Sunday, March 12, 2006

A little Dub-B-C

Well, that was an exciting game.

I will have to admit, the World Baseball Classic is making a valiant attempt to be just that -- a classic tournament of world baseball.

Before today, I've only been able to catch most of the game between Korea and China (which was a laugher), and there is an obvious divide between the haves and have-nots (winless in their first three games were South Africa, Australia, Panama, and China -- and Chinese Taipei's only win was vs. the most hapless China team).

But, all that aside, when you get down to the baseball being played between Canada, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Cuba, the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Domincan Republic (and Venezuela isn't bad, either), there really isn't a way around it -- it's good baseball.

The first game I watched in full was today's controversial victory by the United States over Japan, 4-3.

Firstly, the U.S. obviously should have been down at least one run. The botched tag-up call will loom large in the discussion around this game, and the fact that the game was played here in the U.S. will obviously spark some bad feelings in Japan (and probably other places with anti-U.S. sentiments).

However, I will say this -- the U.S. showed some moxie in this game after going down 3-0 early, with Chipper Jones and Derrick Lee connecting on big flies to bring them back even. The gap between talent levels has obviously been bridged, for the most part, between here and Japan.

I'm going to go ahead and watch the Puerto Rico/Dominican matchup tonight, and I'm expecting some good baseball there, too, as there's a bevy of major leaguers in that game. Interesting sidenote: the stadium capacity for this game was 20,000 -- that sold out the very 1st day. The attendance for the U.S./Japan game was 35,000 -- my estimate was that the crowd there was 30% Japanese.

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