BYU Wins Holy War

BYU Wins Holy War
George, like Collie and Harline before him, is now still open!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mark's Thoughts: World Baseball Classic - Just Awesome

If anyone questioned how good this tournament is, then you needed to see the USA vs Puerto Rico game...

I have already written about how pumped up I was for another World Baseball Classic, but I can't believe how much fun I have been having watching top notch baseball in March. There is something very interesting about how determined all of the players are in each game.

Especially after the comeback 6-5 victory of the USA over Puerto Rico. The drama was there throughout the entire game. Shane Victorino tried, successfully, to run into a cut off throw and take a base. Carlos Beltran stole a home run from Adam Dunn, and then hit a two-run shot himself. David Wright was mobbed by teammates after hitting the game winning double, and "The New York Mets star called the hit the biggest of his career. 'You're talking about representing the United States of America,' he said. 'You've got that across the front of your chest. To be able to get that hit, that's got to be right up there at the top of the list'"(

If that isn't showcasing what is the best things about the game of baseball, then there might not be hope for international baseball to be appealing to the U.S. audience. The Puerto Rico game, before the ninth inning comeback, was one of the most intense and better games I have seen for quite some time.

What makes this tournament even better is the fact that I was flipping through channels and stopped on the Cuba vs. Mexico game the previous night. After about five minutes I was hooked. Though not a sell out crowd by any means the Mexican supporters at Petco field in San Diego were loud and fun. The baseball was very good, the pitching was great for March, and the passion was visible as both teams played to save being eliminated from the tournament.

The Dutch being able to beat the mighty Dominican Republic, not once but twice, was also inspiring. The Netherlands really put together two impressive outings against a stacked lineup from the Dominican Republic. The Dominicans after being eliminated called their performance a national embarrassment, and they weren't really stretching the truth about the national (Dominican) opinion of their performance!

Sure there has been injuries, and there are still some problems with the format. (How is it far that Puerto Rico beats the US by the mercy rule on Saturday, then loses to Venezuela in a close game, and then has to beat the US again or be eliminated? All the US had to do was beat the Netherlands and then rematch Puerto Rico and they advanced.) Yet, there has been opportunities to see great talent that Major League Fans wouldn't have a chance to see for a few years. The pitching by both the Koreans and Japanese teams is upper level Major leagues, and must have pro scouts drolling over the chance to bring an Asian ace over that could win twenty games in the major leagues.

The problems will be fixed, but the current product isn't that bad to watch. The WBC has had me cheering many times already, and should just get better as the games head to Los Angeles.

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