The game was as good as I expected and to see Daisuke Matsuzaka pitch the way he did was incredible. That guy has got to get to the US and pitch in Major League Baseball. Not only does he throw hard, he seems to have exceptional control. Going 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA in the tournament was worthy of the MVP trophy which he received. The entire Japanese team played the way they always play and that was plenty good enough with a victory over a tough Cuba team. It is a testament to how baseball had grown throughout the world when there are only two Major League players left playing in the tournament in Ichiro and Akinori Otsuka. Many of the Cuban players and Japanese players belong in MLB, but due to contracts and other issues they are still playing in their own countries.
What a treat this Classic was for me and many others around the world. I truly believe this was one of the best ideas MLB has come up with and as fans, we can expect to see even more talent arriving to our favorite clubs(or probably just the Yankee$). Thanks MLB for making the final month of winter tolerable and now I’m even more excited to get the regular season underway.
As dissapointed as I am that the US team were booted out early, I have to say that I am just as intrigued in the two teams that are left to fight it out Monday in the WBC title game. The team from Japan has overcome many obsticles to get here and showed that they belong with a shutout against Korea. Cuba seemed to breeze through the tournament pacing the world all-stars in their run.
The fact that Japan has beaten the best teams getting to the championship game puts them as the favorites in my opinion…and well I’m always right. I’m trying to find out who will be pitching for the Japanese team and I’m hoping it’s Daisuke Matsuzaka because I haven’t seem him pitch yet and I heard he is phenominal. I’m a big fan of the way the team plays, kind of like the Marlins in their title run in 2003. It’s all about the small ball and somewhere in Chicago, JP is smiling.
I’m hoping for a close, nail-biting game with Japan as the victors. We’ll see.
Fish On A Roll
The title seems like it should be on the school caffeteria lunch menu, but the fact of the matter is that the Marlins continue to show their stuff this spring with a 5-0 victory over the Mets, improving their record to 11-6. Scott Olsen looked great during his five innings and the pen held the game together as former Met Mike Jacobs homered against his old team. I’m looking at the boxscore and it says that he hit it off of Jorge Julio, however Julio was not charged with an earned run. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about the game, but that is just beyond me. Anyone have an answer as to why this is, other than a typo, let me know.
Iowa– Falls to NW ST. in the first round Indiana– Lost to Gonzaga Michigan St.– Lost to Geoge Mason in round one Wisconsin– Another B10 first round loss to Arizona Ohio State– Gets crushed in round two to Georgetown
You gotta be kidding me! Being a Michgan fan, I still root for the Big 10 when I can, unless it’s OSU. With said garbage university now out of the tourney, there are now no more teams left. Still the best conference in college for any sport.
I have picked Gonzaga to go all the way many times over the past few years, but they always come up short. I’d like to think this is the year they finally take home the championship. This year, I chose Nevada just because I felt like it. Heh, well, two of my final four teams were eliminated in the first round. I always stink at picking the final four, mainly because I don’t use common sense, just what teams I like. Go Zags!
The WBC started off with a great matchup of talent between Cuba and Venezuela. The defensive game was amazing on both ends and the contest was interesting until Venezuela fell apart in the sixth inning when Cuba scored five runs and ran away with the game.
So what if it was a bad call, right? The run was taken away and possibly the win from Japan when umpire Bob Davidson reversed a safe call by the second base umpire. Oh well! Look, something like a reversal is uncommon but not unheard of. That is why there are more umpires on the field and not just one. They are only human and it’s hard to see everything, so they check themselves. Mistakes are part of the game and we all have to deal with it just like during the regular season. Just like that **** home run call when Jeffrey Maher interfered in the game and the Yankees beat the O’s. I’m still bitter at that but again, it’s all part of the game and I accept that. It’s all about overcoming these mistakes and the true champions will do that. The joke around Marlinsbaseball.com when Derek Lee was the first baseman was that he was Anti-Clutch. It seemed whenever he was up with the game on the line, he choked. Well, during the WBC he has been anything but the Anti-Clutch tag. His bat is hot and the US wouldn’t be where they are without him. It’s also about time the $250 million dollar man came through with a big hit this tournament. A-Rod is the type of player that can do that on any given night but didn’t show it until today. I also loved seeing the enthusiasm from the US players with that win. Kind of showed the world that we really are excited about this tourney and that the players are giving it their all for the championship.
Fish and Shadez on Fire
Hanley "Shadez" Ramirez cranked two homers today giving the Fish another ST win today. I know it’s early to get really excited about a rookie, but he is no Abe "OMGNunez" Nunez. Shadez has been a top prospect on the Red Sox and in my opinion is best in the Marlins system that is close to or ready for ML time. I’m telling you what, this team is going to surprise you guys and I for one can’t wait to get it started for real. The Marlins upped their record to 9-2 and are facing the Orioles tomarrow.
The Elite 8
It was good to see the US show what they really can do in this tournament. Really, I had no doubts but Canada sure made me nervous and Mexico came out of nowhere. The US plays a strong team from Japan and we could be in line for an upset here. Not sure if Train is starting or not but I’d really like him to show the world his stuff. If this goes routine, he’ll bring his A-Game and dominate.
I thought Panama had a better team than they showed on the field. Maybe it was bad luck or just that the team didn’t click, but they just didn’t look all that good. To close out my blurb on the WBC….can we please keep politics out of the games?
You Can’t Win ‘Em All…
But they can sure try. The 10-6 loss to the NY Mets was only the second on the exhibition season and giving them an 8-2 mark. Again, the Fish are looking great together and we can only hope this extends into the regular season.
I just received my tickets to the game at Shea April 9th and I’m totally stoked about it. Seems like it’s official once you get them in my opinion. It may appear that I’m making a big deal about going to one game, but I don’t have the luxury of making the trip to NY or Philly as much as I would like. At least locally I have AA baseball, which is a great thing.
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Wow. First off, I was watching the Cuba-Panama game and by far this was the most intense game I’ve seen this tournament. Funny thing is, it’s the first I’ve seen. Anyway, the US looked seriously outmatched against a much weaker Canadian team. I had to cut away when it was 5-0 and when I got back on it was 8-2 with the bases loaded and BOOM! Tek just belted that grand slam. I was actually about to start my workout so that got me pumped to do the stairmaster, er,uh, bench 500 pounds. Looks like the Americans have their work cut out for them…but I’m not too worried.
The Marlins offense is on serious fire! Another win today beating the BoSox 12-1 and bringing their spring record to 5-1. AGon and Lowell combined to go 0-6 against their former team and Shadez going 3-3 against his former organization. Hey, I know it’s only spring, but at 250-1 odds on the Fish taking the Series…you better jump on it cuz we’re hotter than you think.
Yeah, I’m going nuts waiting for March to get here so we can get the WBC going. I was just reviewing the rosters and most of the teams really have a legit chance at winning this thing. Even the Netherlands has a superstar in Andruw Jones….well, right now he is the only official player on the team. I’d like to see Larry Walker get an at bat or two on the Canadian team. Looks like he’s on as a coach and by the way he was speaking in that article, he is in no shape to play. But he deserves to have his name in an official box score.
Outside of the United States, the Dominican Republic in my opinion, has the best overall team with Team Canada a close second.. This is based on the players I know, so Japan, China and Chinese Taipai are really off my radar as far as talent goes.
Now, my kids don’t get another break from school until April but I’m inclined to get to Orlando to catch a game in March myself. But that wouldn’t be much fun.
On a side note, this must be related to the Friday the 13th thing….yesterday some guy I work with
put a hard boiled egg in the microwave to heat it up and when he put the knife in to cut it, well, there was egg everywhere. The thing exploded louder than a balloon bursting. I was picking up egg shrapnel across the room, trying not too laugh too hard.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I am stoked about this tourney. The World Series will always be the World Series, this to me is like a true championship of the world. Each country is represented my their own countrymen, along with pro players from the US that have a background from other countries like Mike Piazza can play for Italy. Eventually as this thing grows, ALL of the individual countries can just field their own players. If I was still in Florida you can bet I’d buy tickets to all of the games, but instead I’ll watch or listen on MLB.com.
I’ll probably get a USA hat and t-shirt or something and maybe and Aussie hat just because the colors are cool. Then I might go for something Italy, just because that’s half of my ancestry.
But my biggest disapointment came with the news about Cuba not being allowed to play in the US. I won’t get into politics, but I will say I agree. However, this team would have been one of the favorites to win in my opinion. Not because I know who is on the team, rather the product that has previously been on the Cuban National Team. Not sure what country will represent instead, if any, but either way it’s all good.
I’ll get into it a little more down the road as the time comes near…but for now now I’ll familiarize myself with all of the teams and players so I can enjoy every minute of this great new tournament.
on a side note:
I want JP back.