March 16, 2006

Stink-o de Marcho: USA goes back to MLB business as usual after stunning loss to Mexico.

posted by BullpenPro to baseball at 09:49 PM - 74 comments

I can not tell a lie. Mexico earned that game. It's hard enough playing against Team USA, but the umpire too?

posted by wingnut4life at 09:53 PM on March 16

Poor Bud. His hopes for the USA winning has died and having to deal with Barry Bonds too. Hate to be Bud.

posted by dbt302 at 09:57 PM on March 16

Wow...Team USA LOST??? And they had so many breaks. Maybe this will be a wake up call for the team to include more strong starting caliber starting pitchers to the roster. We'll see what happens in 2009...

posted by chemwizBsquared at 10:07 PM on March 16

Poor Bud. His hopes for the USA winning has died and having to deal with Barry Bonds too. Hate to be Bud. I disagree that Bud loses here. If the USA won this tournament, the whole effort would be viewed as a vehicle to remind the world what everyone already assumed -- that the US was cornering the market on the game. By having the US lose this early, it actually legitimizes the event as a true world-worthy contest, and it will whet appetites for the next WBC, when the US will "seek revenge" for this year's defeat. I listened to the game on XM Radio, and in the post-game the announcers (who were by no means the sharpest minds in baseball) made an excellent point -- the US had no role players, none of the guys that have been winning MLB championships for... well, forever. No classic tool players, bunters, energy-infusing players that winning teams need. I wonder if the USA selection process will change in 2010, or if they'll just keep parading their stars out there and regularly taking it on the chin, waiting for strings of solo home runs. On preview: Maybe this will be a wake up call for the team to include more strong starting caliber starting pitchers to the roster. Check the stats. The US pitching -- minus Dontrelle Willis -- was awesome. Really, it was their offense that killed them.

posted by BullpenPro at 10:11 PM on March 16

I heard that the White House ain't gonna watch anymore 'cause there ain't gonna be no U.S. of muthafuckin A. going up against Cuba and their evil cigars...

posted by wingnut4life at 10:12 PM on March 16

it just doesnt make since that such a good team can get eliminated in the 2nd round

posted by Barry-from-H-town at 10:31 PM on March 16

The U.S. now officially has the worst national baseball team in North America. I'm so proud.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:48 PM on March 16

I'm kind of glad Team U.S.A. is gone, the other team's countries seem to have a lot more invested in this tournament than us. To have a tournament just to beat everybody and go, "hell yeah, it's our sport, the rest of the world sucks," that would just be embarrasing. More importantly, Japan got hosed in the game against us, and they deserve to advance more than us.

posted by uglatto at 10:50 PM on March 16

The U.S. now officially has the worst national baseball team in North America. I think they still advanced farther than Canada. But then, for a country climbing the evolutionary ladder those Canucks weren't too bad, either.

posted by BullpenPro at 10:58 PM on March 16

I disagree that Bud loses here. If the USA won this tournament, the whole effort would be viewed as a vehicle to remind the world what everyone already assumed -- that the US was cornering the market on the game. By having the US lose this early, it actually legitimizes the event as a true world-worthy contest, and it will whet appetites for the next WBC, when the US will "seek revenge" for this year's defeat. Exactly. As it stands now the best baseball is being played by Koreans. I didn't see any performance enhancing cabbage or anything like that being implemented by the Koreans in the games I watched either.

posted by chris2sy at 11:00 PM on March 16

I think the WBC is a good idea and will help to spread the game, I hope the South Africans can make a better showing next time. I also think the timing of the thing is stupid. This is spring training, for a reason, so teams can try to come together as teams. Not be spread all over the place on special teams.

posted by fenriq at 11:35 PM on March 16

Yep, this is probably ideal for Selig's long-term interests. It's not a first-round exit, which would have grabbed the headlines before the NCAA tipped off. It's not a defeat in the final, which would have felt like it meant something. There are no injuries to upset the MLB managers. And while the sports audience concentrates on college hoops, fans in the remaining countries will be tuned in.

posted by etagloh at 11:38 PM on March 16

So after the WBC champ is crowned, is the winner of the World Series declared World Champ?

posted by livedawhile at 11:53 PM on March 16

My question is What does the World Series mean when only teams mainly in the US play???? The champions shall be called world champions in this case is not a misnomer as what we call here in the US. So much money this guys make supposely because they are soo goood. I guess they are not really....

posted by idorun at 12:07 AM on March 17

Try to remember that most of these teams that were supposedly worse than the U.S. have been playing all winter long in warm weather climates. Maybe if the U.S. team competed in the Carribean Series, they would have had a better chance. Instead, they were all training at home, rather than playing baseball. And by the way, I'm pretty pissed Derrek Lee got hurt, and I'm sure Dusty Baker isn't too happy either. Also Johnny Damon wasn't feeling to hot.

posted by sublime4390116 at 12:56 AM on March 17

My question is What does the World Series mean when only teams mainly in the US play???? This argument was made recently in another thread (that I can't find for some reason) but the crux of it is that MLB, while being located primarily in the US and Canada, contains the best players from around the globe. Look at the best players on each of the WBC teams -- by and large (though certainly not exclusively) they are MLB players. In my opinion, the term "World Series" applies now more than ever before, as the league's diversity continues to expand at a tremendous rate. (In fact, one could argue that baseball's tilt toward international scouting has contributed, to some degree, to the steady decline in the number of African-Americans in baseball -- the game took its focus out of the inner-cities and went abroad, further alienating a demographic that was already struggling to gain a level foothold. Only recently, starting with the opening of a baseball academy in Compton, has MLB redirected its vision to fix this problem.)

posted by BullpenPro at 01:19 AM on March 17

US is out of the WBC? I can hear the lunatic fringe tomorrow in Fatty Limberger's show blaming the early demise on Liberals. What next?

posted by petem at 05:03 AM on March 17

By having the US lose this early, it actually legitimizes the event as a true world-worthy contest, and it will whet appetites for the next WBC That's certainly what happened in this household. That was quite a finish, the 9th of a 2-1 game, the Celtics in a game late in the 4th with the Heat and March Madness. Comcast didn't take me seriously when I said I needed a 3rd tuner.

posted by yerfatma at 06:22 AM on March 17

BullpenPro: The key thing is that it showed the best players are NOT in MLB. The US went 3-3, with one arguable victory against Japan (Bob Davidson should NEVER ump again) and one cheap win against South Africa. Meanwhile, of the four teams that MADE the Semis, only the DR has a substantial number of MLB players. Korea has 6 pitchers and Hee Sop Choi, Japan has Ichiro. And of course Cuba has none. The attitude of the American players is what killed them. They weren't just in Spring Training, they played like it, and the way Martinez managed -- another person to be replaced -- in the first round only made it worse. Oh well, see you in 3 years, and next time the US better take this seriously. (And by that time, maybe SY Lee will have to choose between America and Korea.)

posted by Jim Benton at 06:47 AM on March 17

The key thing is that it showed the best players are NOT in MLB. Given most MLB players did not participate, explain. Also, given the Latin American countries, save Cuba, were filled with MLB regulars, I'm totally confused as to how your statement could be anything but hot air.

posted by yerfatma at 07:25 AM on March 17

You coud tell a lot of these guys were having a hard time with their timing. I think the timing of this tourney was a contributing factor to the US's poor play.

posted by HATER 187 at 07:32 AM on March 17

Ah - one game formats. People should expect something like this. You'll flip over to March Madness and cheer these upsets and then flip back to WBC and lament the lack of hustle on the part of the USA. Anyone can beat anyone on a given day - especially in baseball. The sport seems to lend itself to that.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:51 AM on March 17

I'm glad. Everyone back to Spring Training and no major injuries.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:00 AM on March 17

The US pitching -- minus Dontrelle Willis -- was awesome. Really, it was their offense that killed them. Wasn't the expected storyline going in? In most of the games I've followed the pitching has realy shined. Seems reasonable given that it's (technically) the third week of spring training? I'd love to see it in November next time ...not sure if tiredness would replace rustiness though. Given most MLB players did not participate, explain I think you meant "did participate". The only guy that I saw last night who wasn't MLB was Ajala (the closer).

posted by YukonGold at 08:07 AM on March 17

The only thing the WBC did for me was reinforce what we already know about American athlete's competing in tournaments for which they are not getting paid the big bucks (much like every USA Basketball team other than the original Dream Team): that they simply don't play with the same intensity as everyone else. And whether it's due to their over-inflated egos or that they lack the sense of pride and nationaity that everyone else brings to these games, I am kind of glad that these players are humbled every once in a while.

posted by MW12 at 08:48 AM on March 17

Everyone needs to understand that it's baseball. Any team can win or lose a game on a given day against another team, especially when some of these teams have some really good talent. What I saw of the USA team is that many looked exactly like they were performing in spring training, and they weren't ready for high-caliber competition this early. But the idea US players are dominant on a world level is ludicrous. Look at these other rosters! The major leagues, even though the teams are located in North America, are comprised of fantastic players from all over the world. It's been discussed in previous threads how the US needs to start commiting more to developing baseball programs again, especially in the bigger city areas where the sport has been dying out with youth. It's not that way in the Dominican Republic, Venezuala, Puerto Rico, etc.

posted by dyams at 09:09 AM on March 17

I think you meant "did participate". No, I didn't. I'm not disagreeing that the teams were comprised of MLB players; my contention is a large number of the best players sat out. It's hard to decide what country is the "best" (if there's a good reason to come up with that rather empty distinction) when the best players weren't all there.

posted by yerfatma at 09:10 AM on March 17

They interviewed Chipper Jones after the game, and he was very humble. He said that he liked the idea of the WBC, but said the scheduling needs to be moved from March to November (which I agree with). That way they wouldn't have to worry about pitch counts or injuries, because it would be the end of the season and they would have all of the off-season to recuperate. He also predicted that whoever won between Korea and Japan would win the Classic. He gave props to all of the teams and said that Team USA was just outplayed.

posted by wingnut4life at 09:23 AM on March 17

Yep we were outplayed. there are a number of excusses we can use but it really doesn't matter now. maybe next time it should be played in Nov. if that makes a difference. the rest of the world has caught up thats all.

posted by Dammit at 09:34 AM on March 17

No, I didn't. I'm not disagreeing that the teams were comprised of MLB players I never really was that good with the reading compremehension.

posted by YukonGold at 09:39 AM on March 17

If the USA won this tournament, the whole effort would be viewed as a vehicle to remind the world what everyone already assumed -- that the US was cornering the market on the game Who thinks that? The only sport which the US holds a monopoly is Football.

posted by gradys_kitchen at 09:42 AM on March 17

Soccer?

posted by yerfatma at 09:56 AM on March 17

So after the WBC champ is crowned, is the winner of the World Series declared World Champ? The White Sox should play the WBC Winner.

posted by St.Louis Sandi at 10:23 AM on March 17

Can anyone please tell me how Japan is going on if we (U.S.A.) beat them and both teams are 1-2 ? Sorry for being a smart ass before. Really!

posted by St.Louis Sandi at 10:29 AM on March 17

Futbol american. I'm just suprised at how well the Koreans have played. I am disappointed how the United States played and I hope that baseball can iron out the quirks in the system before the next WBC. I have seen one suggestion that the opening rounds be played in spring training and the finals during the all star break, but that would probably mess up team chemistry. Congrats to Mexico.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 10:31 AM on March 17

Can anyone please tell me how Japan is going on if we (U.S.A.) beat them and both teams are 1-2? Because Japan holds the tie-breaker with most runs scored. Sorry for being a smart ass before. Really! Hopefully you mean that, but we still have to put you on double-secret probation...

posted by wingnut4life at 11:01 AM on March 17

If this was played at the end of the season with healthy players, not those trying to get into shape, maybe, we would have a better chance. And who were some of those guys who were playing? Vernon Wells, is he our best RF available .269 BA? Jeff Francoeur, Matt Holliday? Not knocking them for being there, at least they cared....If we took our best, which will never happen "too many conflicts" and not enough money, we would have a good chance to win but I'd bet on the Dominican Republic any time of the season.

posted by gfinsf at 11:22 AM on March 17

I like the idea of playing after the regular season ends, but it would be too bleepin' cold! All of the games would either have to be played in strictly southern locations, or in domed fields. Anybody know if other countries are going to host future Classics?

posted by wingnut4life at 11:26 AM on March 17

I'm just happy that the White Sox were able to win a World Series before its meaning got diluted by all of this dream team as if Olympic competition. Let everyone play 162 games and then see who's still standing!

posted by INOALOSER at 11:29 AM on March 17

Wingnut: The tie braker was runs allowed per defensive inning not runs scored. Both teams allowed the same amount of runs but Japan played 2/3 more of an inning.

posted by HATER 187 at 11:33 AM on March 17

Thank you for the clarification, HATER 187.

posted by wingnut4life at 11:34 AM on March 17

Anybody know if other countries are going to host future Classics? Well it wouldn't say much for the integrity of the competition if it wasn't held elsewhere next time.

posted by salmacis at 11:36 AM on March 17

The US had Griffey, Chipper Jones, and ARod up in the 9th. So, I don't think we can complain overmuch about not having our best.

posted by bperk at 11:44 AM on March 17

HATER: The tie braker was runs allowed per defensive inning not runs scored. Both teams allowed the same amount of runs but Japan played 2/3 more of an inning. A very small clarification: the first tiebreak is the winner of head-to-head games between the tied teams. In this case, with three tied teams, that settles nothing (Mexico beat USA who beat Japan who beat Mexico). The second tiebreak is allowing the fewest runs per nine innings in head-to-head games between the tied teams. Japan had a much better RA/9 than USA, but USA didn't have to count the 7 they gave up to Korea. They still lost by a slim margin as HATER pointed out.

posted by Amateur at 11:44 AM on March 17

I feel like a way more important issue, and it has been metioned once or twice, is freakin Bob Davidson. I was so emberassed yesterday watching that game, he really made me feel ashamed; I turned the tv off. If it had been one mistake I could have said "shit happens," but when it was twice in as many games... you gotta wonder if the guy hasn't heard of replays, or international broadcasts. I really feel like he was cheating, and the only people who lose in the whole thing are the US players. I was happy to see Mexico win, and Japan get in because they both played better than the US, and they ultimately deserved their respective semi final berths. As far as Davidson ever umping again, hes not a MLB ump as it is, and I can't imagine he'll see more MLB games again after this fiasco.

posted by everett at 11:51 AM on March 17

Thank you wingnut4life. I was reading the Fox Sports News and it said the first tie breaker was Head to Head and we beat Japan, so why can a team we beat Head to Head be ahead of us. Do you know what I mean? I understand the runs allowed per defensive inning, but we beat Japan and both teams are 1-2. I think that is most important thing.

posted by St.Louis Sandi at 12:03 PM on March 17

Never mind. Amateur spelled it out very clear. Last night it was driving me crazy! Now it makes since and we did get a gift from Bob Davidson. As bad as a gift it was playing Japan.

posted by St.Louis Sandi at 12:05 PM on March 17

We should not have beat Japan... It was a bad call.

posted by everett at 12:06 PM on March 17

wingnut4life: No, the tie breaker was the fewest earned runs ALLOWED. To all, that there were players that didn't participate -- not just for the US, for other teams, (Pedro, Posada, etc.) The fact is that the US fielded a line-up of 4 certain hall of famers (Roger, ARod, Jeter, Griffey) two borderline HoF (Pudge and Varitek) and other all-stars. The fact is that the teams WITHOUT major leaguers made it into the Semis.

posted by Jim Benton at 12:10 PM on March 17

Ok, whoever the correct person in clarifying the correct tie-breaker was, thank you, I think...

posted by wingnut4life at 12:20 PM on March 17

re: tiebreakers i spent a good amount of time figuring these out before, because it was driving me crazy, too. the first tiebreaker is indeed head-to-head, but it's among all the teams tied and only counting the games played between them. thus, with three 1-2 teams in the division, all of the teams were 1-1 against the other teams in the tie, so it went to the next tiebreaker. which is runs allowed/defensive inning against the teams in the tie. japan: 5 runs in 17 2/3 innings = 0.283 runs/inning u.s.: 5 runs in 17 innings = 0.294 runs/inning mexico: 7 runs in 18 innings = 0.389 runs/inning so it was pretty close, in the end. i will say that i have been very impressed with the teams in the wbc, in general. i agree that it would be nice to try it in november next time.

posted by jdaverin at 12:55 PM on March 17

Jim Benton -- had it come to that, the next tiebreaker would have been fewest earned runs allowed per nine innings between the tied teams. I am too lazy to check whether there were any unearned runs in the data jdaverin has laid out above, but -- wouldn't that have been shitty, to have the tie broken by a scorer's decision on whether some play was an error or not?

posted by Amateur at 01:06 PM on March 17

I had a hard time working up a good nationalistic fervor over the WBC. Perhaps after watching so many of the US "dream teams" fail to live up to their potential, I, personally have felt skeptical about the "fire-in-the-belly" factor that many of the participants seem to lack. Japan,Korea, and Mexico: kudos to you. I was pleased to see A-rod have that "another one has slipped away" look on his face. I apologize for the hating and all the parentheses.

posted by THX-1138 at 03:10 PM on March 17

wouldn't that have been shitty, to have the tie broken by a scorer's decision on whether some play was an error or not? Indeed. But the whole 3-games round robin concept is rotten. There are two many chances for ties, and not enough valid tie-breakers. They should have a longer round robin between more teams, with more games played.

posted by qbert72 at 03:43 PM on March 17

One of the duller knives in the door chiming in: I think there needs to be a MORE confusing tie-breaker system in place for the next WBC. My heads all achey-like. Damned public education.

posted by THX-1138 at 04:17 PM on March 17

So dull I meant "drawer". Back to my drooling.

posted by THX-1138 at 04:24 PM on March 17

Maybe they should forget the regular ''major league'' season and just play a season long tournament with every country in the world fielding a team. Like the Bosnia Ball Beaters, the Swiss Chocolates, the French Lickers, the German Beer Bellies, you get the idea.

posted by joromu at 07:52 PM on March 17

Doesn't matter who won last night. I worked the game in a security capacity and the atmosphere was electric the entire game. It had the feel of a World Series Game 7. Throughout the game fans of both teams were into before the first pitch.

posted by samtana at 08:16 PM on March 17

Good idea Joromu but the USA with our spoiled over payed cry babies wouldn't do it. we would field a good minor league team at best.

posted by Dammit at 08:35 PM on March 17

I would like to see the WBC use a six-umpire crew. Davidson's calls (neither of which I am saying were right or wrong), wouldhave been much easier to to make had there been umpires down the lines, one for the catch-no catch against Japan, leaving Davidson at the plate, with no responsibility for the tag-up, and then going out on the HR/Off the wall call against Mexico. Can anyone give me a reasonable reason why they aren't working a 6-man crew?

posted by elovrich at 08:54 PM on March 17

Whats the problem with "American" Baseball, there are too many foriegn players. Now that we cannot win "Our" Game mabe people will notice this and how spoiled our atheltes are. How would the players from the past have done? I would be willing to bet that the "real" baseball players from the days when it was still a game would have crushed any and all others brave enough to face us. MLB needs to take a hard look at where they are and where they want to be.

posted by die-hard baseball fan at 10:06 PM on March 17

HA HA HA HA

posted by tommytrump at 10:22 PM on March 17

I would be willing to bet that the "real" baseball players from the days when it was still a game would have crushed any and all others brave enough to face us. Yes, by discriminating Them out of the game.

posted by yerfatma at 10:27 PM on March 17

THE PLAIN PEOPLE OF IRELAND: At the end of our very special day,we'd like to say, 'Fook off ye fookin' racist fooks!'

posted by yerfatma at 11:00 PM on March 17

jerseygirl: I'm glad. Everyone back to Spring Training and no major injuries. Yeah, those grapes were sour and you didn't want 'em anyway.

posted by rodgerd at 01:32 AM on March 18

One of the duller knives in the door chiming in: I think there needs to be a MORE confusing tie-breaker system in place for the next WBC. Duckworth-Lewis method.

posted by etagloh at 05:26 AM on March 18

MLB: Korean pitcher tested positive for banned substance.
It doesn't say what he tested positive for though. Could be another propecia moment...

posted by wingnut4life at 07:28 AM on March 18

BullpenPro: The key thing is that it showed the best players are NOT in MLB. The US went 3-3, with one arguable victory against Japan (Bob Davidson should NEVER ump again) and one cheap win against South Africa. Meanwhile, of the four teams that MADE the Semis, only the DR has a substantial number of MLB players. Korea has 6 pitchers and Hee Sop Choi, Japan has Ichiro. And of course Cuba has none. Jim, while I think the WBC definitely served as a showcase to the North American audience of previously unrecognized talent, I would disagree that the outcome actually proved anything regarding where the best players play. As has been said many times before, baseball tends to allow for any team to beat any other team on a given day. The Devil Rays and the Royals had very good records against the Yankees last year, but I don't think anyone would argue which team had the best players on its roster. There are a lot of factors that go into a team's success (luck, chemistry, pitching matchups, hot streaks -- the list is quite long) that have nothing to do with who has the best players. I think that if you could make some sort of practical ranking of the top 300 baseball players in the world, you would be hard pressed to find one from outside MLB to put on that list (with the exception, of course, of Cuban players, whose absence from MLB is obvious -- I think it's safe to say that in a different political environment many of the Cuban players would be in MLB).

posted by BullpenPro at 11:24 AM on March 18

Yeah: that Cuban closer was sick. Bottom of the ninth, one-run lead over the passionate home crowd's team, and he's just calmly pumping inside fastball after inside fastball over the plate.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:59 AM on March 18

...it's safe to say that in a different political environment many of the Cuban players would be in MLB). Speaking of which, I wonder what the over/under on how many Cuban players defect is?

posted by wingnut4life at 01:23 PM on March 18

Yes there wqas racism here as well as every where else. The point is that players in the past played for the love of the game and not for money. Minor injuries did not sideline players like they do today. This discussion could go on and on. Look at players such as Lou Gerhrig, Ty Cobb, Hank Arron, Willie Mays ...and tell me who youwould rather see play.

posted by die-hard baseball fan at 03:58 PM on March 18

Do some reading on this mythic fantasy past you think you know of.

posted by yerfatma at 08:15 AM on March 19

Where have you gone Joe Dimaggio, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you..... Whats that you say Mrs. Robinson, joltin' Joe has gone away...

posted by Folkways at 10:10 AM on March 19

But Canada beat the US so technically they could be better. And Cuba's about to win the f-ing tournament. what is happening to this world. Stars don't win championships, since when. Oh yeah, maybe since the invention of sports. Look at Real Madrid. Not good since b4 the galacticos. Look at the Yankees. Not good since b4 Sheffield and A-Rod when they had role players like Scott Brosius and Raul Mondesi (Well, scratchthat 2nd one but Brosius 4 sure)

posted by autzenrocker123 at 01:07 PM on March 19

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