World Baseball Classic '06

No thread yet? Just watched USA beat Mexico… was an interesting game. Feels like an all-star game with the short rotations for pitchers (3 or so innings in the first round) and Dominican Republic-Venezeula was simply great to watch. It’s unfortunate we don’t get to watch the Caribbean World Series here, but at least we get some of the atmosphere.

— Alan

Where are they playing this? Does each team play games ‘at home’, is there a single location for all teams, or are there a few locations for all teams?

There are four pools of four countries each; Pool A, the Asian pool, has already played and the two teams that advanced are in the US now (Korea and Japan). Each pool plays a round robin; the top two teams advance to the next round. The other three pools play in the US; Dominican and Venezeula dominate pool D in Orlando; Pool B with the Americas and whipping boy South Africa play in Arizona; Pool C which features mostly Caribbean countries play in Puerto Rico.

I did get rather sick and tired of the announcers/commentators continuing to push the fact that the players are all excited, they treat this seriously, this is legit, blah blah blah. I figure if you’re watching you probably know all this already.

— Alan

Canada beats the US today. Huge shocker. Apparently nobody’s paying any attention, though, because I can’t believe nobody posted about this before now.

I didn’t know they played basbeall in Canada.

And I can’t see them paying any attention during hockey season.

US is still good to advance as long as they beat South Africa. That might sound like a laugh but SA brought their game and gave Canada a little challenge and scored runs (unlike Australia) in a second loss to Mexico. It is only one game, so if a pitcher implodes, the US team could be out in the first round. But it will be Canada and US to advance, since the US will probably be tied with Mexico, advancing because they beat Mexico head-to-head earlier.

The TV coverage is horrible. On ESPN, any non-US game only gets broadcast at 2am. Watching online requires a $10/month MLB.com subscription, so it’s no wonder there’s no talk about this. Imagine if they covered the World Cup like this.

Actually, no, they’re not. Ties in the standings here are broken by fewest runs allowed by the teams tied. Canada still goes home if they lose to Mexico and Mexico scores three or more runs in the process, and the US beats South Africa. And the US can only advance if Canada beats Mexico, or if Canada loses and Mexico scores more than three runs. Basically, Canada’s in a must-win situation because the Americans only allowed one run in the game against Mexico. That will likely screw Canada in a three-way tie. The Americans have to cross their fingers.

The ESPN2 feed of the Canada-SA game was on last night live in Canada on Sportsnet at 9pm, so I just assumed it was on on the real ESPN2, as well. That is brutal coverage. What’s the point of even holding this stupid thing if the games aren’t going to be televised live on (at least) basic cable?

This is completely incorrect; for instance, yesterday, Dominican Republic-Venezeula was on ESPN live and USA-Mexico was on ESPN2 live.

Today ESPN2 carried Panama-Cuba then went to USA-Canada, both live.

Unfortunately ESPN has to contend with the fact that the games are happening at the same time as the majority of the NCAAB conference tourneys. It’s not good timing.

— Alan

Further followup on the TV schedule, yeah there is more to complain about: there will not be another English-language live broadcast for the rest of the fucking round. That’s ridiculous. The pivotal Canada-Mexico game (which will determine whether or not the USA gets to advance) isn’t even being aired live.

I have an MLB.TV sub but come on, someone should have thought of this earlier. Put it up on ESPN Classic or something.

— Alan

As a Red Sox fan, I couldn’t be happier with how that game went. Adam Stern explodes, and Tek hits a grand slam. Yay!

From the WBC FAQ

Q: Describe the tie-breaking procedures for pool play.
A: In Round 1, the Teams in each pool shall be ranked according to the percentages of games won in Round 1. The two Teams with the highest such percentages in each pool shall advance Round 2. In Round 2, the Teams in each pool shall be ranked according to the percentages games won in Round 2, without regard to the results of Round 1. The two Teams with the highest such percentages in each Round 2 pool shall advance to the Semifinal round.

Ties shall be broken in the following order of priority:

* The team that defeated the other tied team head-to-head in a given Round shall be ranked higher in the pool standings for such Round.
* The tied teams shall be ranked in the standings for that Round according to fewest runs allowed divided by the number of innings (including partial innings) played in defense in the games in that Round between the teams tied.
* The tied teams shall be ranked in the standings according to fewest earned runs allowed divided by the number of innings (including partial innings) played in defense in the games in that Round between the teams tied.
* The tied teams shall be ranked in the standings according to highest batting average in games in that Round between the teams tied.
* Standings shall be determined by the drawing of lots, conducted by WBCI.

Note: Standings and Tie-Breaking Procedures are based on IBAF rules.

i still don’t get it

It just says that Toddy is wrong. Head to Head first.

It really only matters in this case if Mexico beats Canada and the US beats RSA. Then you’d have 3 teams at 2-1 and RSA at 0-3. You’d need to get past head to head (since US beat Mexico beat Canada beat US).

If Canada beats Mexico and the US beats RSA, it’s Canada and the US moving on, without having to worry about RA/9 or any of that crap.

As for the Classic overall, some great and some interesting games. Cuba/Panama was great. Great defense, clutch hitting, extra innings, everything. USA/Canada was interesting. Big GS to get the US back in it, but not a “great” game by any stretch. The DR/Ven game was solid too, as was PR/Pan.

With the expected final 8, we’re in for some fun. Especially with the 3 game RR format. If you lose one game you’re favored to win, you more or less must win the other 2.

I think a properly done WBC would be really cool. But I don’t think they’ve hit the mark this time.

Geoff

The Italian manager’s name is Matt Galante.

I don’t think they’ve gotten it completely right this time, either. But who could reasonably expect it to be completely right the first time?

I saw that. I also saw a bunch of stories on SI, the MLB website, and elsewhere that said runs allowed was the first tie-breaker in this instance. Head-to-head COULDN’T come into play here, because three teams would be tied at 2-1. I was making that point to caesar.

Anyhow, Canada’s done now barring South Africa beating the US tomorrow. Which pretty much kills this tournament’s credibility in these parts. How the fuck do you beat the US, likely the best team in the tournament, finish the pool round-robin 2-1, but still go home while the US advances? Pathetic. Selig must have come up with this format.

As for getting it completely right the first time, dan, sheesh. It’s not like this is the first international sports tournament ever organized. Don’t be so stupid. This was a real screw-up. All the excitement from the upset yesterday – which got the WBC its only headlines so far – is now gone.

It’s no different than the thousands of soccer teams which have lost out on goal difference over the years to teams they have beaten…

And since this is based on a soccer tournament, I guess they looked for a similar tiebreaker.

I don’t get your complaint. WTF else do you think the tiebreaker should be? Should the US count as two wins, or a team experience multiplier? Team ERA? Total length of player’s last names? Please.

Maybe if Canada had kept a big lead against the US or, gasp, didn’t let Mexico blow them out, then they wouldn’t be in this predicament.

If your credibility is stretched maybe you should have checked it at the door.

— Alan

It’s the way of any cup tournament. These things happen in strong groups. It’s too bad Canada, you played well.

Yeah, they only more or less lifted the World Cup format, which has only been tied to one of the more massive quadrennial sports events. It’s not like there’s been unspoken collusion in allowing the other team to score a certain number of goals so they could advance and force out a possibly tougher rival.

Canada has only itself to blame. Beat Mexico, or better yet, don’t get your ass absolutely HANDED to you 9-1. When you’re up 8-0 on the US, don’t let them put up a 6-spot on you, leaving them a few Chase Utley fly ball feet from going up 9-8. Don’t let South Africa put up a snowman (which doesn’t apply to the tiebreaker here, I don’t believe, but is still sad).

Saying the tournament loses all creditbility in Canada because Canada doesn’t get to advance (even though they got pummeled by Mexico, who the US has shutout, for example) is sour grapes. With Mexico, Canada, and the US all tied at 2-1 (and with an A > B > C > A circle head to head), how would you have broken the tie that has Canada advance and still makes objective sense? Run differential? Canada is at -3, and the US is at 0 before today’s game. If they win (which they must do to advance) their differential would have be be greater than 0, so they’re up there. Maybe “Number of games a team scored 8 runs or more” would restore credibility.