World Baseball Classic 2009 (Info and Discussion)

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Ordep
11/14/08 10:30:13AM
It's on!!
Official link to WBC '09 from MLB.com
Wiki Link


So pools and brackets are already established for the 1st round and 2nd round. Tickets for the 1st round go on sale Monday Nov. 17 if you did not pre-register. I did and I got mine for the San Juan,PR Round

First Round venues are : San Juan PR, Mexico, Canada and Japan.
Second Round: Miami, FL and San Diego, CA
Semi-f and Finals: Los Angeles,CA

Registration for pre-sales is still open for the 2nd round so go ahead and do it if you're interested. If Puerto Rico make it to the 2nd Round I'll go, if not send me a PM if you want to buy my tickets

GameDays are March 5 - March 23.
______________________________________________________________

I don't see Japan repeating the Championship. I thought they got lucky in 2006 by being the team with more losses entering the 2nd round. My prediction: either USA or Dom. Rep.
The USA team for 2009 will be sick since a lot of players have shown interest after the successful inagural in 2006. But Dom. Rep. will be better, having the best squad in 2006 (and after a dissapointing loss to Puerto Rico ) the absent stars from 2006 already said they will play this time. Those are : Hanley ramirez, Manny Ramirez, Vladimir Guerrero, Jose Guillen and even Sammy Sosa. Add to that list Tejada, Pujols, Ortiz, Beltre, and Soriano among others The Puerto Rico team is actually worse than 2006 so ... not much hope from me anyway.

Ok, just letting you know and to see if someone else is looking forward to this.
DCRage
11/14/08 10:40:42AM
Already coming up again? That was fast. No tix for me since I live too far away from the venues, hopefully the US wins but you obviously can never count out the Cubans. And of coruse the Dominicans are always a threat and keep the Venezuelans if they're entered in mind as a dark horse.
emfleek
11/14/08 10:49:33AM
As a HUGE baseball fan, I can honestly say that the WBC does absolutely nothing for me. I'm not even the slightest bit interested.
AchillesHeel
11/14/08 11:33:32AM
I haven't looked at the squad rosters yet, so it's hard to make any well-informed predictions, but I'll go ahead and do it anyway...

Groups A, B, and D look pretty easy to call. I'd have to call Japan, Cuba, and the Dominican the favorites. In Group C, Italy has to be just "happy to be here." Canada and Venezuela are certainly capable of leaving the USA with egg on our faces again, depending on the rosters they assemble.

Tom Singer's prediction for USA:
P Joey Devine, J.J. Putz, Brian Fuentes, Bobby Jenks, Mike Gonzalez, Brad Lidge, Cliff Lee, Joe Nathan, Jake Peavy, Scot Shields, Huston Street, Roy Oswalt, Mike Mussina, Joe Saunders
C Joe Mauer, A.J. Pierzynski, Jason Varitek
IF Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones, Ryan Howard, Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Zimmerman, Chase Utley, Michael Young, B.J. Upton (he's an outfielder now, though)
OF Curtis Granderson, Raul Ibanez, Matt Holliday, Vernon Wells, Ryan Braun

C.C. Sabathia wants to play, but since he's a free agent, he doesn't know if he'll be allowed to, and I didn't see anything about Tim Lincecum or Roy Halladay. Cliff Lee, Jake Peavy, Roy Oswalt, and Mike Mussina (with Saunders the backup) are a decent rotation.

I'm not thrilled with that outfield. I'll feel better if they move Upton to CF and bring in Dustin Pedroia, Ian Kinsler, or Dan Uggla. J.D. Drew and Carlos Quentin are beasts, if they're healthy; I might go with Grady Sizemore or Josh Hamilton for some more boom-and-pow. I don't know if there's any cover for Howard at 1B; Mark Teixeira is another free agent who can't commit to the WBC, but I don't see Prince Fielder or Lance Berkman mentioned anywhere (maybe they're just not interested). I doubt the Yankees or the Red Sox will allow their entire rosters to play in the WBC, so Team USA might have to choose who to invite to the team. Personally, I'd rather play A-Rod at SS and take Johnny Damon instead of Derek Jeter; and take Jonathan Papelbon instead of Jason Varitek (then get Ryan Doumit or Chris Iannetta to back up Mauer at Catcher).
ohiostate1016
11/14/08 12:39:16PM
I'm going with Cuba. Their 2B Yulieski Gourriel is one of the best players in the world that nobody knows about.
AchillesHeel
1/10/09 10:12:35AM
Davey Johnson's Team USA so far...

C - Brian McCann (ATL); Chris Iannetta (COL)
1B - Kevin Youkilis (BOS)
2B - Dustin Pedroia (BOS); Mark DeRosa (CLE)
3B - Chipper Jones (ATL); David Wright (NYM)
SS - Derek Jeter (NYY); Jimmy Rollins (PHI)
OF - Ryan Braun (MIL); Curtis Granderson (DET); Grady Sizemore (CLE)
SP - Jake Peavy (SD); Roy Oswalt (HOU); John Lackey (LAA); Scot Shields (LAA)
RP - Joe Nathan (MIN); B.J. Ryan (TOR); J.J. Putz (NYM); Jonathan Broxton (LAD); Brian Fuentes (LAA); Matt Lindstrom (FLA)



If I were managing this team...

Pedrioa, 2B
Youkilis, 1B
Jones**, 3B
Braun, LF
Sizemore*, RF
Wright, DH
Rollins**, SS
Granderson*, CF
McCann*, C

I think the only controversial pick is Rollins over Jeter. Personally, I prefer my shortshop be able to catch the ball more often than not...
higdon10
1/11/09 2:19:01PM
I can't wait for the WBC. I hope that USA will win it, but there are a lot of legit teams involved.
RampageOwnedYou
1/11/09 3:29:30PM

As a HUGE baseball fan, I can honestly say that the WBC does absolutely nothing for me. I'm not even the slightest bit interested.

My feelings, as well.
urbman
1/12/09 11:38:44PM
From what I understand,Ryan Howard and Brad Lidge from the Phillies both declined invitations to play,and Jimmy Rollins accepted his to join the team.
AchillesHeel
1/13/09 9:15:33AM

Posted by AchillesHeel

Davey Johnson's Team USA so far...

C - Brian McCann (ATL); Chris Iannetta (COL)
1B - Kevin Youkilis (BOS)
2B - Dustin Pedroia (BOS); Mark DeRosa (CLE)
3B - Chipper Jones (ATL); David Wright (NYM)
SS - Derek Jeter (NYY); Jimmy Rollins (PHI)
OF - Ryan Braun (MIL); Curtis Granderson (DET); Grady Sizemore (CLE)
SP - Jake Peavy (SD); Roy Oswalt (HOU); John Lackey (LAA); Scot Shields (LAA)
RP - Joe Nathan (MIN); B.J. Ryan (TOR); J.J. Putz (NYM); Jonathan Broxton (LAD); Brian Fuentes (LAA); Matt Lindstrom (FLA)


Add Brad Hawpe, OF - COL.
warglory
1/13/09 10:31:31PM

Posted by emfleek

As a HUGE baseball fan, I can honestly say that the WBC does absolutely nothing for me. I'm not even the slightest bit interested.



I am the exact opposite. I think the average American baseball game is very boring, but the WBC brings in the energy of soccer with the international fans, so it really spices up the competition for me.
nastshabast
1/13/09 11:20:54PM

Posted by AchillesHeel



C.C. Sabathia wants to play, but since he's a free agent, he doesn't know if he'll be allowed to, and I didn't see anything about Tim Lincecum or Roy Halladay. Cliff Lee, Jake Peavy, Roy Oswalt, and Mike Mussina (with Saunders the backup) are a decent rotation.



I heard Halladay isn't going.
Shawn91111
1/13/09 11:22:00PM

Posted by AchillesHeel

I think the only controversial pick is Rollins over Jeter. Personally, I prefer my shortshop be able to catch the ball more often than not...



Jeter can catch the ball!......when hit directly to him. As a die hard Yankee fan his range especially to his left is horrible.
AchillesHeel
1/14/09 9:23:07AM

Posted by nastshabast

I heard Halladay isn't going.


Cliff Lee also turned down an invitation.


Posted by Shawn91111

Jeter can catch the ball!......when hit directly to him. As a die hard Yankee fan his range especially to his left is horrible.


And I also underplayed Rollins' defense in the above post. According to the Fielding Bible, Rollins is the 2nd-best defensive shortstop in the majors over the last three seasons, and Jeter is the worst. According to them, the difference between Rollins and Jeter over the past 3 years has been more than 100 outs. Ouch.

When Jeter is 20-25% better with the bat than the average AL hitter (when measured by OPS), you could argue that he's Rollins' equal, but there are 6 other positions on the field where his ineptitude at playing shortstop would be moot, and where he would still be a better-than-average hitter. Of course, he wasn't a better-than-average hitter last season...

On the bright side, you'll be happy to know that Mark Teixeira is a pretty good first baseman.
nastshabast
1/16/09 5:26:42PM

Posted by warglory


Posted by emfleek

As a HUGE baseball fan, I can honestly say that the WBC does absolutely nothing for me. I'm not even the slightest bit interested.



I am the exact opposite. I think the average American baseball game is very boring, but the WBC brings in the energy of soccer with the international fans, so it really spices up the competition for me.



This is more exciting than 120 of the 160 games a year. It's like the All Star game on steroids. I really can't wait for this, I think the Dominican takes it.
AchillesHeel
2/25/09 9:46:18AM
gartface
2/26/09 9:51:21AM
"South Africa - Gordon, Martin College (USA) Francis Marion University Outfielder Switch/Right "

He plays for my school! That's so awesome.

I'm so pumped for the WBC. I'm just a little disappointed, just like with olympic basketball, that some of our best players refuse to play. I understand there is a risk of injury, but pride should step in for some of them. But for those who stepped up and that are playing, more power to you.

I think USA takes it this time, beating Cuba or Venezuela in the final.
DCRage
2/26/09 9:57:48AM
I think there's a USA-Canada game early on in the WBC that's starting to get a bit of attention in some parts around here, personally that's one I'm looking forward to since together they've got a lot of the top North American (not from outside US, Canada, or Mexico) talent in the majors.
DCRage
3/5/09 10:56:50AM
The first game of the WBC is in the books. Japan begins their title defense with a 4-nil (4-0) shutout of China. Despite Ichiro going 0-5 Shuichi Murata hit a 2-run HR for Japan in the 3rd after a Norichika Aoki RBI single, then Fukudome scored the final run on a balk in the 6th. Japanese home run king Sadaharu Oh, who guided Japan to the championship three years ago, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Oh was unable to manage Japan in this year's tournament due to health concerns.
Tomorrow's games are Chinese Taipei vs. Korea at 4:30 AM ET, then the loser vs. China at 10:30 PM ET. Saturday has the Chinese Taipei-Korea winner vs. Japan, USA vs. Canada, Italy vs. Venezuela, Netherlands vs. Dominican Republic and Panama vs. Puerto Rico. USA-Canada is at 2 PM ET and will air live on ESPN, so that'll be a nice warmup for UFC 96.
AchillesHeel
3/5/09 11:48:06AM
I note the ESPN rosters have been updated.


Posted by DCRage

USA-Canada is at 2 PM ET [Saturday] and will air live on ESPN, so that'll be a nice warmup for UFC 96.


My guess at lineups...


USA
SS - Jimmy Rollins**
2B - Dustin Pedroia
3B - Chipper Jones**
DH - David Wright
LF - Adam Dunn*
RF - Ryan Braun
1B - Kevin Youkilis
C - Brian McCann*
CF - Curtis Granderson*

SP - Jake Peavy, Roy Oswalt, or Ted Lilly*.

Canada
C - Russell Martin
2B - Pete Orr*
LF - Jason Bay
1B - Justin Morneau*
DH - Joey Votto*
RF - Mark Teahan*
SS - Chris Barnwell
3B - Shawn Bowman
CF - Adam Stern*

SP - Scott Richmond, Brooks McNiven, or Blake Hawksworth. I'm not sure it matters.


I assume the pitchers for both teams will be whoever is healthiest, looks sharpest, is on schedule to throw 70 or 80 pitches, and/or won the game of rock-paper-scissors. For USA, I'd go with Peavy, but it's six-of-one, half-dozen-of-another. If Davey Johnson wants to get all strategical, he could pitch Lilly against Canada's collection of lefty-heavy lineup and save the right-handers for Venezuela, but I doubt that's a big factor.

I expect we'll see something like "USA 8, Canada 3." Canada's lineup isn't terrible, but they have no major-league pitchers.
cowcatcher
3/5/09 11:50:12AM
i thought rollins would be jeters backup?
DCRage
3/5/09 12:09:55PM
A-Rod is out. See my post in the other baseball thread, he needs emergency surgery and is gonna be out 2-3 months.
AchillesHeel
3/5/09 12:19:34PM
The second round of the tournament could be interesting: The top 2 teams of the first round follow each other into the second round. So Pool 1 will probably be Japan, Korea, Cuba, and either Mexico or Panama. Pool 2 will probably be "El Grupo del Muerto", with the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

The schedules for the two group stages are weird. They're not quite round-robin. For instance, if the USA defeats Canada, they'll probably play Venezuela in the second game and whoever wins that one won't have to play a 3rd game at all.

In the second group, USA looks likely to play Puerto Rico and the Dominican.

The 1-game semi-finals are then the winner of Pool 1 against the runner-up of Pool 2, and vice-versa.



Other first-round games that should :

- Assuming Korea disposes of Chinese Tapei tomorrow morning, Korea and Japan will play on Saturday at 5am et. The loser of that game looks likely to face Cuba in the first game of the second round.

- Assuming Puerto Rico defeats Panama and the Dominican Republic defeats the Netherlands in the first round, the subsequent PR-DR game will be on Monday the 9th, at 6:30pm. The loser of that game looks likely to face the USA in the first game of the second round. The DR will have to decide whether to take Pedro out of mothballs or got with the youngsters, and PR will have to decide whether to pitch Javier Vasquez against Panama or save him for the DR.
AchillesHeel
3/5/09 12:20:28PM

Posted by cowcatcher

i thought rollins would be jeters backup?


Christ, I hope not.
cowcatcher
3/5/09 12:22:57PM
if nothing else jeter is clutch, and with this being such a short and sweet tourney thats what you need out there.
AchillesHeel
3/5/09 12:36:29PM

Posted by cowcatcher

if nothing else jeter is clutch, and with this being such a short and sweet tourney thats what you need out there.


Well, both guys tend to start the season slow and finish well, whatever that means here. Jeter's got a million more post-season appearances than Rollins does, of course. Rollins smoked the Brewers in the NLDS last year, then faded through the NLCS and World Series, but with so few PAs, it doesn't really tell us anything.

On the whole, Rollins hits for more power, has better wheels, and is nine times the shortstop that Jeter is.
cowcatcher
3/5/09 12:48:03PM
thanks for bringing up how he torched the brewers....appreciate that
AchillesHeel
3/5/09 2:17:38PM

Posted by cowcatcher

thanks for bringing up how he torched the brewers....appreciate that


Heh. Sorry.
higdon10
3/5/09 9:52:14PM
Rollins > Jeter
DCRage
3/6/09 10:21:02AM
Korea beat Chinese Taipei 9-nil this morning, so Korea next plays Japan.
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