Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Face it America, Japan Owns

I stayed up until nearly 2am last night to finish watching the final game of the World Baseball Classic. It was a great game, with Korea and Japan going into extra innings before Ichiro hit a 2-run single to put Japan ahead in the 10th. As I watched it, I wondered why anyone would pitch to Ichiro with runners on 2nd and 3rd and two outs. The man is a base hit machine. He already had 3 hits in that game alone. For those counting at home, that's two WBC championships for Japan, and zero for the rest of the baseball playing world. I have to hand it to both Japan and Korea, because the game that I watched was played extremely well. It was worth the extra cup of coffee I have to drink to become a passable employee this morning.

I started thinking that if the USA put a team together of its best players it could take on Japan, but then I remembered that that's what the classic was. To anyone who reads this blog from Japan I salute you, and congratulations on the win. I was very impressed with the game your team put on. If anyone's reading from Korea, take pride in the fact that your guys played a great game, made it to the final round of the classic, and really opened some eyes as to the quality of Korean baseball.


Anonymous said...
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RayZab said...
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RayZab said...

It really comes down to the fact that there is no good time to play the WBC unless its mid-summer, which can't happen. It should be no surprise that Japan and Korea made it to the finals (with a combined 5 losses, only to each other). Most of the players from both countries are in the middle of their baseball seasons, which means that they are in mid-season form. I feel it is unfair to declare either Japan or Korea better than the US when basing it solely off of the WBC. I still think that if every country played with their top players and all of them on top of their game the US would win every time.

Fernando Alejandro said...

To the anonymous poster, your comments about American baseball are valid, your homophobic comments are not. Please watch that here.

RayZab, I would still need to see it. You're right that the tournament taking place in March is awful for major league ball players, but I'm not sold on the idea that they lost only because they weren't in mid season form. There's certainly something to be said for that, but I'm not completely sold. As you said though, unless we can hold the tournament in the middle of the baseball season, there's no real way to test the theory.

Anonymous said...

Both the Korean and Japanese players approach each AB, each pitch, like it was the bottom of the 9th in the seventh game of the World Series, and they were in their contract year.
Makes for some dynamite baseball.
I knoew Ichiro would step up for this one. Be great if he could find himself on a contender, wouldn't it?


Raven King said...

Korea and Japan made it to the Champion game because players like Halladay, Santana, (Carlos) Zambrano, A-Rod, Pujols, Manny, Posada, Wang did not represent their countries in the WBC.
In China, the largest remaining communist country of the universe, not participating the national team means treason.
Japan, the defending champion, couldn't afford to lose their face.
And Korea, like almost every Asian country, had been occupied and enslaved by Japan from 1910 to 1945, will fight the Japanese to death.
I really think the WBC is more of a joke than a "Classic".

Fernando Alejandro said...

Joe, you're so right. They played like it mattered. I don't know why Ichiro decided to stay with the Mariners, but I really wanted him in the outfield for the Yankees. I guess we can't always get what we want.

Raven, I think those national rivalries is what makes it exciting, though I do wish more players would participate. They need to address the work load issue, because its tough to take a couple weeks off and not play regularly.