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So who's everybody rooting for in the WBC?
2006-03-13 15:00
by Bob Timmermann

From reading the comments that I get in the game chats for the WBC, I've noticed that one of two things must be true:

1) there must be people reading from countries outside the U.S. or people who are recent immigrants


2) American readers who don't want the USA to win

So, here's my question. Who are you rooting for and why? And more specifically, if you're from the USA and you're not rooting for the US team is it because:
1. you don't like the players on the team
2. you want to root for an underdog
3. you're one of them outside agitators I've heard about and if so, I'll be ratting you out to the FBI.

I know we've had people from South Africa, Korea, and Japan visit. But I don't think there's been anyone from any of the Latin American countries visiting here. And I really think my Dutch and Italian readership was pretty low. Or nonexistent. Same thing with the Australians.

So among people who are rooting for someone in the WBC should the cheer go "USA! USA! USA!" or should it go "USA? USA? USA?"

Update I'll be periodically bumping this thread up to get more opinions.

2006-03-13 10:23:14
1.   Sam DC
I'm a homer. I was surprised to read all the "rooting against America" type comments floating around.
2006-03-13 10:37:24
2.   Cliff Corcoran
I'm not rooting for anyone, I'm just glad the games have been exciting.
2006-03-13 10:42:29
3.   kngoworld
I am definitely rooting for team USA. Although, I must admit it is a little weird, because it has been hard cheering for a team with a bunch of Yankees on them. I would love to see Jeter, A-rod, and Damon choke and have others step up like Griffey, Lee, and Jones. I live and die for the Dodgers, so I like to see the few of them succeed on their national teams, but when it comes down to it, I hope USA wins it all. I also must admit, I think it would be great drama and a lot of fun to see a final between USA and Cuba.
2006-03-13 10:47:32
4.   Linkmeister
I'm agnostic. It's kinda like the All-Star Game: it's just fun to see the players that you never (or rarely) see , since they're in the other league. Then there are the furriners. Until Bob can get one of the cable nets to start broadcasting Japanese League games this is our only chance to see them.
2006-03-13 10:48:49
5.   Bob Timmermann
For the record, I'm in same boat as Cliff. I just want to see exciting games and we had those yesterday in Anaheim.

I'll be in Anaheim Wednesday night and I might go down to San Diego Saturday for the first semifinal if I can get my act together.

If the final were a USA-Cuba matchup, it would be great drama, but I would end up rooting for the American side. A USA-Puerto Rico final would be interesting for different reasons.

2006-03-13 10:50:10
6.   Bob Timmermann
YES and the Yomiuri Giants have a relationship, but I don't think any games from Japan have shown up on YES. Not that someone living in California or Hawai'i can see YES anyway.
2006-03-13 10:50:29
7.   Sam DC
And then, if the Cuban team came back out to play the ninth instead of bolting through that tunnel dug up into their locker room shower, but then got mixed up with the post-game crowd as it stormed the field . . . . now that would be cool.
2006-03-13 10:53:57
8.   Bob Timmermann
And Sylvester Stallone will end up playing catcher for them?
2006-03-13 11:13:55
9.   das411
I am mostly just rooting for good baseball, although it would be sweet (and probably best for the game long-term) to see an upstart like Korea take down one of the heavy favorites like the Dominican or the USA.

Plus you have Chan Ho turning into Dennis Eckersley and Buck Martinez letting Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley warm the bench for Jeter and...Mike Young. Yeah.

2006-03-13 11:15:32
10.   ToyCannon
I have no specific favorite but I'm enjoying the games. I tend to vote for the underdog but right now Puerto Rico is my favorite. I'm not very nationalistic so rooting for the US would only happen if I liked the players on the team. I do find myself rooting for Dodgers and Ex-Dodgers so I was rooting for Korea until Seo went out and then I was rooting for Mexico so all those fans who endured the "nasty" weather would be rewarded.

I am a bit shocked at the quality of baseball being played by the Koreans. Never thought of baseball as being a sport that would take hold in a cold weather country but they look like they play some solid baseball.

2006-03-13 11:16:10
11.   Gilgamesh
An american rooting for Cuba and Korea. Cuba because I'd like to see those who had the misfortune of being born under Castro's regime catch a break, and Korea because I'd like to see Choi who had the misfortune of playing under Tracy's regime catch a break.
2006-03-13 11:20:06
12.   Cliff Corcoran
As a regular YES viewer, I do not recall any Yomiuri games being broadcast, only an hour documentary on the relationship between US and Japanese baseball with some nifty highlights of guys like Goose Gossage and Roy White during their Japanese stints and, of course, a whole lot of Hideki Matsui.
2006-03-13 11:34:51
13.   Bob Timmermann
You would think that since the Yankees and Yomiuri have a working agreement, that the Yankees wouldn't mind filling up some time in the wee hours of the morning with a broadcast from Japan. I suppose one problem would be finding English speaking announcers who wouldn't want to stay up and do voiceovers from a studio stateside.
2006-03-13 11:37:17
14.   Cliff Corcoran
13 For the right price, I'm available. I even had a pleasant speaking voice and some radio experience.
2006-03-13 11:48:06
15.   Brendan
I'm rooting for Team USA. I was at the game on Sunday and it was a really fun atmosphere. A whole lot of Japanese fans with their flags. I sat right off third base but was watching Winn's throw and not the runner. I haven't seen the replay yet. I thought it must have been flagrant to have the home plate umpire over turn that call but I read that it was hard to tell if he left early. terrible throw from Winn or that runner was extremely fast.

I am headed back to the stadium tonight to see Korea/USA. WBC has exceeded any expectations I might have had.

2006-03-13 11:57:50
16.   screwballin
Did anyone else find themselves wanting the US to lose against Japan after the bad call? I don't want the US to win because an American ump gave them the game.

And I wouldn't mind a non-US team winning, since that might increase interest for baseball in the winning country. We know we're the best; let someone else have their fun.

I found myself at the Korea-Mexico game last night rooting for BOTH teams, which surely confused the partisans nearby. But I was just enjoying seeing live baseball again, and seeing some players I'd never heard of playing some pretty damn good ball.

2006-03-13 12:12:19
17.   Brendan
15 16

Just saw the replay. brutal call. that is a shame but that's baseball.

winn was so shallow and the runner beat his throw so easily that I wonder if the ump let that and the USA team reaction influence the call.

2006-03-13 12:16:47
18.   xaphor
Am I the only one rooting for Mexico or Venezuela just to keep a little colour in this thing?
2006-03-13 12:21:15
19.   Bob Timmermann
I think Puerto Rico is plenty colorful as is the Dominican Republic. The Boricuas are really getting into the action.

In the middle of last night's game, ESPN showed people mopping up the roof of the dugout. Turned out they were doing it so some dancers could perform on it a few innings later.

Don't merengue on a wet dugout roof!

2006-03-13 12:25:59
20.   xaphor
Actually I was just musing on the state of the uniforms. It's nice to break up the parade of red, white, and blue.
2006-03-13 12:28:20
21.   Bob Timmermann
Mexico does have the nice green uniforms. Venezuela is red with a little bit of gold tossed. And they wear blue helmets. I assume this is to cover every color on the flag.

Japan is mostly black even though it's not their color. Japan does have the cool helmets with the dull finish on them.

2006-03-13 12:45:28
22.   xaphor
I am also giving Korea points for excluding red and using what seems to be a slightly different shade of blue.
2006-03-13 13:21:27
23.   xaphor
While not being from America, or any country participating, I find it hard to root for the USA. I started out pretty ambivalent, but as Bob said after the USA v. Japan game, their ability to win in spite of themselves really sums up the way I feel on their play throughout the tournament. It's hard to root for someone that seems to get by on their natural talents while putting seemingly little effort into it.

I would like to see Cuba in San Diego and at least one of the Asian teams. I prefer Japan as they have a better chance of going all the way, but Korea has the leg up on them.

2006-03-13 13:44:22
24.   Shaun P
I was rooting for Italy, even if they had no chance, but that's over now. I guess I'm 'rooting' for the US, but I won't be down if they (we?) don't win. Especially as Buck Martinez annoys the hell out of me.

Mostly its been nice to watch baseball.

Bob re 5 - I think a US-Puerto Rico matchup in the final would be endlessly fascinating. Particularly if PR won.

2006-03-13 14:10:27
25.   Mack
I'm Korean-American (born here but parents are from Korea) so I would naturally be biased towards the U.S. and Korea.

However, I'm also a big fan of the underdog so I'm siding with Korea although I know they don't really have a legitimate shot.

I don't know why, but I also wanted the U.S. to lose to Japan as well. It's not because I think the U.S. is a bully (e.g., I LOVED it when the original USA Dream Team crushed their opponents in the 1992 Olympics).

It's just that other countries seem to be so passionate about baseball and respect it so much that they send their best players while the U.S. seemed, at least initially, to be arrogant (those ads with Roger Clemens boasting, "We invented baseball and we'll show them how it's played") and then they win with these lackluster efforts, poor umpiring, and with many stars staying home.

I also think there's a lot of arrogant Americans who think they're always the best and it'd be nice to have a mini-"Glory Road" in the WBC -- whether it's Cuba, Venezuela, or Korea playing the underdog.

2006-03-13 14:23:27
26.   Peter
I'm rooting for the US, although I did feel really bad for Japan. I was hoping for A-Rod or Griffey to hit for extra bases just to cancel out that missing run.

I can't say I like many of the uniforms though. The Koreans and Mexicans look sharp, but most everyone else looks like they were trying too hard to be marketable.

Speaking of which, did anyone else notice on that some of the teams have home, road, and alternate hats? There's only something like 9 games if you make it all the way to the end!

2006-03-13 15:22:48
27.   Voxter
Count me as part of group two (Americans not rooting for the US) for reasons two and three. I was really pulling for China. Many of them were younger than my youngest brother.

I'm rooting, I guess, for the Dominican & Japan, the Dominican because of David Ortiz, and Japan beccause I find them interesting to watch. I also think it would be funny if Hee Seop Choi blew up and took Korea all the was single-handedly, mostly because it would make Dusty Baker & Jim Tracy look stupid.

Also I burn flags. American ones. Wrapped around little American babies. Then I eat what's left. There's nothing like flag-broiled baby.

2006-03-13 15:24:05
28.   Voxter
Oh yeah, and I'm rooting against Haircut (Buck Martinez). He bugs me, and, as my nickname for him might have tipped you off, I think he's just a Haircut.
2006-03-13 15:32:05
29.   Bob Timmermann

I knew. Outside agitators.

Actually, these have been very interesting opinions to read. And a good discussion. I think international play in baseball is quite new for everyone.

I'm assuming that the crowds have been enthusiastic, but still relatively mellow. It's not like I've heard reports of Puerto Ricans and Dominicans duking it out like it was a UEFA qualifier between Turkey and Switzerland.

2006-03-13 16:01:02
30.   tmurase
I was at Sunday's USA-Japan tilt too. I rooted for the USA (confusing many of the fans around me, since I look Japanese). My wife (who is authentic Japanese) asked me whether I would consider rooting for Japan even one tiny bit. "No. USA! USA! USA!"

That said, I have to say, we don't look like the dominating force that Roger Clemens thinks we are (why didn't we have Clemens start this game, instead of having him spit fire against the hapless South Africans? I think having Clemens start would've held Japan in check, reducing the chance of any international incidents that didn't involve fastballs to the skull) 747s have better luck landing in a blizzard than our pitchers did finding the strike zone. Japan, surprisingly, had some fielding issues. We also looked downright leadfooted against the Japanese squad.

2006-03-13 16:04:21
31.   Bob Timmermann
Buck Martinez said he set up his rotation so Peavy would start the semifinal at PETCO.

He said that before the tournament started.

This is known in the business as "hubris".

Korea seems to be an excellent defensive team.

2006-03-13 16:28:01
32.   De Ruijter
I'm Canadian, so I was cheering for Canada, but without Walker and Gagne I didn't expect them to do much. Still, Leitergate was fun.

I'm mildly rooting against the USA, but that's because I strongly dislike Buck Martinez from his days as the Jays' manager. It'd also be a better story if someone else won the first one.

2006-03-13 17:42:46
33.   aleph
One mexican reader over here. You´re doing a great job Bob, I think this is billion..trillion times better tha the ESPN´s WBC page or anything else on the net.
One question: What´s up with the american baseball fans not watching the WBC ?
I mean, Spring training and Basketball College is good but.. c´mon this is proving to be one of the baseball events of the year.
ohh.. and i´m cheering for Mexico ;)
2006-03-13 17:50:32
34.   Andrew Shimmin
I'm not rooting against the U.S but I liked it that they lost to Canada. And I was hoping they'd drop the game to Japan, after the call. But there aren't any other teams I hope beat them. Except Korea. And maybe the Dominican Republic. PR would be okay, too. Hmmm. . . So I guess I am rooting against the U.S. Unless Pool 2 chokes, and lets Cuba get through, in which case, I'll root for them, and I'll really care about it. That's the only eventuality that could cause me to, I think.
2006-03-13 18:26:21
35.   Bob Timmermann

We like to gamble on college basketball. Hence the coverage of it.

Gambling on the WBC is not a good "investment". The games aren't that predictable especially at this round.

2006-03-13 18:33:34
36.   Bob Timmermann

Also, thank you for the kind words!

2006-03-13 20:40:30
37.   Voxter
We like to gamble on college basketball. Hence the coverage of it.

Gambling makes me uneasy. I just like basketball is all.

2006-03-14 02:18:11
38.   Backstop
Dutch reader here, so there goes that part of your non-existent readership...;)

Wasn't really rooting for 'our' team, as I knew from the get go we wouldn't make it out of the first round. I was just hoping we wouldn't embarrass ourselves, and I think we succeeded in that.

I consider the USA the 'bully' of the field, expected to win, so I'm rooting against them. They could have fielded a much better team, and a general lack of interest causes them to have to use guys like Holliday and THAT is embarrassing..:)
But, they should still win this tournament. But I'm hoping someone somewhere will pull an upset, most likely DR or Korea. And I like Korea's style of play, so I'm rooting for them right now.

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