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World Baseball Classic

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Anyone paying attention to this? I think it just might be the coolest baseball tourney ever. Tonight here in San Juan PR is playing Cuba -- should be an amazing game. Next week the second round is here and it looks like Venezuela, the DR, Cuba and PR -- there are some great great players in that group:
Miguel Cabrera, Francisco Rodriguez, Carlos Zambrano, Freddy Garcia, Johan Santana, Ivan Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, Javy Lopez, and that's not even mentioning all the great Dominican players. Fun times if you are a baseball fan.
post #2 of 16
this tournament should have involved the champion of each of the participating countries. then there could be a real world series.

they used national teams because baseball was recently kicked out of the olympics due to its not being a truely global sport. still, i think the idea was okay, but the inclusion of teams like holland, china, australia, and italy cheapened the whole thing. if the tourney wants to be taken seriously it should be limited to countries that take baseball seriously. otherwise it's simply an exercise in bad p.r.
post #3 of 16
Do you want it to be a real world series or not? I don't get it.

I pity the fool who has to face Roger Clemens after a US loss.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by matadorpoeta
this tournament should have involved the champion of each of the participating countries. then there could be a real world series.

they used national teams because baseball was recently kicked out of the olympics due to its not being a truely global sport. still, i think the idea was okay, but the inclusion of teams like holland, china, australia, and italy cheapened the whole thing. if the tourney wants to be taken seriously it should be limited to countries that take baseball seriously. otherwise it's simply an exercise in bad p.r.

This is different though than the Olympics. This time you have about 5 Dream Teams --Puerto Rico, Venezuela, the DR and U.S. are all stocked with top tier big league stars, including several future hall of famers. Mexico has some great players and Cuba ain't Swiss cheese, although PR waxed them last night in a game shortened by the mercy rule. I think Cuba didn't care much because they had already advanced and their manager just wanted to get a bunch of guys in the game.
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger02
Do you want it to be a real world series or not? I don't get it.

I pity the fool who has to face Roger Clemens after a US loss.

there can never be a true world series because baseball is not a world sport. no one outside of about 8 countries cares about baseball. but i do think that at the professional level, whoever is the champion of the US should have to play against the champions of the few other countries that have a pro league in order to call themselves world champs.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu
Anyone paying attention to this?

The sad thing is that even here in baseball crazy New York, other than whining about all the Yankees that might get injured, no one cares.

When the US lost to Canada the main reaction was laughter. There were a lot of jokes about how the US lost to team with a total payroll of under $7MM a year.
post #7 of 16
The exposure seems to be very low. They're not doing a great job of marketing it, and the games are mainly on cable - though I caught Cuba/Venezuela and Cuba/Puerto Rico on our UPN affiliate. One interesting thing: all the WBC subway ads are in spanish and for ESPN Deportes. It seems to me that people would be more receptive if it was during the middle of the regular season. I, for one, am not much in the baseball frame of mind now. During March it's just on the periphery.

Stu, are you going to any of the games? The Cuba/Venezuela game, at least early, looked sparsely attended.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chorse123
The exposure seems to be very low. They're not doing a great job of marketing it, and the games are mainly on cable - though I caught Cuba/Venezuela and Cuba/Puerto Rico on our UPN affiliate. One interesting thing: all the WBC subway ads are in spanish and for ESPN Deportes. It seems to me that people would be more receptive if it was during the middle of the regular season. I, for one, am not much in the baseball frame of mind now. During March it's just on the periphery.

Stu, are you going to any of the games? The Cuba/Venezuela game, at least early, looked sparsely attended.

I've got box seats for Wednesday night -- 3rd row behind the First Base dugout. It will be Cuba-PR. The way things are going, that could be for the right to go to San Diego. Now THAT is going to be electric. Here in San Juan, it's all people can talk about. Of course we have a great team and they are hot, so that helps. As for the other teams, people here are not willing to shell out the money as much. The Dominican games will be a good draw beecause of the huge number of Dominicans living here.
post #9 of 16
I'm suprised that the Japanese team isn't doing better. Since, ya know, Japan invented baseball. (and competition in general)
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim
I'm suprised that the Japanese team isn't doing better. Since, ya know, Japan invented baseball.

(and competition in general)


Japan got completely hosed against the U.S., from what I saw. They went ahead in the top of the 9th against Brad Lidge, but the U.S. appealed, saying the runner left too soon (it was a sac. fly). The umpire denied the appeal, saying it was kosher, but then the home plate ump overruled him and called the runner out.
post #11 of 16
Umm, Team USA, it's time to get moving, you know, being down 2-1 to Team Mexico in the 8th inning, in a game USA has to win in order to advance. Wake up! If it ends up a 2-1 loss, Japan goes to the next round. edit: and down they go, 1-2-3, which makes it 11 straight retired by Mexico. edit II: It's all up to Griffey, Chipper, and Arod. Griffey being tough at the plate! Err, until Del La Rosa Ks him... Yeah, Chipper Jones draws a walk. Ayala coming in for Mexico. Arod, not exactly renown for being clutch in big games, has a prime opportunity. Draws a walk! Come on Vernon (Wells)... Argh. Double play. Mexico was the better team. Japan advances.
post #12 of 16
it's a bit diconcerting that they made up an italian national baseball team for this tournament, and threw a bunch of americans on it. so if your name is smith or jones you can play for your country, but if you're american and your name ends in a vowel, go play for someone else. nomar garciaparra was asked, by mlb, to play for mexico. he's from l.a.

and another thing...
if you guys ever noticed that italy and greece had teams at the olympics; those teams were made up of americans with italian or greek ancestry.

it irks me that baseball people are lying in the media to try and represent it as a global sport. mexico is not a baseball country. we have a pro league, but no one goes to the games, and none of them are televised except for the championship series, and even then no one watches. baseball is as popular there as women's soccer is in the u.s.

yes. the super bowl is televised all over the world, but it is seen as a novelty. no one knows who the players are or cares who wins.

i'm ranting because recently i was talking to an idiot coworker and mentioned that i was going to play soccer later on. his response was, "the only real sports are football, baseball, and basketball."

sometimes i feel like i'm in a red state.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Matador:

Do you think that if Mexico produced a few more Fernando Valenzuelas that would change? I would think that Mexicans would come around on baseball if they started producing some marquee stars.

I think MLB wants to find a few Yao Mings of its own
post #14 of 16
i don't think so. here's why:
mexico is obsessed with soccer and baseball is seen as an american sport. if you consider that soccer is about as close to a year round sport as it gets, and that there is definitely an anti-american corporate imperialism climate down there, i don't see any chance of baseball picking up steam.

baseball also suffers from the stigma that pretty much all the mexican baseball players are from northern mexico. they are norteños, and in mexico, the north is sort of equivalent to the american south. northerners are seen as backwards hicks with moustaches and cowboy hats. they are looked down upon by everyone further south, where the vast majority live. (no offense to the american southerners here.)

i heard a commentator on the radio make a good case for the classic being held right after the world series, a la the nfl pro bowl. the players would be in form, and injuries would have plenty of time to heal prior to spring training. i still say it should involve the pro teams, or if they want national teams, have the players be actual citizens of the country they represent. i don't think that's too much to ask.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by matadorpoeta
have the players be actual citizens of the country they represent. i don't think that's too much to ask.
I sort of agree, except that no other sport holds itself to those standards--at least more than nominally--so don't really see the point.

If my great-grandfather had waited 6 months to give up his Italian citizenship, I'd be a dual citizen. Sometimes heritage is just a matter of paperwork.

Tom
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