So the WBC is over: What did we learn?

by Andy Paschen


So Japan can call themselves the real World Champions after winning their second WBC championship. That’s 2-2 for those keeping score at home. But what have we really learned from this Sophomore sporting event? Does it work? Can it be on par with the World Cup or Olympics years from now? Or is it a failure on par with Paris Hilton’s singing career?

Personally, the timing of this thing is all wrong. You can’t play the WBC during the MLB season, baseball is much too precious to ever cancel games during the season or break the season up. So that leaves the winter which, considering that almost all of the games are held in warm weather cities or domes, makes me wonder – why do it during spring training? Why not move it up earlier? I understand that owners and coaches don’t want their players gearing up just to shut it down just to gear it up again, but you cannot have your cake and eat it too. That’d be just plain silly.

Really, when the WBC is played will always pale in comparison of who is playing in it — and I have an analogy that the MLB might want to look at. The World Cup is the biggest sporting event in, well, the world. Sorry Olympics, the World Cup is the King Kong of sports. “But how?” you ask, “The Olympics has soccer in it!” In the Olympics, there are restrictions of who can actually play on the team, so instead of superstars (and their ridiculous wags) you get young no-names. And guess what, nobody cares about Olympic soccer. Because if Christiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the rest of those sweet, sweet footballers ain’t playin’, then no one will care. Until the best talent baseball has to offer get into the WBC, it will be treated with indifference for ever. FOR EVER. FOOOORRR EVVVVEERRRR. (That’s a Sandlot reference)

But some people did play, so let’s quickly find out how they did.
Note: These are the WBC stats for all players who made it out of pool play for the Cubs and Pirates

Kosuke Fukudome, Japan – OF — .200, 7 singles, 7 BBs, 0 Ks
That line is so Fukudome. Walks, no extra base hits, low average. It’s looking like that scorching start last year was nothing more than Japanese snake oil.

Ted Lilly, USA – LHP
0-0, 2 GS, 6.1 IP, 5.68 ERA, 5 Ks, 3 BBs

Geovany Soto, Puerto Rico – C
.231, 2 RBIs, 5 BBs
Double meh.

John Grabow, USA – LHP
4.1 IP, 2.08 ERA, 5 K
Those numbers are better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

Ian Snell, Puerto Rico – RHP
0-1, 8 IP, 2.25 ERA, 10 K, 3 BB
It’s good to see numbers like that for a guy who started so strong last year only to fade as the season wore on. He’s better than his numbers said last year, but he better get used to crooked numbers in the loss column.

Ramon Vazquez, Puerto Rico – 3B
3-19 (.158), 2 RBI, 5 K
No me gusta.


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Filed under Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates

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