stacked. As a Soxs fan, I do love Big Papi

posted by hardhits1012 at 01:58 PM on March 07, 2006

the Sox will rock the Yanks socks this year

posted by hardhits1012 at 02:07 PM on March 07, 2006

The World Baseball Classic. Its kind of got a nice ring to it. And to tell you the truth so far so good. Early on I've been pleasently sirprised by the mount of following it has recieved, as well as how good the matchups have been. It's nice to see so many other countries coming together to play what used to be an all american sport. I think WBC has a chance to become something big...something the whole world can become proud of. Its a great move foreward for not only baseball but the whole world of sports..... Go Dominican....and I dont even feel unamerican

posted by solrac at 02:25 PM on March 07, 2006

I'll be focused on Italy v Australia. Goddam's got 13 points riding on Dave Nilsson's aging body.

posted by owlhouse at 02:27 PM on March 07, 2006

you want to know who will win the WBC? look no further than the heart of DR's batting order... the 3-7 hitters had a .600 OBP or better... look at the line on Beltre: .600 w/ 5 RBI 2 HR and an SB? Guess i'm moving him back up on my fantasy cheat sheet...

posted by coryphaeus at 03:44 PM on March 07, 2006

As an owner I would not be overly happy at the prospect of having my premium high priced ball players putting themselves at risk of physical injury for no gain, and potentially losing them for a season. What's the benefit of this classic to MLB?

posted by irunfromclones at 04:14 PM on March 07, 2006

who cares? Its supposed to be about the fans. I for one am enjoying the competition.

posted by eadifudontlikeit at 04:20 PM on March 07, 2006

What's the benefit of this classic to MLB? Short-term? Merchandise sales, television/radio/internet broadcasting revenues, piquing interest in the sport earlier in the season than usual. Long-term? Ideally an infusion of baseball fever abroad and an eventual international passion for the game. They're trying to do what basketball did and become a real international moneymaker. This is huge for MLB. Otherwise they wouldn't have organized it.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 04:26 PM on March 07, 2006

Not to mention additional exposure of international players to MLB scouts, resulting in bringing even more of the world's greatest players to the league. Individual teams may lose something to injuries, but as the good doctor ably pointed out, MLB's overall gains, short and long, are ridiculously high.

posted by BullpenPro at 04:33 PM on March 07, 2006

Good points Doc. I must confess that I had thought about the merchandise since my 16 year old had mentioned the jersies. I just didn't think that people who were not normally baseball fans would bother.

posted by irunfromclones at 05:36 PM on March 07, 2006

Cuba throwback jerseys are rad

posted by rxreed at 06:00 PM on March 07, 2006

Hey, I know nothing about baseball, don't understand it, can't normally see it, yet I'm entered in a confidence pick 'em and am strangely drawn to watching bits of this on ESPN.

posted by owlhouse at 06:01 PM on March 07, 2006

Some interesting things I have picked up on various TV interviews: Ichiro was quoted by various wire services after losing to Korea that if was satisfied with his performance, he should quit baseball. This would be the most emotional thing I have seen quoted from him since he called the rest of the Mariners out for being less than passionate clubhouse card players. Judging from their record, he was right. I also think it was on the Chris Myer's Interview, Bud Selig say something along the lines that beyond international exposure for baseball, he seemed to intimate that he had dreamed (dreamt?) of an international baseball league. Did anyone else hear this or get that impression that this was a goal of his? Thoughts?

posted by THX-1138 at 07:05 PM on March 07, 2006

I am an avid baseball fan and have been for years. I'm very excited about the potential for the WBC to gain in popularity with those who don't otherwise know the game, as well as prospects for MLB. With this steroid scandel still unfolding, baseball can use all the help it can get. WBC is for the fans so the owners can go kiss my (have a cold one on me) and enjoy the games!!!

posted by beermn at 07:53 PM on March 07, 2006

I just gotta say, seeing so much of Ernie Whitt & Buck Martinez again makes the old Blue Jays fan in me feel good.

posted by chicobangs at 01:56 AM on March 08, 2006

So far, the WBC has been a huge hit! Let's hope it gets even better as we move on !

posted by zippinglou at 03:24 AM on March 08, 2006

The big problem with the WBC is that it's the Confederations Cup without a World Cup. That's to say, it's an off-year, off-season tournament which, ultimately, is about getting players in shape. That said, the English FA regarded the World Cup as a silly foreign diversion from the national domestic league for twenty years, until 1950, and got beaten by the US when they finally deigned to enter a team. So, it's a question of whether MLB builds on this: perhaps give the winning team (with the obvious Cuban exception) the chance to host the official season-opener the following year? (That said, what a pain for fans of the Champions League.)

posted by etagloh at 04:01 AM on March 08, 2006

The baseball played for this thing has been above par. While I think it's bad to pull guys away from their teams during spring training, it is good to have players going at it in a global setting. It would be a major embarrassment if the USA lost this thing. I did think they played well against Mexico. While there are good teams aside from us, call me a "homer" but I say go States. Chase Utley is the next great second baseman. Put on yer rally caps, God Bless Baseball.

posted by GoBirds at 04:01 AM on March 08, 2006

My only question is ... this is the first year, so how's it already a Classic? Just sayin'.

posted by rgchappell at 06:17 AM on March 08, 2006

If you don't mind calling baseball in North America in October the World Series, why get upset at this?

posted by yerfatma at 07:42 AM on March 08, 2006

Sorry, Goddam, but against Italy last night the Wombats looked like they couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo.

posted by owlhouse at 01:38 PM on March 08, 2006

It would be a major embarrassment if the USA lost this thing. Well unfortunately the US is not going to win this thing. Have you seen the roster for the Dominican Republic? WOW, they are stacked, and the pitching staff is above average. I just don't believe any other team has the firepower that D.R. has. Then again, I have had a few to drink. CHEERS TO ALL AND BOTTOMS UP!!!!!

posted by beermn at 07:05 PM on March 08, 2006

While I think it's bad to pull guys away from their teams during spring training, it is good to have players going at it in a global setting. It would be a major embarrassment if the USA lost this thing. I did think they played well against Mexico.
As a Baseball fan, I'm loving the WBC. I do agree that this may not be the best time of the year to do this tournament; I would rather see it played after the "World" Series. I must disagree with you when you say it would be an embarrassment for the USA to lose this, since there are very good teams out there capable of beating anyone any time.... Play hard, play fair, and enjoy the show.... As for the injury controversy, heck - these happen all the time during Spring Training too.... I don't think that playing this tournament will necessarily add to the probability of a player getting hurt anymore than he could while he trains.
After the Olympics decided against Baseball, this is the best way to show case what each country has to offer.... Good fun!

posted by zippinglou at 07:10 PM on March 08, 2006

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