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WBC Game Chat: Cuba vs. Dominican Republic, noon PT
2006-03-18 13:09
by Bob Timmermann

Live from PETCO Park This game should be shown live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes as well.

The first semifinal matches up two neighboring Caribbean nations. Well sort of, if you skip past Haiti, but Cuba and the island of Hispaniola are adjacent to each other in the Caribbean, separated by the Windward Passage.

Bartolo Colón gets the start for the Dominican Republic and Yadel Martí will most likely be starting for Cuba. Colón will probably be on a much longer leash than Martí, who will likely be pulled whenever the situation warrants it.

In the international sporting scene, the Dominican Republic has not won much of anything. There has only been one Dominican to get a medal in the Olympics: Pedres Nolasco, who won a bronze medal in bantamweight boxing at the 1984 Olympics. The Dominicans won the World Cup of Baseball once, and that was back in 1948 and all the participants were from Latin America.

Cuban manager Higino Velez has described this game as being a matchup between the hombres of Cuba and the nombres of the Dominican Republic. (Men versus names).

Francisco Cordero was expected to join the D.R. roster, but insurance concerns vetoed that. But that might not make a huge difference as the Dominican relievers, with the exception of Miguel Batista, have been much better than expected.

Cuba is used to the pressure of playing in tournaments like the WBC, but this game will likely have far more exposure than the Cubans are used to. The World Cup of Baseball is not a big spectator sport and Olympic baseball rarely even showed up on NBC's multichannel coverage. But this game will be shown to a much wider audience and will be shown live in the US to those people who don't want to watch the NCAA basketball tournament or people like me, who have developed the ability to watch two different sporting events on TV at the same time. I think that if the Dominicans can handle the Cuban pressure and are able to reverse the ball in order to open up some lanes for penetration, they should be able to win this one. But Cuba lives and dies with the three-point shot, so the Dominican should avoid playing a zone defense and make the Cubans beat them down low.

FINAL SCORE Cuba 3, Dominican Republic 1

WP -- Pedro Luis Lazo
LP -- Odalis Perez
HRs -- none

Cuba wins the battle of errors and bloop hits (20 hits, all singles in the game) to advance to Monday's final against either Japan or Korea at 6 pm PT.

Comments (87)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-03-18 11:19:33
1.   Linkmeister
"Cuba lives and dies with the three-point shot"

Earl Weaver would be proud!

2006-03-18 11:21:29
2.   Bob Timmermann
Bob Valvano is one of the few college basketball commentators who has pointed out who dumb that statement is. He said "Nobody says 'They live and die by their low post game. You get an extra point if you make a 3-pointer, so you can miss more of them.'"
2006-03-18 11:31:18
3.   Bob Timmermann
Starting lineups:
Paret SS
Enriquez 3B
Gourriel 2B
Borrero 1B
Cepeda LF
Urrutia RF
Garlobo DH
Pestano C
Ramirez CF
Martı P

Polanco 2B
Tejada SS
Pujols 1B
Ortiz DH
Beltre 3B
Alou LF
Peña RF
Castillo C
Taveras CF
Colȯn P

2006-03-18 12:07:11
4.   Icaros
Joe Morgan. Hooray!
2006-03-18 12:08:49
5.   Bob Timmermann
Must ... find ... mute ... button ....
2006-03-18 12:09:58
6.   Ravenscar
The NY Daily News has the game being played on 1050 AM espn radio and hey, guess what? DUKE playing GW instead. Dammit.

Anyone have any idea if this game is being broadcast in the city here?

2006-03-18 12:12:19
7.   Bob Timmermann
Gee, Joe, do you think Sorinao going 0 for 11 has anything to do with him not starting?
2006-03-18 12:48:13
8.   Bob Timmermann
Manny Ramirez's spirit lives on in Frederich Cepeda.
2006-03-18 13:00:11
9.   Bob Timmermann
If the Dominicans win, they are still hoping that Vladimir Guerrero will be able to play in the final. He was activated to take over the last spot on the roster.
2006-03-18 13:15:58
10.   Peter
MLB Gameday finally got around to adding photos of non-MLB players.
2006-03-18 13:16:53
11.   Bob Timmermann
Bob Davidson is the home plate umpire today.
2006-03-18 13:19:00
12.   Icaros
Davidson can go home now. The U.S. has already been eliminated, despite his hard work.
2006-03-18 13:26:16
13.   Bob Timmermann
Ariel Borrero, picking machine.
2006-03-18 13:36:59
14.   Bob Timmermann
The Cuban pitchers warming up are using towels instead of baseballs.

They also refuse to take off their jackets.

2006-03-18 13:39:57
15.   Bob Timmermann
Solo tackle for second base umpire Chris Guccione there.
2006-03-18 13:41:21
16.   Bob Timmermann
Lazo in (and he finally took off his jacket) to relieve Martí after a Peña single.
2006-03-18 13:43:02
17.   Icaros
Isn't Chris Guccione heir to the Penthouse empire?
2006-03-18 13:45:35
18.   das411
Wow, a cycle for Bob already, I really should start commenting here more and writing my 9 page paper due Monday less...
2006-03-18 13:45:56
19.   Bob Timmermann
I think the 190 listed weight for Lazo may be his weight in kilograms.

OK, maybe not that since I don't think he weighs 418 lbs.

2006-03-18 13:47:04
20.   Bob Timmermann
Don't feel the need to add comments. I think the night game will get more comments.

I'm not big in the Caribbean. But I think I'm big in Asia. David Hasselhof big.

2006-03-18 13:55:13
21.   Bob Timmermann
I have a feeling that the Cubans shown in the youth center in Havana just didn't line up in the morning to get seats so they could show up on ESPN.
2006-03-18 14:01:07
22.   Bob Timmermann
Paret was out from here to El Cajon.
2006-03-18 14:03:25
23.   xaphor
Who is the looney calling for these steals?
2006-03-18 14:05:37
24.   Bob Timmermann
I again restate the famous words of our glorious leader: Steve Phillips.

"Cuba is a team that will always want to score a runner once he gets on base."

2006-03-18 14:09:02
25.   Bob Timmermann
1st and 3rd with no outs for Pujols, Ortiz, and Beltre due up.

The only logical play now would be the delayed double steal of home.

Or maybe a squeeze.

2006-03-18 14:11:58
26.   xaphor
I feel like I'm watching the Jim Tracy mirror matchup. Who can run themselves out of the most innings.
2006-03-18 14:12:00
27.   Jon Weisman
Just joined the game at the top of the sixth. So this looks like it's been a semifinal worth remembering?
2006-03-18 14:13:26
28.   Bob Timmermann
It's the best WBC semifinal EVER!
2006-03-18 14:16:17
29.   Bob Timmermann
Gourriel is the best fielder that Cuba has.

Oh well.

2006-03-18 14:16:23
30.   xaphor
Good lord. So much for Cuba's shinning star.
2006-03-18 14:16:42
31.   Ravenscar
The Mets sites have been begging for Gourriel to defect....

And as I write that, he makes a run-causing error.

I'm responsible if Cuba loses!

2006-03-18 14:18:25
32.   Bob Timmermann
The Mets would rather have Gourriel than say, Kaz Matsui, Jeff Keppinger, or Tony Graffanino?

Mets fans should remember how the last Cuban defector in the infield worked out.

2006-03-18 14:20:42
33.   Jon Weisman
So Odalis pitching now and Seo tonight?
2006-03-18 14:21:13
34.   Bob Timmermann
Odalis Perez in now for Colón. This would mean that if the Dominicans hold on, Daniel Cabrera would start the final.

But Beltré returns the favor to Gourriel!

2006-03-18 14:21:50
35.   Bob Timmermann

Should be a three Dodgers day/night in San Diego as Choi should start at DH.

2006-03-18 14:22:13
36.   xaphor
Forget the runs, this game is about who can get the most errors.
2006-03-18 14:23:20
37.   Ravenscar
As a Mets fan, allow me to say that our fanbase is, um, how shall we say.....

...apt to follow a logic combining the best of Man Ray, Salvador Dali, and Albert Camus.

2006-03-18 14:23:29
38.   Bob Timmermann
I'm waiting to see a closeup of Perez's face. He should have that "Oh, I hate all this!" look soon.
2006-03-18 14:23:42
39.   Jon Weisman
Odalis is somewhat cursed.
2006-03-18 14:25:34
40.   Bob Timmermann
Odalis knows that if he coughs up the lead and his team goes on to win, he can get credit for a tournament leading third win.
2006-03-18 14:27:04
41.   Bob Timmermann
RBI Olney!
2006-03-18 14:27:24
42.   xaphor
An unconventional Olney to tie up the game at 1.
2006-03-18 14:28:05
43.   Bob Timmermann
So much for Odalis's third win. He will have to hope he can pick it up in relief on Monday.
2006-03-18 14:28:36
44.   Jon Weisman
Odalis gives up three little grounders and gets the hook and possibly the L.

His ability to get a no-decision depends on Dodger Stadium favorite Salomon Torres???

2006-03-18 14:30:11
45.   Jon Weisman
They're dancing in the aisles!
2006-03-18 14:31:12
46.   Bob Timmermann
If you tried dancing in the aisles at Dodger Stadium, the ushers will get mad.

The Japanese and Koreans won't be dancing in the aisles tonight.

2006-03-18 14:34:07
47.   xaphor
I believe a Korea v. Cuba final would square off the team with the most errors versus the team with the least.
2006-03-18 14:37:15
48.   Bob Timmermann
The presence of Julian Tavarez does not bode well for the Dominicans.
2006-03-18 14:40:59
49.   xaphor
He can't do no damage if he refuses to throw the ball
2006-03-18 14:41:50
50.   das411
Oy, this is like that time Duaner Sanchez threw that other game away except Tavarez will be much more entertaining while he is beating things up in the dugout. Let's see that injury get blamed on the WBC!
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-03-18 14:49:58
51.   Bob Timmermann
Jugada suicida?
2006-03-18 14:52:28
52.   Bob Timmermann
Flái de sacrificio, 3-1 Cuba.
2006-03-18 14:53:03
53.   xaphor
Sac fly, a dangerous play with Davidson behind the plate.
2006-03-18 14:53:58
54.   Bob Timmermann
Paret is the 11th different Cuban player to appear in this inning.
2006-03-18 14:55:22
55.   Bob Timmermann
That inning was the baseball equivalent of the final 10 seconds of an NBA game when each team has four timeouts left.
2006-03-18 14:56:25
56.   Ken Arneson
If the Cuban team were ever to play a Tony LaRussa-managed team, the game would never end. Either that, or it would never start, hard to tell.
2006-03-18 14:58:15
57.   Bob Timmermann
With a 30-man roster, Cuba has managed to burn through all but 3 of its position players.
2006-03-18 15:04:29
58.   xaphor
Communism at work.
2006-03-18 15:07:53
59.   Bob Timmermann
I'm sure Tavarez would never think of throwing a pitch at a batter's head.
2006-03-18 15:13:59
60.   xaphor
Joe Morgan with a microphone should constitue a crime against humanity.
2006-03-18 15:16:56
61.   Bob Timmermann
They've got all those people at The Hague who are looking for work after Milosevic's death.
2006-03-18 15:17:17
62.   das411
60 - What about a bunt attempt on 2-0 with two men on and nobody out?
2006-03-18 15:19:49
63.   Bob Timmermann
Why does Cuba have a guy in street clothes on its bench advising the hitters? They couldn't afford enough uniforms?
2006-03-18 15:23:48
64.   Bob Timmermann
The Dominicans still have a shot, but they better get something done in the 8th. It can't be getting any easier to see there.
2006-03-18 15:25:42
65.   xaphor
It was probably Steve after seeing the no out, two on bunt.
2006-03-18 15:33:25
66.   Bob Timmermann
Yankee fans must be wondering: Why doesn't Ortiz do that against us?
2006-03-18 15:35:38
67.   xaphor
Haha, they wanted to check first on a Beltre check swing and Davidson refused.
2006-03-18 15:37:03
68.   Bob Timmermann
The outlook is gloomy for the Dominican Nine this day.

If they can keep the score close it will be Alou, Peña, and Brito due up in the 9th. Pinch hitters available include Soriano, Encarnacion, and Belliard.

2006-03-18 15:44:04
69.   Bob Timmermann
Clear the decks! We're going to the bottom of the ninth!
2006-03-18 15:45:26
70.   Voxter
I think if Cuba wins this whole thing I'm going to do a little tap-dance.
2006-03-18 15:45:30
71.   Bob Timmermann
19 hits in the game. All of them have been singles.
2006-03-18 15:45:56
72.   Bob Timmermann

Well, I know what you'll be eating...

2006-03-18 15:47:29
73.   Bob Timmermann
20 singles in the game.
2006-03-18 15:48:11
74.   Voxter
Hey, I wasn't predicting anything. I was just saying what I would do if the commies win.
2006-03-18 15:49:36
75.   Bob Timmermann

I was referring to your earlier statement about flags and using them as a type of sandwich wrap.

2006-03-18 15:50:50
76.   joejoejoe
I like Joe Morgan and Jon Miller. They are one of my favorite broadcasting pairs. What's wrong with Joe?
2006-03-18 15:51:19
77.   Voxter
Joe Morgan has finally said something that had some basis in fact:

"This is not a home-run hitter's park."

2006-03-18 15:51:46
78.   Bob Timmermann
Alfonso Soriano is the last hope for the Dominicans.

Hope Cuba enjoys the final.

2006-03-18 15:52:05
79.   Voxter
Oh yes. Tiny, tiny American babies for dinner.
2006-03-18 15:53:09
80.   das411
Wow, and the DR's season is all up to Alfonso Soriano's clutchitude...
2006-03-18 15:53:51
81.   Bob Timmermann
Where's the SWAGGER?
2006-03-18 15:54:18
82.   Ravenscar


2006-03-18 15:54:22
83.   Voxter
I think Castro got to the umps.
2006-03-18 15:56:08
84.   das411
And Bob's prediction streak continues!!
2006-03-18 15:56:49
85.   Voxter
Too bad "Korea" doesn't mean "North Korea". Then we could have an all-red final if things break right.
2006-03-18 15:58:42
86.   Bob Timmermann
I did pick the 8 teams to advance. I picked 2 of the 4 semifinalists. It's up to Korea to make sure I don't go 0 for 3 in the semis and finals.

It's the law of diminishing returns.

2006-03-18 16:02:52
87.   das411
And just so everybody is prepared for tonight:

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