Baseball Toaster The Griddle
A place where a man can slow down to a walk and live his life full measure, but he has to keep his watch on Pacific Time.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
The Griddle

02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  10  07 
06  05  04  03 
Suggestions, comments, ring the catcher's interference alarm?

Email me at

The stuff I keep track of
Random Game Callbacks

Select a date:

Personal favorites that I wrote
Monday in the WBC
2006-03-13 23:52
by Bob Timmermann

There were three games in the WBC Monday. And just who is going to end up in the semifinals became sligthly less blurry, but not clear either. And all we know now is that we know now about the teams in the WBC and how the games will play out is not nearly as much as we thought we knew before the tournament started and what we don't know dwarfs that. There is only one team left in the tournament is undefeated, Korea. And it hasn't clinched a spot in the semifinals despite its stellar play.


    Dominican Republic 7, Cuba 3

    A day after a disappointing loss to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic restored a sense of normalcy to the WBC with a big win over Cuba.

    Odalis Perez threw 4 2/3 innings of shutout ball to even the D.R.'s record at 1-1, the same as Cuba. Fernando Rodney came in to get the save in the ninth after Robinson Tejeda gave up a pair of runs. Jorge Sosa gave up just a home run to Yulieski Gourriel.

    Miguel Tejada had a 2-run double and David Ortiz hit his third home run of the tournament. Ronny Paulino, a Pirates prospect, went 2 for 2 as the starting catcher, filling in for Alberto Castillo, who had to miss the game to be sworn in as an American citizen. Insert joke here.

    Venezuela 6, Puerto Rico 0

    The struggling Venezuelan offense got a 2-run homer from Endy Chavez (his second in two days) and a grand slam from Victor Martinez to get back into the tournament and even its record in the second round at 1-1, the same as Puerto Rico. And the Dominican Republic. And Cuba.

    Carlos Zambrano, who was hit hard in his first outing of the tournament against the D.R., was much better this time. He went four innings and struck out five and gave up two hits and no runs. Six pitchers followed to preserve the shutout, Venezuela's third of the tournament.

    The game's biggest play came in the fifth. Chavez had homered to put Venezuela up 2-0. Carlos Silva came in to relieve and gave up singles to Jose Valentin and Alex Cintron to lead off the inning, delighting the sellout crowd at Hiram Bithorn Stadium as there were runners on first and third. Alex Cora tried to bunt Cintron over, but his bunt traveled just a few feet and Ramon Hernandez pounced on it and gunned it to shortstop Omar Vizquel at second base to force Cintron. Vizquel then saw Valentin straying down the third base line and gunned the ball over to Miguel Cabrera who applied the tag to Valentin. While replays showed that Valentin was safe, but umpire Fred van Groningen called him out and Venezuela had an unlikely 2-6-5 DP. Bernie Williams flied out to center to end the inning.

    In the eighth Venezuela loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batter and Victor Martinez cleaned the bases with a grand slam off of Ivan Maldanado.

    The San Juan Regional boils down now to a pair of elimination games and rematches on Tuesday and Wednesday. Venezuela and the D.R. play each other Tuesday at 4 pm PT and the winner moves on to San Diego. Cuba and Puerto Rico play on Wednesday at 4 pm PT and the winner of that one moves on to the semifinals. The D.R. and P.R. won the first round matchups. Tuesday's game should match up Daniel Cabrera for the D.R. and Freddy Garcia for Venezuela.


    Korea 7, USA 3

    Fortunately for fans of Team USA, this disaster of a game against Korea, was not televised live. But the result of this one might just be the most surprising one of the WBC.

    Coming into the game, most fans of Korea didn't give their team much of a chance. Korean manager In Sik Kim started Min Han Son instead of one of his major leaguers, such as Sunny Kim or Chan Ho Park (although it seems that Park is now Korea's closer).

    Team USA manager started Dontrelle Willis and hoped that he would have a better performance than he did in his loss to Canada. Derrek Lee, who had hit three home runs in the tournament, didn't start as Martinez opted for Mark Texeira. Matt Holliday started in left field.

    The US team looked to be off to a good start when Vernon Wells led off with a walk and Derek Jeter followed with a single. Ken Griffey flied out to right and Wells moved to third. Son was able to get Alex Rodriguez to pop up to first. Chipper Jones followed with a walk to load the bases, but Son was able to strike out Jason Varitek to end the threat.

    Willis started out shaky, walking Jong Beom Lee to lead off the game, but Min Jae Kim bounced into a double play. That brought up Korea's biggest threat, Seong Yeop Lee who had hit four home runs in the series. And Lee made it five with a drive to right-center to put Korea up 1-0. Korea wasn't done as Willis gave up a walk and a single and then Bum Ho Lee drove in a run to make it 2-0.

    Griffey got a run back with a home run to right in the third inning, but Korea scored a run after Willis put two runners on with a walk and hit batter. A sacrifice and an RBI groundout by Bum Ho Lee made it 3-1 Korea.

    In the fourth, Team USA loaded the bases again, but Byung-Hyun Kim struck out Wells to end the threat. Dan Wheeler came in to relieve Willis in the fourth and retired the first two batters. Then Kim bounced a double over the fence in left. Wheeler then intentionally walked Lee. Manager Kim then decided to bring in Hee-Seop Choi to pinch hit for DH Tae Kyun Kim. On a 1-1 pitch, Choi launched a high fly down the right field line that Wells tried to grab, but fell out of his reach and into the seats for a three-run home run to make it 6-1 Korea and leave the American fans in Anaheim in stunned silence.

    Korea added another run in the sixth to make it 7-1 and then Dae-Sung Koo, Tae Hyun Chong, and Seung Hwan Oh closed out the game, although the Americans added a pair of runs in the ninth.

    And now, there is one game in the Anaheim Region Tuesday, matching Mexico and Japan. If Mexico wins, then Korea is in the semifinals. And then the USA-Mexico game on Thursday would decide the other semifinalist. But if Japan wins, Mexico is eliminated and Team USA could be eliminated if Japan beats Korea Wednesday night with Japan scoring no more than five runs and Korea scoring no more than four. I.e., the maximum victory total would have to be 5-4 Japan for the USA to be eliminated.

    Of course, I could be misinterpreting the tiebreaker rules. If so, please feel free to correct me.

    But if you're a fan of the USA, you really hope that Mexico manager Pequin Estrada follows through with his plan to start Esteban Loaiza against Japan and Loaiza pitches as well against Japan as he did against Canada. And that Japan starter Daisuke Matsuzaka has a bad night. Or else the Final Four of the inaugural WBC won't have the host team.

2006-03-14 03:12:51
1.   joejoejoe
Jeter sums up the loss (via AP):
"We had our chances right from the first inning," Jeter said. "We just didn't get any hits with guys on base. I don't know if you can learn from it. I'm well aware of what it takes to win. We just didn't do it."

That's pretty much it.

2006-03-14 04:47:07
2.   justainchoe
You are partially correct. The way the advancment works (as you already know) is that if there is a tie, then the deciding factor is the lesser # of runs scored against each team. Korea scored a devastating 7, and Japan scored 3. Brings the US total to 10. Japan has a total of 4 (from US) with 2 games ahead of them. Korea has a total of 4 with 1 game ahead of them. I'm pretty sure Japan will beat Mexico. Japan is a much stronger team. Number of runs Mexico scores matters. Also what matter is how the US will do vs Mexico. Ok, so US has 10, Japan has 4, Korea has 4 and I would count Mexico out (Mexico is actually in better standing than Jaoan with only 2 runs. Japan has 2 more games, and US/Korea have 1 more game. So either Korea has to give up more than 5 runs in the Japan/Korea game, or Japan has to give up more than 5 in the 2 games. Also, Mexico beating Japan would work and Korea beating Japan would also allow US to advance. Japan losing to Mexico isn't likely (though it should be a very competitive game since both team's are going to be eliminated if they lose). Japan giving up more than 5 runs in the 2 games is possible, and Korea giving up more than 5 runs in the Korea/Japan game is not likely (Korea has a good pitching lineup). These numbers are all based on the fact that the US will shut out Mexico. So for every run that US gives up to Mexico, is adding a run that Japan/Korea can allow. The easiest situation for the US to advance is if Korea beats Japan and US beat Mexico (easy). If this isn't the case, I feel it would be very difficult for US to advance. So let's hope Korea beats Japan.
2006-03-14 05:09:14
3.   justainchoe
We're both wrong. I thought the other games (with mexico) mattered but they dont. If Japan beats Mexico and Korea, Japan needs to score more than 6 and Korea needs to score more than 5. Between the trio, US has 10 (scored against) runs, Japan has 4, and Korea has 3, making the maximum being 6-runs Japan to 5-runs Korea. I'm curious as to what happens there is a tie between the teams in wins AND runs scored against. If the Japan/Korea game ended 7Japan:6Korea and US beats Mexico, all 3 teams will have 10 runs scored against. Whats the next tie breaker?
2006-03-14 05:49:32
4.   Sam DC
BallWonk's comment on the US v. Korea game: "It's bad karma to dishonor Sadaharu Oh."

2006-03-14 07:51:07
5.   hokie316
Assuming Japan (1-1) beats Mexico (0-2) here are 4 scenarios:

1. If the US (2-1) beats Mexico (0-3) and Korea (3-0) beats Japan (1-2), Korea (#1 seed) and the US (#2 seed) advance.

2. If the US (2-1) beats Mexico (0-3) and Japan (2-1) beats Korea (2-1), you'd have a 3-way tie with two of the three advancing.

3. US (1-2) loses to Mexico (1-2). Korea (3-0) beats Japan (1-2). Korea (#1) advances. 3-way tie for the 2nd spot.

4. US (1-2) loses to Mexico (1-2). Japan (2-1) beats Korea (2-1). Japan (#1) and Korea (#2) advance.

1 and 4 are clear-cut. 2 and 3 are not.

Ties are broken using head-to-head, total runs allowed per inning, earned runs allowed per inning, batting average and, finally, drawing of lots. You can toss out head-to-head in either tie scenario since none of the 3 teams would have beaten the other 2.

Games that involve the non-tied team (Mexico in scenario 2 or Korea in scenario 3) are not used when calculating runs/inning, earned runs/inning or batting average. The US has given up 10 runs (all earned) in 17 innings (.588) and has a .296 batting average, but--if they end up tied with Japan and Mexico--you can toss the Korea stats out. I guess it's safe to say that, at this point, anything is still possible.

2006-03-14 10:04:22
6.   Bob Timmermann
A winner-take-all US-Mexico would be pretty intense. The US beat Mexico in their last World Cup qualifier 2-0. And then in baseball 2-0.

Mexico would love to eliminate the US. And I imagine that Angel Stadium is going to be 2/3 Mexican fans.

2006-03-14 11:09:08
7.   Jose Habib
I found this WBC-related cartoon in a Korean newspaper online. Can anybody translate it?

2006-03-14 11:21:52
8.   Jose Habib
Whoops, the translation is at the bottom, never mind.
2006-03-14 11:34:50
9.   Bob Timmermann
It's interesting to see how Americans are cariacatured by other people. In the cartoon in 7, the cartoonist went for the traditional "All Americans have big noses" style of drawing.
2006-03-14 11:47:39
10.   justainchoe
This isn't perfect, but here's a rough translation.

The title says "play baseball with your mouth, big embarrassment."

First panel is Japan refering to Ichiro's pregame comments saying "lets crush Korea so they wont thing they can beat us for 30 years" (Japan and Korea have huge rivalries)

Second panel is Mexico saying "I don't really know Korean Baseball"

3rd panel is USA saying "Just worry about Japan and Mexico. We can win with 50 balls"

The bottom panel is labeled "Other teams" and the quote bubble says "If anyone insults the Korean's you guys are History... Got it?!!"

I just realized that there already was a translation below the cartoon.

2006-03-14 11:52:24
11.   justainchoe
I'm Korean American, so I want Korea and Team USA to advance. Also, since Japan/Korea have a huge rivalry, I want Korea to beat Japan. I'm going to the Korea/Japan game at Angel's Stadium tommorrow. If Korea beats Japan and USA beats Mexico, Korea and USA will advance. :)
2006-03-14 13:00:58
12.   Bob Timmermann
You could just make it easier and root for Mexico to win and that would send Korea to the semifinals automatically. The Korea-Japan game would be just for "fun" and the Mexico-USA game will be decisive.

I'll be at Angel Stadium tomorrow also. I'll be the tall guy in the coat.

2006-03-14 13:52:30
13.   grandcosmo
>>>"We can win with 50 balls"


2006-03-14 14:02:23
14.   Bob Timmermann
Presumably, that translation is a bit sketchy. I'm thinking that the cartoonist meant that the U.S. thought it could beat Korea without throwing a lot of pitches.

Which would have been true if Dontrelle Willis knew where home plate was.

2006-03-15 14:12:13
15.   Saburo
> The Korea-Japan game would be just for "fun"

Yeah, right...

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.