Wednesday, May 11, 2005

World Baseball Classic

So MLB and the MLBPA jointly announced that baseball would have a World Cup-style tournament in less than a year from now, March 2006. It would be called the World Baseball Classic. It seems basically motivated by $$$, but could be entertaining nonetheless. ESPN's Page 2 lists some possible lineups, which could be debated if we were into that. But what's stunning is the quality of the Venezuelan team -- US and DR are obviously great, but it's really not a 2-team tournament.

I have a bunch of questions:

- how does this affect spring training? There are rules to limit pitch counts and use of the pitchers, which may make for some annoying baseball (imagine someone being taken out of the game after 8 2/3 innings of no-hit ball)...but doesn't really solve the problem of spring training being a time to get into a rhythm.
- who manages each team?
- since the MLBPA is involved, if a player is selected, can he opt out, or is he obligated to play?
- do players get to choose the country they play for? (Manny was born in the DR but is a US citizen.)
- who came up with the stupid name "World Baseball Classic"? Why not "World Cup of Baseball"?
- since the World Anti-Doping ("WAD") Agency is in charge of drug testing, will MLB line up their standards to WAD's?

And, most importantly:

- if it had been played this year (which is almost was), would the Red Sox still be called World Champions?

If not, I hate this new tournament. Otherwise, play ball! Here's hoping there's a game here in LA.


  1. I love the fact that you said WAD...

  2. That's not the half of it. The head of the WAD Agency is named Dick Pound.


    The list of banned substances can be foundhere. A couple interesting things:
    1) marijuana is banned.
    2) alcohol is banned "in-competition only" for a number of sports, mostly those involving motor vehicles or guns (or both). Strangely, it's apparently okay to show up drunk to a fencing match.
    3) Insulin is out; presumably there's an exception for diabetics?
    3) "Gondadotrophins" are illegal. (So much for my gymnastics career.)

  3. Wow, apparently I'm not too good at counting today. (Must've been that marijuana-gonadotrophin cocktail I had this morning.)

  4. Should we just put Dontrelle Willis at the top of the "list?"

    In capital letters.

    And most of the games he has not thrown a zillion pitches.

    His pitch counts 110 - 110 - 58 (rain shortened) - 94 - 86 -114 - 97. Pretty impressive.

    The whole FLA rotation is pretty efficient. Willis and Burnett have both pitched 50 innings in 7 starts and if you had told me that before the season, I would have thought McKeon was abusing his staff - but neither pitcher has been above 114.

    Unlike his unlucky counterpart last night Roy Oswalt who threw 130. It sure is pissing me off that Houston sucks so bad. Roger to the Bronx looks more and more likely with every loss, no matter what McLane says.