Saturday, March 14, 2009

If the USA loses in the WBC and no one is around to watch, does it still count as a loss?

USA lost in a terrible way (10 run mercy rule after 7 innings) to Puerto Rico. Venezeula beat the Netherlands in the other pool 2 (we've switched to numbers now) game.

What this means is that in order to advance, USA must beat the Netherlands on Sunday night, then beat the loser of the pool 2 winners game (PR vs Venezuela). This is a little odd, because if the US wins, they will go on to try to knock off either of the two teams they have already played. The could play Venezuela, who they beat once in their first round pool, then lost to in the pool champion game, or the could play Puerto Rico, who they just lost to in a game ended on the mercy rule.

As much as I want to like this event, I hope it goes away for four years and comes back something more like a tournament and less like a drunk guys dance card.

Here's what the first two rounds could/should be:

Round 1: 4 team pools. Every team plays the other 4 in the pool. The two teams with the most wins advance. Ties are decided by head-to-head record and then by run differential. There is no mercy rule, nor should there be, so teams have full games to rack up runs.

Round 2-3: Teams are reseeded based on number of wins and number of runs scored (or runs allowed, whichever). Teams should not be likely to replay teams they already played in the first round unless their performance dictates that it happens. This round, and the next, will not be round robin, but instead be a best of 3 series between two teams. Double header on day 1, single game the following day if necessary. Round 3 (quarterfinals) starts using the round two seedings and winners.

Semis and Finals are also both best of 3 series, instead of fluky best of 5-9 innings.

Bud, how hard would this be to pull of? The joy here would be actually piting teams against each other and using strategy to get by. Currently, the system seems to (here's the numbered list of the post): 1) focus on the novelty of seeing teams play a bunch of other teams, 2) Give losing teams the chance to play and beat the team they already lost to with much higher stakes, and 3) suck.


Philthy Phil said...

Dice-K.. Woot!

Dionysum said...

Oh no, I've been dice-flamed.