What Did We Learn From The WBC?

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Other than when a Mexican guy chants "Japan" it sounds like "Yeah, Pants!" I think a couple of things:

  • There are flaws in the format. The team selection and groupings are pretty arbitrary, and still seem geared more towards spreading the MLB Gospel to prospective markets than crowning an International Champ. The timing does too. Injuries aren't the problem with having the WBC in the Spring. Guys get hurt in regular camp every day. It's the fact that a huge number of your players just aren't in a regular baseball rhythm. It affects the pitchers, it affects the hitters and as long as guys aren't in top form it will always feel like an exhibition for teams primarily composed of Major Leaguers.

    Dumb people that write dumb columns on why they don't like the WBC will probably continue to dislike it until the US beats Russia for the title on some walkoff homerun from Rocky Balboa. I tried chronicling all of these as they came out but there were too many. Formatting changes won't change people that see International Competition as somehow inferior to American Pro Sports. But for people that get some enjoyment out of this tournament (me, and I think most of our readers included), smart formatting changes could cement its big event status.

  • Baseball is a simple game. Lloyd summed it up this morning in this post. Pitch efficiently, play defense, and have some power. It's led Japan to two straight titles. But, I take issue with anyone that calls this "throwback baseball" as if no one in MLB does it. It took the Rays to the World Series last year. Japan's success just reinforces the point.

Granted I just said that I enjoyed the tournament, yet I watched a single inning of last night's game. The dramatic 10th inning. But on the whole I watched far more of this year's WBC than the inaugural one, and it wasn't even my beat. I give it 3 out of 5 shrimp.

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I watched a ridiculous amount of this WBC. Aside from the pointlessness of the final game of the first two rounds and general scheduling foolishness, I loved it. Going to the first game in Toronto certainly heightened my appreciation. I hope they do it again, four years seems like a long time.

I watched very little, until last night. That was a great game, and the atmosphere was fantastic. Not even the drooling conversation between Joe Morgan and Bud Selig could ruin it. And we all know that, in the end, we are but subjects of Ichiro.

High-level baseball + a pressurized environment + loud-ass fans = fun times for everyone.

A prior commitment prevented me from watching last night but I mostly enjoyed the games I watched. Yeah, I rooted hard for Team America but I don't automatically think the WBC is broken because the US didn't make the finals. Anyone who says that is a jingoistic old coot.

Good work, Japanese players. Now go back to your Chiba Lotte Marines and Seattle Mariners.

Having listened to J Morgan during the US/Japan semi, I thoroughly enjoyed the use of my mute button for the champeenship. Sorry John.

I watched two games in their entirety, and enjoyed the heck out of them. In a completely unrelated note, I drank throughout both games. To be fair, I'm not even sure if I was watching the WBC or a Heli-Loggers marathon.

I watched a lot more of the WBC this year than I did in '06. I caught the first half of last night's final and the atmosphere in Dodger Stadium was incredible. If they can keep that going, then this weird little thing will earn the "classic" title it bestowed upon itself. And, if/when it does, I'll definitely be watching.

In terms of schedule for pool play: I understand where they got the double elimination idea (*cough* collegeworldseries *cough*), but how about a round robin format (say, 2 games each against the other three teams) next time?

I loved the Classic. Spoke to my stepmom last night (she's a Korean immigrant) and she was completely pumped about the game. She said it's all that her friends talked about all week. These are not women who normally watch baseball.

There were a couple of fielding plays last night that were as good as any I've ever seen, and when Shin soo Choo tatered to tie it up I was yelling like it was September. More, please.

Last night's game was a great game to watch (listening to it was tough). It was one of the better games I have seen in a long time. If you really love the game of baseball (I am sure everyone here does), it had everything you would want in a game. I don't care if they didn't fill the stadiums and I don't care that the U.S. wasn't in the final. I stayed up until almost one in the morning last night to watch a baseball game that had all the intensity of a World Series game and it's only March. For that I like the WBC. My wife does not.

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