Best and Worst of the World Baseball Classic
The 2nd annual World Baseball Classic has been over for a week now, just enough time to sit back and review everything that happened over the past 3 weeks of international baseball. What have we learned? We learned that Japan is a legitimate baseball powerhouse, Domincan Republic is not and that Rick Sutcliffe is an annoying commentator. This eventually has led me to recap the tournament in Best and Worst.
BEST HAT/JERSEY/LOGO – I love Canada’s logo. I may be a little bias, but I just love it. It’s got the baseball wrapped around the maple leaf. Very creative. It is unlike all the other countries’ logos, which are really simple and are not as creative as Canada’s. Honorable mention: Dominican Republic and Netherlands.
WORST HAT/JERSEY/LOGO – Cuba. My goodness. Put some effort in. It looks like they opened a Word document, pushed the shift key and tapped the C key. Highlighted the “C” and switched it to Times New Roman.
BEST PLAYER – Ray Chang. A lot of buzz about this kid. He played for China, who did not make it very far, but it was not because of the efforts of Chang. He was great. If China made it further, this kid would be talked about way more, but from what I saw, he is good enough to crack my best player nod.
WORST PLAYER – toss up between Jake Peavy and Dustin Pedroia. Peavy was supposed to be USA’s ace, but he was not effective at all. He gave up 8 earned runs in 5 innings for an ERA of 14.40. Before Pedroia left the tournament with an injury, he played 3 games, going 2 for 16. Nice outing for last season’s MVP. For Pedroia, I really see his season going as bad as his hairline. A little simile action for you there.
BEST TEAM – although Japan won it, I have to go with my boys from the Netherlands. They were the most entertaining team of the tournament, and I like being entertained, so this justifies my pick. They upset the Dominican twice and they were one of the only teams that looked truly excited to be in the tournament. Honorable Mention: Australia. They had the youngest team in the tourney and it showed with their enthusiasm for competing on an internationa level
WORST TEAM – easy call. Domincan Republic. They thought all they needed to do was show up and they would head to the finals. Where was the enthusiasm we saw 3 years ago? Was the pitching THAT good that they could not put up more than 2 runs to win a game? The pitchers only gave up 1 earned run all tournament. Bad news when Willy Aybar and Willy Tavares are the leading hitters on the team.
BEST GAME – Japan vs Korea pt V. The championship game was one of the most entertaining games I have ever seen in a long time. This is the game’s potential when more teams choose to employ “small ball” more often. I couldn’t believe how excited I was, as you probably witnessed in my live blog.
WORST GAME – Canada vs Italy. What made it worse is that I invested money to be in attendance for this game. Canada got embarassed at home, which probably has further consequences than more than just a simple loss, as I wrote in this peice. Just a brutal game. There weren’t even any fights at the game. Geeeeez.
What they need to fix with the WBC is mixing up the teams in the pools. Korea and Japan should not have to play 5 times in 3 weeks.