World Baseball Classic Starts Tonight!

The WBC kicks off at 9:30 p.m. Eastern (11:30 a.m. Tokyo time) with South Korea taking on Chinese Taipei, also known as Taiwan (ESPN2, tape delay at 1:30 a.m.) Japan vs. China follows at 4:30 a.m., and that game will be on ESPN2 live.

The other three pools begin play on Tuesday.

Anyone else planning on staying up to watch both games? I’ll be following the first game live on either MLB.TV or XM. The WBC package for MLB.TV is only $9.95 and includes every game live except the semis and final.

I will be going to both semifinals and the final at Petco Park. I just got my tickets (bought months ago) delivered yesterday*. Yay!

*not that I’m bragging or anything… :wink:

I hate you. :stuck_out_tongue:

The Chinese team is so overmatched in this pool, it’s scary. They lost to the Yomiuri Giants the other day 17-0. It was 7-0 after 8 innings, but then they gave up a 10 spot in the 9th.

I’m really looking forward to next week, when the other three pools get started. U.S. vs. Mexico and Puerto Rico vs. Cuba are gonna be BIG games.

Well, the first game is almost over and Korea leads 2-0. Jae Seo started, and Byung-Hyun Kim and Chan Ho Park have both appeared (Park’s on the mound right now) for Korea. Hee Seop Choi had the first hit in WBC history, a double off the wall in left-center.

There is a very small crowd at Tokyo Dome, which I attribute to Japan playing later today.

Oo, I didn’t realize it was now. I think I’ll go turn it on. It’ll give me a good reason for insomnia. :slight_smile:

Well, Japan laid a shellacking on China, winning 18-2 in 8 innings. China actually tied the game at 2 before surrendering 16 unanswered.

I will be sleeping through China vs. Korea tonight to get up and watch Chinese Taipei vs. Japan.

Tuesday will be a fun day, with three pools starting play.

Isn’t it kind of odd, though that this comes at the start of spring trainging? How much in “game shape” can these guys be?

And what a joke that China, Australia, South Africa and The Netherlands are in this.

Not really. Look at it this way:

China - Huge market that MLB needs to exploit. Are you denying that this whole thing was ever anything but a marketing tactic?

Australia - Another baseball loving nation where it’s market rank could be improved.

South Africa - Um, you got me here.

The Netherlands - Andruw Jones…they could win this thing.

With Randall Simon on that team, they’d best hope that Panama has an Italian sausage on the mound if they want to win.

“Baseball loving”? Rather an exaggeration I’d suggest.

Baseball loving enough to have a silver medal from the 2004 Olympics and a WBC roster of professionals (mostly minor leaguers, but pros nonetheless.)

Also, it’s good practice for China, considering that they want to have a decent showing in Baseball when they host the Olympics in 2008.

I taped the China-Japan game and watched it today after class. I was a little surprised at how small the crowd was, considering Ichiro’s popularity. I’m planning to watch the remaining games in pool A apart from the China-Korea game which doesn’t interest me very much.

Oh yes, it’s played here and there are probably some good players too. But the general level of interest in the sport is pretty minimal. That’s why I think the description “baseball loving” isn’t accurate.

Proof that baseball’s an international sport: I’m watching Japan play Chinese Taipei, and I have my choice of English or Spanish commentary. There’s something very odd about hearing a game between two Asian teams being called in Spanish.

Congratulations to Korea for being the first team to qualify for the second round of play with their win over China.


The New York Yankees posted a sign at their spring training stadium apologizing to fans for the absence of players who are in the WBC.

We get it, George, you hate the WBC with the fire of a billion suns. You’re so worried about someone getting hurt and costing you money that I wouldn’t put it past you to have a hit put out on somebody just to prove your point.

And if you’re really worried about the fans, why not put up a sign apologizing for charging them to watch the starters play 3 innings before giving way to a bunch of minor leaguers? Oh, that’s right, you only care about the fans when they might stop giving you money.

Spring training is not a sacred institution.

Fortunately, I can’t lose any more respect for the Yankees.

After comparing their performances against Taiwan, I was really surprised by Japan’s loss to Korea. Their bats just didn’t wake up. In the end, it seemed like Japan was lucky that they only lost by 1 run. I bet Ichiro is regretting his prior comments :slight_smile:

I have the game on tape, but I haven’t watched it yet (ESPN spoiled me on the results yesterday.)

Clemens looked really good in his tuneup against the Giants yesterday. The splitter was moving and he was keeping guys off-balance.

I feel sorry for anybody who’s missing this Cuba-Panama game. Six hit batters and we’re into extra innings. I’m pulling for Panama. I’m not even mad they haven’t switched to Canada-USA yet.

Here’s a question. The announcers keep saying the players have to “stay within themselves.” Does this have any actual meaning? Sounds like gibberish to me.

It’s sports talk. Similar to, “We just have to play our game” or “We just have to execute if we want to win.”

Basically, it’s gibberish.

How in the hell did we lose to CANADA?

As long as we beat South Africa, though, we’re in the second round, since we have the tiebreaker against Mexico even if they win tonight against South Africa and Friday against Canada.

If Utley’s ball was 5 feet to the right, it would have been on the deck and a game-tying homer. I thought the momentum was going to shift with Tek’s grand slam in the 5th.