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JinAZ
03-03-2006, 12:24 AM
So the world baseball classic has begun, with Korea currently having a 2-0 lead in the 6th inning vs Chinese Taipei (Taipei just had their second pitching change of the night).

I'm wondering...am I the only one around here who is excited about this tournament? I mean here we have, for the first time, a legitmate international baseball tournament showcasing the best players in the world. Each person is playing for his own parent country, not some adopted team in an adopted city in an adopted country. It's going to be really cool to see the guys from the Dominican Republic or Venezuela suit up and know they have a serious chance at winning this tournament (btw, Taipei got a single to lead off the bottom of the 6th, and then promptly bunted him up to 2nd base...despite being down by 2 in the second half of a game...). In an age when players jump from team to team all the time, I'm really drawn to this idea that these guys belong to their own country's teams and can have a real identity with those teams.

I know people will knock it. Not all the best MLB players are involved. There appears to be a huge mismatch in the talent level of some teams--hence the mercy rule. It might deminish a player's performance later in the season for games that "matter." A player might get hurt in the tourney and miss games that "matter." Not enough games are played within the tourney to figure out who is truly the "best team." And so on.

But this is something that will happen only once every 4 years, right after the winter olympics. It's an event the whole world will watch...or at least those countries with teams in the tourney. It's really an international event, where we can revel in the international status of this game we love. And yeah, if you're into that patriotic mumbo-jumbo, you get a chance to root for a national team you can be proud of, a team brimming with all-stars (Taipei's inning ended with a ground out and a strikeout, stranding their runner on 2nd).

Yes, the marketing of this thing has been a bit silly thus far; I think they're trying too hard to get people emotionally involved. But I'd just like to encourage everyone to give this thing a chance--maybe record it on Tivo and then fast-forward past all the inevitable ceremonial crap at the beginning of the first USA game, as well as the countless human interest stories. :) After all, how could you miss a chance to see the Korean national team, which has had 4 guys named Lee and 4 guys named Kim in the game tonight? (Yes, one of the latter is our pal Byung-Hyun Kim--1.2 innings scoreless). :)
-JinAZ
...I'm planning to go to a game or two here in Phoenix as USA takes on Mexico, Canada, and that poor South African team, so I'll probably post some comments on those games next week...

oneupper
03-03-2006, 07:00 AM
I'll be going to Orlando next week for a couple of games (Venezuela-Italy and Venezuela-Australia).

I don't know if this will be a success or not...the first World Cup of Soccer was far from being a great event (few teams, etc.).
Perhaps it's a one-time shot.

In any case, keep those stubs...30 years from now they might be worth something.

TeamBoone
03-03-2006, 11:21 AM
I'm wondering why this has not been advertised on television, radio, or in the newspapers. Or have I just missed it in all three media markets? If so, then there hasn't been much.

I think there may be a whole lot of people who don't even know it's happening! And a bunch of them just might be interested.

JinAZ
03-04-2006, 12:51 AM
I'm wondering why this has not been advertised on television, radio, or in the newspapers. Or have I just missed it in all three media markets? If so, then there hasn't been much.

I think there may be a whole lot of people who don't even know it's happening! And a bunch of them just might be interested.

There was a super bowl ad, which is available on the the WBC website (www.worldbaseballclassic.com/2006/)...frankly, I think the whole "baseball is spoken here" thing is a bit corny, but whatever. The media outlets, however, aren't terribly excited about it, and I think that's the biggest problem. You're right in that few people seem to know about it -- I was talking about it with a guy at work and he hadn't even heard about it.

I really do hope this thing does well enough to be held again in 2010. If they hold it then, I'm pretty confident they can keep it going indefinitely. I'm hoping for close games; blow-outs like the Japan/China game last night (just watched it on tivo...mercy rule after 8 innings) aren't much fun to watch. But if we get to see some really close, back and forth games with a lot of emotion going, I do think it could take off.

SirFelixCat
03-04-2006, 04:20 AM
I'm pretty stoked to watch this. IMO, though, baseball would be better served to have this in the offseason, late Oct. Just seems silly to do this during ST when most players are just trying to get into form....

oneupper
03-04-2006, 08:33 AM
I'm pretty stoked to watch this. IMO, though, baseball would be better served to have this in the offseason, late Oct. Just seems silly to do this during ST when most players are just trying to get into form....

I guess those who were in Winter Ball (yep, even Tejada showed up for some games) will have an advantage.

Yachtzee
03-05-2006, 12:31 AM
It doesn't help that Steinbrenner is being a big baby about it.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/baseball/mlb/specials/spring_training/2006/03/04/yankees.classic.ap/index.html?cnn=yes

KronoRed
03-05-2006, 01:23 AM
I doubt few if any fans complained.

It's spring training

Contract the yanks.

vaticanplum
03-05-2006, 02:20 AM
I'm pretty stoked to watch this. IMO, though, baseball would be better served to have this in the offseason, late Oct. Just seems silly to do this during ST when most players are just trying to get into form....

I've heard a lot of people say this as it relates to the injury factor, but I actually think the opposite. I think players would be waaay more susceptible to injury if they played at the end of a draining six-month season (or even seven for the postseason players, many of whom would presumably be playing in the WBC) when they're normally used to giving their bodies a break. Spring training time they're rested up and out there playing baseball anyway and can get hurt there too. Eh, there's really just no good time to have it. I'm excited for it too though, I think it's amazingly great that random dudes from the Netherlands who usually probably have to pay people for the chance to talk about baseball are now getting to play alongside the best players in the world.

oneupper
03-05-2006, 04:02 PM
It doesn't help that Steinbrenner is being a big baby about it.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/baseball/mlb/specials/spring_training/2006/03/04/yankees.classic.ap/index.html?cnn=yes

Big baby is too nice. He's being an ABSOLUTE JERK. We get it already George, you don't like the WBC. And anything that happens to a Yankee there will be his next excuse for not winning the WS this year.

pedro
03-05-2006, 04:03 PM
I watched some of it last night and it didn't look like there was 100 people there.

Edd Roush
03-05-2006, 05:18 PM
I was reading the Enquirer today and it says that more seats were sold for the World Baseball Classic than the entire Turino Winter Olympics. That seems to show that there is massive interest in it. If I lived in Arizona, I'd definately check it out. Since I don't, me and some buddies are gonna be checking it out at B dubs. I think it will be a good thing, but only time will tell.

oneupper
03-05-2006, 06:10 PM
I was reading the Enquirer today and it says that more seats were sold for the World Baseball Classic than the entire Turino Winter Olympics. That seems to show that there is massive interest in it. If I lived in Arizona, I'd definately check it out. Since I don't, me and some buddies are gonna be checking it out at B dubs. I think it will be a good thing, but only time will tell.

Tix to the Venezuela-DR game are going for upwards of $500.

Looks like lack of interest to me.

JinAZ
03-06-2006, 02:23 AM
Tix to the Venezuela-DR game are going for upwards of $500.

Looks like lack of interest to me.

I can buy upper deck tickets behind home plate for the US/Mexico game on Tuesday for $25 right now. :) Most countries outside of the US are pretty into it, it's just that the Americans...well, a lot of them don't even know about this! :rolleyes:

Good game between Korea and Japan last night.
-JinAZ