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WBC Game Chat: Japan vs. Cuba, 6 pm PT
2006-03-20 16:35
by Bob Timmermann

Live from PETCO Park! This game is also being shown on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. And some network in Japan too. And I think Cuba is hijacking the ESPN signal. Joe Morgan could be America's newest weapon in the propaganda war!

The starting pitchers for tonight's game weren't announced ahead of time, but most likely Sadaharu Oh will send hard-throwing Daisuke Matsuzaka to the mound. Cuba will likely start Ormari Romero or Vicyohandry Odelin.

Whoever is the starting pitcher may not matter much as both managers (Oh and Cuban manger Higinio Velez) will not hestitate to go to the bullpen if either starter appears to be having a bad day. Velez had his bullpen up pretty much all the time during the semifinal with the Dominican Republic. Oh has Shunsuke Watanabe available to pitch in the final and he's thrown two tough good games against Korea in the tournament.

Matsuzaka pitched against Cuba in the 2004 Olympics in Athens and picked up a win with 8 1/3 strong innings. Odelin picked up the loss in that game. Japan hit three home runs in that game.

The only major leaguer who will be starting in the game is Ichiro Suzuki, but don't think that the level of play will be AAA or AA. This should be a well-played, close game.

Cuba survived a battle of errors against the Dominican Republic in a 3-1 win Saturday. Cuba had 12 hits (all singles) and took advantage of an Adrian Beltre error for the win. As Velez said before the game, it was a battle between the hombres against the nombres. Perhaps this will be a matchup between the namae and otoko, which unfortunately doesn't rhyme.

Japan avenged two earlier losses to Korea with a 6-0 win highlighted by a 2-run pinch homer by Kosuke Fukudome and another solo homer by Hitoshi Tamura. Koji Uehara completely shut down the Korean attack.

In the USA, the final was supposed to be a chance to see Roger Clemens staring down Albert Pujols. Instead, it will be a chance for Americans to see just how hard Daisuke Matsuzaka can throw. And how well the mostly unknown Cuban hitters will fare.

It's just one game and predicting what can happen in one baseball game is a fool's errand.

That said, I think Japan will win. Please feel free to call me a fool after the game is over. Or before it starts if it makes you happy.

Game time temps should be in the high 50s in San Diego. A 10% chance of rain is forecast.

Daily Yomiuri preview.

Prensa Latina preview in English, Cuban paper.

FINAL SCORE Japan 10, Cuba 6

WP -- Daisuke Matsuzaka
LP -- Ormari Romero
Save -- Akinori Otsuka
HRs -- Eduardo Paret, Frederich Cepeda

Japan scores four in the first without hitting the ball out of the infield. They stretch the lead to 6-1, but Cuba rallies to make it 6-5 as Cuba takes advantage of some Japanese errors. But Japan scores four in the ninth to break open the game.

Daisuke Matsuzaka is named tournament MVP.

Congratulations to Japan!

Comments (174)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-03-20 17:19:14
1.   Bob Timmermann
Tonight's lineup
Kawasaki SS
Nishioka 2B
Matsunaka DH
Tamura LF
Satozaki C
Ogasawara 1B
Imae 3B
Aoki CF
Matsuzaka P

Paret SS
Enriquez 3B
Gourriel 2B
Borrero 1B
Cepeda LF
Urrutia RF
Garlobo DH
Pestano C
Ramirez CF
Romero P

Umpire watch:
Home plate will be Tom Hallion.
1st base umpire ... BOB DAVIDSON

Fortunately there are foul line umpires so Davidson shouldn't get involved in any home run calls.


2006-03-20 17:21:50
2.   grandcosmo
Here's hoping Japan wins 150-0.
2006-03-20 17:24:33
3.   Bob Timmermann
The mercy rule is not in effect.

However, I would expect bunting aplenty tonight.

2006-03-20 17:34:07
4.   Telemachos
I think it'd be hilarious if Cuba won, if for no other reason than to see the apoplexy from some of the old-school US baseball diehards (Tommy Lasorda among 'em).
2006-03-20 17:58:12
5.   xaphor
Nipon suki desu
2006-03-20 18:04:44
6.   Sam DC
(moved up from the thread below which had veered into Rockford country as I doubt anyone is down there anymore and I wouldn't want them to miss my funny)

Bob -- can you email a sound file of the opening riff from the Rockford Files? That and Barney Miller are what TV music is all about.



-- anonymous baseball writer

2006-03-20 18:13:32
7.   Steve
If these two poor excuses for basketball programs don't settle their differences in this first overtime, somebody is going to get a nasty letter.
2006-03-20 18:19:05
8.   xaphor
Stupid North Dakota and Mitch Street
2006-03-20 18:20:25
9.   Steve
Incompetence on top of incompetence. The only thing worse than watching Michigan and Notre Dame is being subjected to more of it.
2006-03-20 18:20:30
10.   xaphor
Kawasaki hits back to the box for the first out. Courtesy of Yahoo Korea
2006-03-20 18:20:43
11.   Bob Timmermann
It's the freakin' NIT!

It's the NIT!

If you go to, you get to see


2006-03-20 18:22:42
12.   xaphor
Nishioka beats out a drive to the ss for the first hit and Cuba has the bull pen up.
2006-03-20 18:22:44
13.   Bob Timmermann
Can we have the Yahoo Korea link?
2006-03-20 18:23:13
14.   De Ruijter
Grr! Currently on Sportsnet Canada: "The start of the Cuba vs Japan WBC Final has been delayed by ESPN"

Meanwhile, Ichiro!'s up, Japan might be threatening, and some boat race is killing dead air time.

2006-03-20 18:25:09
15.   hokie316
Nice to see that ESPN is continuing its stellar coverage of the WBC.
2006-03-20 18:25:34
16.   xaphor
2006-03-20 18:26:10
17.   xaphor
Ichiro walks. 2 on with 1 out.
2006-03-20 18:27:27
18.   Bob Timmermann
Thanks. Is that supposed to be a streaming video link?

I'm getting nothing in particular, but I do have a Mac.

2006-03-20 18:28:38
19.   xaphor
I had trouble getting it to work under Firefox, works fine in Internet Explorer.
2006-03-20 18:29:35
20.   Bob Timmermann
I'll try Safari.
2006-03-20 18:30:29
21.   xaphor
Matsunaka gets a single to load the bases. Still 1 out.
2006-03-20 18:31:31
22.   xaphor
Looks like Romero is done.
2006-03-20 18:32:26
23.   Steve
I mean, good basketball is one thing, but there are seven games going on at the park near my house that are better than this one.
2006-03-20 18:32:33
24.   xaphor
Cuba, doing us all a favour, making a pitching change after one out in the first.
2006-03-20 18:32:41
25.   Bob Timmermann
Safari was even worse!

My OS doesn't support IE anymore unless I do a lot of finagling.

It's easier to curse ESPN!

Everyone is entitled to use one profanity to describe ESPN now! One free shot everybody!

2006-03-20 18:33:47
26.   xaphor
By the way, Romero had yet to see a ball leave the infield.
2006-03-20 18:34:02
27.   Steve
Tommy Amaker just pulled out the Jason Grabowski Face.
2006-03-20 18:34:48
28.   xaphor
Can I take a raincheck until which time Joe Morgan makes his presence felt.
2006-03-20 18:35:02
29.   s choir
ESPN needs to move this game to ESPN2, where they are at the beginning of a Womens' NCAA game (not to knock the NCAAWs, but they're at the beginning of the game)
2006-03-20 18:36:07
30.   Bob Timmermann
There are a gazillion ESPN outlets. They could move something to one of them.
2006-03-20 18:36:37
31.   xaphor
Bob, try allowing cookies and javascript if you have them restricted.
2006-03-20 18:37:01
32.   Bob Timmermann
Then again ESPN's women's coverage yesterday somehow decided that Georgia vs Marist would be interesting.

Thank God!

2006-03-20 18:37:13
33.   s choir
Thank f-ing God he made that shot
2006-03-20 18:37:32
34.   Bob Timmermann
I allow cookies and javascript.
2006-03-20 18:37:39
35.   Steve
Thank the Good Lord God. What a bunch of hacks.
2006-03-20 18:38:08
36.   xaphor
Tamura strikes out swinging for the second out.
2006-03-20 18:38:11
37.   s choir
proof that God loves baseball. Of course, if he had his shit together, the game wouldn't have run long in the first place.
2006-03-20 18:38:15
38.   Bob Timmermann
If ESPN now goes and shows 30 commercials, I may increase the threshhold.
2006-03-20 18:39:01
39.   Steve
Ummmm....the game's over right?
2006-03-20 18:39:45
40.   Bob Timmermann
Die ESPN! Die!

And no, that's not German.

2006-03-20 18:40:36
41.   Bob Timmermann
You know who will remember won that NIT game after tomorrow?


Even if my alma mater were playing, I wouldn't have cared.

2006-03-20 18:41:40
42.   Bob Timmermann
Quite an impressive rally by the Japanese.
2006-03-20 18:43:04
43.   xaphor
Hilarity ensues as the Korea feed is delayed so ESPN missed even more of the game.
2006-03-20 18:45:24
44.   Bob Timmermann
In the words of Babelfish:

Se atornilla Cuba

2006-03-20 18:46:10
45.   Bob Timmermann
Se coge Cuba

That doesn't really convey what's happened though.

2006-03-20 18:51:24
46.   xaphor
Cuba intends to make this interesting
2006-03-20 18:51:58
47.   Bob Timmermann
Matsuzaka may be a "battle-tested veteran", but he's only 25.
2006-03-20 18:53:57
48.   Uncle Miltie
Is Matsuzaka the guy who throws the gyroball?
2006-03-20 18:55:40
49.   Bob Timmermann
It was rumored he did, but he doesn't.

He just throws really hard. And according to Karim Garcia, he has a changeup slider.

2006-03-20 18:58:41
50.   Uncle Miltie
49- I thought they had video footage of it. I guess it's just a slider.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-03-20 18:59:57
51.   Bob Timmermann
Oddly, it seems that Morgan and Miller are pulling for Cuba. And they like to show the Cuban fans back in Havana. They make it seem like nobody in Japan cares.

Which is far from the case.

2006-03-20 19:00:32
52.   Bob Timmermann
There's a link to a story about it on The Juice. It was a week or two ago.
2006-03-20 19:01:01
53.   Bob Timmermann
52 referring to 50.
2006-03-20 19:03:44
54.   Bob Timmermann
Gyroball story:
2006-03-20 19:04:54
55.   xaphor
Most of the fans in the stand seem to be cheering on the Cubans as well.
2006-03-20 19:09:09
56.   Bob Timmermann
Because of the differences in the personality of the average Latin American fan and the average Japanese fan, it will always sound like it is a pro-Cuba crowd.
2006-03-20 19:18:21
57.   Bob Timmermann
The crowd dynamics would be much different if Korea were playing.
2006-03-20 19:19:34
58.   Uncle Miltie
I'm disappointed to hear that he doesn't throw it, but there's hope. He said he is trying to learn how to throw it. Either way, I'd love to see the Dodgers sign him. He has great stuff.

Bob, I'm assuming that you're cheering for Japan. I think it would be kind of funny if Cuba won since originally they weren't slated to be in the tournament. I guess that makes me a commie.

2006-03-20 19:20:37
59.   xaphor
Makes you wonder if there is such a thing as "home team advantage" in Japan.
2006-03-20 19:21:10
60.   Bob Timmermann
Since I've been to Japan and have friends there, I'm pulling them. And it also seems that no one outside of Japan is rooting for them.

A large chunk of the US media seems to be pulling for Cuba. For reasons which I don't fully understand.

2006-03-20 19:23:48
61.   Uncle Miltie
Wow, I didn't know that Joe Morgan understands Spanish. I think he's BS'ing.
2006-03-20 19:24:00
62.   Bob Timmermann
Some home stadiums in Japan are pretty difficult to play in. The Hanshin Tigers draw extraordinarily loud fans to Koshien Stadium.

The Japanese like to have their cheering organized and they aren't likely to improvise their own cheers.

Pretty much every cheer is:
Gattobase (insert last name)!

2006-03-20 19:26:54
63.   Uncle Miltie
One of my friends went to a game in Japan and said that the fans are really loud. They have those plastic clappers and thunder sticks. When I went to a game in Montreal, they would use the seats as noise makers.
2006-03-20 19:28:05
64.   das411
60 - Don't get me started Bob :)

I actually really wanted to see the beginning of this game too, if only to see if Cuba and Japan did any sort of awesome pre-game handshake to recognize how great this tournament has actually been, a la 1991 World Series Game 7.

But nope. We had NIT basketball instead. Thank you ESPN.

2006-03-20 19:29:03
65.   Bob Timmermann
Dear Joe Morgan:

Mat - Su - Zah - Kah

2006-03-20 19:30:24
66.   xaphor
I can believe Joe knows a little Spanish, it's English he doesn't seem to be all that hot on.
2006-03-20 19:33:55
67.   Uncle Miltie
Maybe Joe Morgan is really Mexican and English is his second language. Can Nate please kidnap Gourriel..

Is Jon Miller blind? Matsuzaka threw a 94 fastball, straight as an arrow and Miller said "oooh and a breaking ball"

2006-03-20 19:36:52
68.   Uncle Miltie
If we swapped Ramon Martinez with Gourriel, do you think Cuba would notice?
2006-03-20 19:37:58
69.   Bob Timmermann
I believe Mets fans have already claimed dibs on Gourriel.

I think that's how it works.

2006-03-20 19:39:53
70.   Uncle Miltie
Why would they want Gourriel when they already have Matsui?
2006-03-20 19:45:25
71.   Bob Timmermann
Matsui is out with a knee injury.

Who wasn't even considered for the Japanese team.

2006-03-20 19:49:01
72.   s choir
He was considered, he just declined out of deference to Steinbrenner.
2006-03-20 19:49:30
73.   Uncle Miltie
That was a great defensive play
2006-03-20 19:50:00
74.   Uncle Miltie
72- we're talking about the bad Matsui
2006-03-20 19:50:29
75.   xaphor
72 - Wrong Matsui.
2006-03-20 19:52:22
76.   Bob Timmermann
Would Taguchi have started over Nishioka? Nishioka, Bob Davidson notwithstanding, has had a pretty good series.
2006-03-20 19:53:59
77.   Bob Timmermann
I wonder if they are going to give out an MVP for the WBC. I would have thought it would have been advertised.
2006-03-20 19:54:03
78.   Jon Weisman
6 - Actually, I love the Rockford theme (along with Hill Street). SWAT was good, too.

New shows: The Office theme is nice.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

2006-03-20 19:54:23
79.   De Ruijter
You mean Iguchi, right? Because I don't think that So can play second.

Wouldn't stop LaRussa from trying, mind you. He's got a man-crush on So.

2006-03-20 19:54:36
80.   Uncle Miltie
I think Ichiro, Matsui, and Nomo are the only Japanese names that Joe Morgan pronounces correctly.
2006-03-20 19:54:53
81.   Bob Timmermann
Of all those guys Morgan named, only Taguchi, Hideki Matsui, and Johjima were considered.

The Japanese didn't need Hideo Nomo on their team because they wanted good players.

2006-03-20 19:59:49
82.   Bob Timmermann
So Cuba is now banking on its sixth best pitcher to bail them out. While Japan still has its ace. Or co-ace with Uehara.
2006-03-20 20:12:04
83.   xaphor
Japan gets no respect. They get typhoons (hurricane in the pacific) to go with there earthquakes and volcanos.
2006-03-20 20:17:37
84.   Bob Timmermann
The way this game is being portrayed, I have the feeling that rooting for Japan is like rooting for the Yankees.

I thought Matsunaka would have gone another inning.

But Watanabe looked pretty nasty to the first batter.

2006-03-20 20:18:56
85.   Uncle Miltie
By the way Bob, I think Joe Morgan likes Japan better. They play small ball.
2006-03-20 20:20:29
86.   Bob Timmermann
Watanabe was nasty that inning.t
2006-03-20 20:20:51
87.   Bob Timmermann
My cat typed the extraneous t.
2006-03-20 20:23:22
88.   jmoney
Miller and Morgan are acting like they've never seen anything like Watanabe before. Chad Bradford, anyone?
2006-03-20 20:25:19
89.   De Ruijter
Bradford was in Moneyball, so Morgan must not have any knowledge of him.
2006-03-20 20:25:31
90.   xaphor
Tie go to the runner? Or not in Davidson and Morgan's universe?
2006-03-20 20:26:18
91.   Bob Timmermann
I've been conflating Tadahito Iguchi into Taguchi. And I've also been talking to my brother who is at the Cardinals camp, who is talking to So Taguchi a lot.

He says So Taguchi is the world's happiest person.

2006-03-20 20:29:40
92.   das411
Meanwhile who wants to place bets on how long it will be after Japan wins this game that Ned Colletti will find a way to bring Tsuyoshi Shinjo to the Dodgers?
2006-03-20 20:33:26
93.   Bob Timmermann
Shinjo has nothing left. He's the marquee player for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters and he's awful. He had an OPS of 729 last year (and that was with 20 homers!) and he looked shaky in the field.

His official name in Japan is SHINJO. His name does not appear on scoreboards in Japanese. It's always SHINJO.

2006-03-20 20:37:11
94.   Bob Timmermann
Is Oh going to go with Watanabe for another inning? His mojo quickly disappeared.
2006-03-20 20:44:07
95.   Bob Timmermann
Funny that Morgan and Miller think that it's a big deal that Oh is called almost exclusively by his last name.

Of course, nearly every adult in Japan is called by his last name unless you are very close friends.

You can learn that just from watching "Iron Chef" reruns.

2006-03-20 20:46:18
96.   das411
Why is Oh wearing number 89? Isn't his 1 in Japan like 3 or 42 back in the States?
2006-03-20 20:49:11
97.   Bob Timmermann
Managers in Japan all wear really high numbers.

So do the coaches. It's just one of those things.

When Nagashima managed the Giants he did wear his number 3. I don't know what number Oh wore when he managed the Giants.

2006-03-20 20:50:17
98.   das411
93 - So then how do you say "Lucille III" in Japanese?
2006-03-20 20:52:14
99.   FirstMohican
Off Topic: There was a webpage that someone had done that, based on completed games, predicted the outcome of a game when current conditions were inputted. Anyone know what the link for that is?
2006-03-20 20:54:07
100.   Bob Timmermann

Probably something along the lines of "San Lucille"

I can't count in Japanese beyond three.

I checked the roster for the Softbank Hawks, the team Oh manages now. He wears 89 for them.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-03-20 20:54:25
101.   xaphor
Nishioka is the Japanese Jeff Kent :)
2006-03-20 20:56:53
102.   Bob Timmermann

Going to the bottom of the 8th, down 3, Cuba has a win expectancy of .067

2006-03-20 21:00:20
103.   Bob Timmermann
With the infield hit, Cuba's win expectancy went up to .108
2006-03-20 21:04:21
104.   Bob Timmermann
Eeek, Morgan has compared Gourriel to Juan Samuel!

Poor guy.

2006-03-20 21:05:39
105.   Bob Timmermann
Win expectancy down to .071
2006-03-20 21:06:23
106.   Uncle Miltie
So he's a great talent, but a huge underachiever?
2006-03-20 21:07:57
107.   Bob Timmermann
With hands of stone and poor strike zone judgment.

Cuba's win expectancy now up to .233

2006-03-20 21:08:44
108.   FirstMohican
.071 to .233 w/ one swing!
2006-03-20 21:09:18
109.   Bob Timmermann
The hopes of Japan rest with the arm of Akinori Otsuka.

And what would have happened if Oh had just let Matsuzaka stay in?

2006-03-20 21:10:12
110.   Voxter
2006-03-20 21:11:19
111.   Bob Timmermann
Down to .185
2006-03-20 21:13:04
112.   Bob Timmermann
Japan with an 84.9% chance of winning now.
2006-03-20 21:17:06
113.   Bob Timmermann
Pitching and defense proving to not be decisive factors in this game.
2006-03-20 21:18:52
114.   D4P
2006-03-20 21:20:45
115.   Bob Timmermann
That's a big hole on the left side for Ichiro.
2006-03-20 21:22:17
116.   Bob Timmermann
So Ichiro pulls it for an RBI single.

Japan's win expectancy up to 97.4%

2006-03-20 21:22:51
117.   FirstMohican
jeez, how old is Palma?
2006-03-20 21:24:26
118.   D4P
In 1,000 situations exactly like this, I would expect Cuba to win 26 of them. But that's just me...
2006-03-20 21:25:54
119.   Bob Timmermann
Palma is listed at 35 years old.
2006-03-20 21:27:43
120.   Xeifrank
Great slide on that last play at home. The ump did a great job. I thought it funny that the Cuban catcher argued the call for a split second. The replay showed he never even made an attempt to tag the runner. It was as if he thought it was a force out at home or something. Wierd!
vr, Xei
2006-03-20 21:28:04
121.   FirstMohican
118 - Certainly you're not mocking the scientific findings of the win expectancy tool.
2006-03-20 21:29:59
122.   Bob Timmermann
I think the 9-5 lead is making the win expectancy finder moot now.

But it's at 98.7% now.

2006-03-20 21:30:08
123.   Xeifrank
wow! How come whenever Cuba scores, we get a live shot of Havana going wild. But when Japan opens up a lead in the 9th inning we just get...??? vr, Xei
2006-03-20 21:30:32
124.   xaphor
Fukudome = Mota
2006-03-20 21:31:44
125.   Xeifrank
Amazing thing is Japan was basically all but eliminated from this tournament, but then Mexico happened.
vr, Xei
2006-03-20 21:32:08
126.   xaphor
123 - ...revered silence
2006-03-20 21:33:34
127.   Bob Timmermann

Because the people in Japan are at work now.

But the Japanese aren't colorful. They aren't emotional. But I think there is going to be come celebrating in Japan if this score holds up.

2006-03-20 21:34:33
128.   Xeifrank
What are the odds that any of these players on the Cuban team defect after the game? Anybody guarding the side exit of the locker room? Looks like they have some big hitters on their team, and that relief pitcher from saturdays game was great too. vr, Xei
2006-03-20 21:35:56
129.   Bob Timmermann
Seventh pitcher of the game for Cuba coming in. 4 of the first 6 have given up runs and the guy coming out (Maya) has runners on base.
2006-03-20 21:37:23
130.   Xeifrank
Parque Central looks pretty quiet.
vr, Xei
2006-03-20 21:38:14
131.   Bob Timmermann

I doubt anyone is going to defect from the Cuban team.

2006-03-20 21:42:42
132.   Bob Timmermann
Ogasawara going for the WBC record for sac flies in a game.

He's 0 for 2 with 3 RBI.

2006-03-20 21:42:51
133.   xaphor
128 - I've been impressed with the comments made by the team and manager which have stressed the philosophy of team and country over the individual. It might all be lip service, but there have been no indication of dissention in the ranks.
2006-03-20 21:43:19
134.   Xeifrank
131. How about the Japanese team? :)
vr, Xei
2006-03-20 21:43:43
135.   Bob Timmermann
Cuba still has 3 guys left available to pitch!
2006-03-20 21:44:09
136.   Xeifrank
Jose Contreras is warming up in the pen!
vr, Xei
2006-03-20 21:45:26
137.   Xeifrank
So who closes it out, Otsuka? Sasaki? Ayala?
vr, Xei
2006-03-20 21:47:45
138.   Xeifrank
Wonder if the announcer will make another Japan/China slip when the game is over. I can hear it now, "China wins! China wins!"
Well, still 3 outs to go.
vr, Xei
2006-03-20 21:49:26
139.   xaphor
Davidson was feeling left out. Poor guy.
2006-03-20 21:49:58
140.   Xeifrank
Wonder where the team with the best record in the tournament is watching the game from!

Hey guys, stay in the dugout!!

Bunting? Is Jim Tracy in the tunnel giving signals?

vr, Xei

2006-03-20 21:50:15
141.   Bob Timmermann
This is the longest WBC championship game by time ever!
2006-03-20 21:50:17
142.   das411
...and Bob Davidson strikes again!
2006-03-20 21:51:20
143.   Xeifrank
Bob Davidson is to umpiring
XXXX XXXXXX is to hunting.
2006-03-20 21:52:26
144.   Xeifrank
Joe Morgan didn't call that a productive out? Maybe they have his mic turned off.
vr, Xei
2006-03-20 21:52:27
145.   Andrew Shimmin
Cuba brought a substantial security contingent with them. I don't suppose that would stop somebody who decided to defect, but it would tend to keep a lid on any non-defecting dissenters. I'm sure there are loyalty tests just to make the team.
2006-03-20 21:52:34
146.   Bob Timmermann
The team with the best record doesn't win the FIFA World Cup all the time either.

The Cardinals are wondering where their World Championship trophy for last year is too.

2006-03-20 21:53:28
147.   Uncle Miltie
Only 4 more to tie!
2006-03-20 21:54:47
148.   Xeifrank
146. True but soccer has ties. Not easy to have one loss in the WBC and not be the champ. vr, Xei
2006-03-20 21:54:47
149.   Bob Timmermann
Cuba kept changing pitchers to make up for the time we missed having to watch exciting NIT action between two teams that I didn't care about.
2006-03-20 21:56:17
150.   Bob Timmermann

There is also a corollary:

Life is unfair.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-03-20 21:56:29
151.   Xeifrank
haha! Joe Morgan actually said something very very funny. "I think he said, get him out!" haha! vr, Xei
2006-03-20 21:56:38
152.   Uncle Miltie
I think Oh went to the mound to tell them not to rub it in Cuba's face after they win.
2006-03-20 21:57:01
153.   Bob Timmermann
Oh coming out to the man is very unusual. The managers rarely talk to the pitchers. That was like Lasorda going out to talk to Orosco in the 1988 NLCS.
2006-03-20 21:57:16
154.   das411
Thanks again for the coverage Bob, it's been awesome!
2006-03-20 21:58:08
155.   Xeifrank
Meanwhile in Tokyo, we hear a pin drop.
vr, Xei
2006-03-20 21:59:03
156.   Xeifrank
Congrats to Japan!
2006-03-20 22:00:35
157.   das411
Awww, and here is the handshake, good for Cuba!
2006-03-20 22:01:51
158.   Xeifrank
Who will be the host nation 3 years from now? South Africa, Netherlands? This was a great tournament, glad they had it. vr, Xei
2006-03-20 22:02:44
159.   Bob Timmermann
I enjoyed seeing some of the Cuban players posing for pictures with Ichiro and using their own cameras.

Ichiro did come through tonight.

2006-03-20 22:03:59
160.   Uncle Miltie
158- Cuba
2006-03-20 22:04:12
161.   Andrew Shimmin
So we don't get to see the trohpy presentation or the MVP awarded? Bob was right: Die ESPN! Die!
2006-03-20 22:04:15
162.   Bob Timmermann

The host country in 2009 hasn't been decided. The tournament will likely have a different format with the top 8 teams automatically advancing and playing the final rounds during the All-Star Break.

Some early round games might be played in Cuba.

2006-03-20 22:05:20
163.   s choir
They should hold it in Japan and Korea next time. I'll be there!
2006-03-20 22:06:57
164.   Bob Timmermann
They did have games in Tokyo in the early round.

Plenty of good seats available for those games.

Does Korea have any domed stadiums?

2006-03-20 22:08:23
165.   s choir
Yeah but this time they should hold the whole thing there. They did a great job hosting the World Cup of Soccer.
2006-03-20 22:10:48
166.   das411
I actually like having the entire tourney now, mostly because the only college bball teams I follow were not even in the tournament...

161 - Right on. Hopefully one of the major networks will see how well this one drew over random bball games and learn a lesson!

162 - It would be pretty cool if the defending champion automatically hosted the Finals in 2009, and then every four years after. It would be an interesting new tradition for what has already rightly been called a Classic.

2006-03-20 22:12:13
167.   Bob Timmermann
We better hope that South Africa doesn't win. I don't think they have more than one baseball stadium of any consequence.
2006-03-20 22:14:07
168.   s choir
The all-star break, when the season is in full swing, is the ideal time to hold it. Once every four years, they can make the all-star break last two weeks. The World Series would still end in October with 10 days added to the allstar break.
2006-03-20 22:17:36
169.   King of the Hobos
If you're interested, here's something I've been playing with now that the WBC is over. It lacks any purpose, but it gave me something to do for 20 minutes:

2006-03-20 22:28:14
170.   Bob Timmermann
I had been wondering about that too.
2006-03-20 23:01:07
171.   das411
The picture of Oh at is priceless. JUST like they do it in Game Boy Baseball!
2006-03-20 23:24:21
172.   tmurase
127 It's actually a holiday in Japan today.
2006-03-20 23:27:51
173.   tmurase
172 I meant it was a holiday before the championship was decided...
2006-03-20 23:37:11
174.   Bob Timmermann
We don't get the Vernal Equinox has a holiday in the USA.

Then again, next Monday I'm off for Cesar Chavez's Birthday.

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