Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Yeah, Moose!


Beats the billionaire US Dunbar-laden squad!

Adam Stern! The star of the World Baseball Classic! Coco and Adam, a combo way better than Johnny Damon.

I'm watching him being interviewed right now. 3 for 4, with an inside-the-park homer, and a sweet catch at the wall. He also almost made a great diving catch on a blooper by A-Rod that would have the final out of the game. Would have been one of the coolest moments of my life. All right, top 300. But they still won. And Varitek hit a grand slam for the US, which is good to see.

I haven't talked about the WBC too much. So, here I go. A lot of (white, old, American) sportswriters are talking about what a colossal waste of time this tournament is. And some owners, as we know, aren't too keen on its possible effects on their players. Well, guess what? There is baseball in other countries, and their fans are totally psyched to have their players be on a national stage. As the fans of the other countries have shown, some people really care about that stuff, unlike, say, Devil Rays fans. You don't hear Castro complaining that his players might get hurt and miss out on the Cuban regular season.

I didn't care much about this tournament at first, but as it grew closer, I thought, Hey, how cool would it be to see one of the underdogs who really cares a lot win this thing? Especially if it means beating the overconfident US A-Rod/Jeter-ish squad.

So, naturally, I kind of fell for Canada, because of Stern, their general "America without all the murders"-ness, and of course, their comic superiority. Besides, two of the best Red Sox bloggers, 12-Eight and Joy of Sox, either lived in or live in Canada. (And switched countries almost simultaneously in a move that still seems a little too coincidental to me. I don't know what that means.)

But, of course, I also like Puerto Rico, as I've visited there many times, and the Dominican, because of the Red Sox connections, and Cuba, because the baseball there is pure as the driven snow of countries far from Cuba.

So, it's fun. I'm into it. Anything Steinbrenner doesn't like is okay by me.

So very happy. And Tek hits a slam and throws out a runner for the 3rd out. Beautiful.
After the game today I've tagged Adam Stern as my favorite "sleeper" Red Sox (beating out Alex Cora). It's good seeing the Yankees squadron come up short as the Red Sox contigency provides almost all of the offense and defense.
The Sox players are OWNING the WBC so far. Ortiz, Timlin, Varitek, Stern, Tavarez. DiNardo was a little 'off' for Italy today, but still. Great to see.

I'm pulling hardest for the DR, but to me, the most "complete" team is Venezuela. They got serious pitching, a great lineup, and decent defense.

I think the results will be relatively flukey though, cos from what I've seen, the play hasn't been especially sharp (to be expected in March).

Really, really (almost surprisingly) fun to watch.
Stern actually did make a great diving catch in center earlier in the game, but I guess it was overshadowed by the rest of his performance.
Spring is not the right time for the WBC for the Americans. But this is a world tourney. The U.S. has to scramble now to stay in it. I say go DR!!
BS, weird, isn't it? When I first heard about it I didn''t even think it would be something I'd have any interest in.

Iain--Yeah, he he played a game. (Yet, still, the main picture for the article about the game on wasn't a happy Stern, but a concerned Jeter.) And thanks for alerting me when he hit the homerun yesterday.

HF: I love your line: "It's good seeing the Yankees squadron come up short as the Red Sox contigency provides almost all of the offense and defense."

It would be really funny if the US just bows out immediately.

Did anyone watch the Italy game on the last night? A one camera production, public access-style, where they'd sometimes only show the pitcher for extended periods. And you could hear the announcers between innings goofing around---while the cameraman did a little "beavershooting," as Jim Bouton called it.
I especially love how Canada beating the US was "the biggest upset in the WBC so far". It was big, sure, but I think we all knew the US team wasn't going to be all that and a slice of David Wells' cake. I thought the Korea-over-heavily-favored-and-at-home Japan was a much more surprising upset in a way.

But what's an international tourney without a little US-egoism from the announcers, eh?
Alex(ia)Rodriguez isn't key in the clutch.
Kinda suspected that Team USA was doomed by "Dora's" (A-Rod Spelled Correctly) announcement that he would play for Team USA.

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