Thursday, March 19, 2009

Quick hits before I leave

USA won an actual 9 inning game with a walkoff in the 9th. Maybe people will pay attention now. USA plays the winner of Japan v Korea on Sunday. Venezuela plays the loser on Saturday with the championship on Monday night.

I'll be out of blogging distance most of the weekend because of the first (annual?) Hopsanddrunken, a beer tour I'm going on with my brother and a bunch of friends. Filling in for a few posts will be a couple of friends of mine who are the primary readers of this fledgling venture.

When I get back, I'll start tackling the non-AL Central predictions and write more about spring training.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

List of great signings/trades for Jon

Great Yankees since 2000.
I'm leaving out nostalgia signings (Clemens, Tino, Wells)

Jose Molina
Jason Giambi
Johnny Damon
Wilson Betemit
Ivan Rodriguez
Shelley Duncan
Richie Sexson
Sidney Ponson
Carl Pavano
Kyle Farnsworth
LaTroy Hawkins
Kei Igawa
Doug Mientkiewicz
Josh Phelps
Randy Johnson
Gary Sheffield
Ruben Sierra
Matt Lawton
Kevin Brown
Jaret Wright
Al Leiter
Tony Clark
Enrique Wilson (Fat Omar)
Jose Contreras (Dice-K lite I)
John Olerud
Travis Lee
Javier Vazquez
Esteban Loaiza
Robin Ventura
David Dellucci (terrible for so many different teams)
Drew Henson (how's the football career going?)
Jeff Weaver
Jesse Orosco (at age 46)
Jose Canseco

USA Redeemed?

Well, I guess I have to take back all my talk of how stupid the tournament setup is. No wait, I don't. It just so happens that the USA was on the good side of the stupid set up. So many situations like this already, but USA advances and eliminates Puerto Rico in a walk off 6-5 game just days after PR handed it to the yanks in an embarrassing mercy rule game. I guess I'm less angry about it because the American's advance, but I don't know how much.

Watch out, or don't, for the same situation when Japan plays Cuba tonight at 11:00pm. Japan beat Cuba a couple of days ago, so look for Cuba to squeak by to the semi's by about a run.

Monday, March 16, 2009

WBC part something

As I watch the end of the (play-in?) game between Ven and PR, I find myself actually enjoying the game. It's at 2-0, which means they may actually play all 9 innings (Bottom 8th, 2 outs runners on 1 &2). I have committed myself to watching the end of this game, even though as I write they taking out the Venezuelan pitcher in favor of K-Rod, despite the fact that there is a 2-1 count on the current batter (Felipe Lopez).

This is good baseball, or at least better than the revolving door of minor leaguers in spring games. I like it so much, I wouldn't mind watching another game, or at least part of it, but wait... I can't watch the elimination game between Cuba and Mexico. I can't because it won't be on my tv and I won't be paying money to stream it online. Even if I wanted to pay the money to watch it live, the game doesn't start until 11:00pm eastern. I know that's still early in San Diego where the game is being played, but that's not where I live. It's also not where a lot of people who might watch the game and/or make the game profitable to air live. When I happen to catch a few innings, I generally like what I see, but when I go further, I am just too frustrated with how poorly this is planned and marketed to seek out these games. Anyone else feeling the pain? Maybe I'm wrong and this is awesome and I'm just missing it. Holler at your boy.

UPDATE: Looks like the right move my Ven, as K-Rod struck out Lopez, even though he only threw 2 strike (3 total pitches in the 8th, and is now poised to close out the 9th).

UPDATE IN CAPS BUT LONGER: Good ending to the game. I think my favorite part was a situation where K-Rod struck out utility man and my former new best friend Alex Cora looking. Steve Phillips (I think it was SP, as it was stupid and someone said it, so I think I'm safe to assume it was SP) said something to the effect of "K-Zone says it all, perfectly painted on the outside corner, perfectly called by the umpire" but then they actually showed the K-Zone and the pitch was no less than 4-6 inches outside. Not touching a line, not actually all that close on the slow mo replay (though it did look like a strike in real time). Somehow Phillips decided to say the only things that didn't make sense based on the actual replay. I'm adding "employing Steve Phillips, or someone who sounds like him and also makes dumb comments" to things that bad about this year's WBC. Anyway, good ending to the game and now the US gets a second shot at PR.

More WBC (I'm ready for the MLB season to start)

USA won against, and eliminated the best story of the WBC thus far, Holland. The US squad will go on to play the loser of Puerto Rico v Venezuela, as detailed below.

Another interesting Sunday development was in Pool 1, where the Asian teams (Korea and Japan) both knocked down the Latin teams (Mexico and Cuba). This means that in the second game of this pool, Mex and Cuba will be playing for the 2nd time, this time for elimination instead of a letter pool championship. If anyone cares, Cuba knocked Mexico off 16-4 in a 7 inning mercy rule came before, so it should work out that Mexico wins and advances by 1 run.

On the other end, Japan and Korea will now play each other for the 3rd time, with Japan blowing out Korea in game 1, and Korea squeaking by Japan in the letter pool championship game. Hopefully, this relatively meaningless iteration will also result in an boring, error-ridden, extra-innings affair too.