|Who is going to win the WBC? And a suggestions for a better format|
Written by Bjoern Hartig (Contact & Archive) on March 20, 2009
With the World Baseball Classic down to its final four, ESPN's Eric Young evaluates each team chances to win it all.
BTW: Why does ESPN have no permalinks like every other site in the world wide web?
Only that Chipper was 0 for 10 in the tournament. And Longoria hit six home runs last postseason (although admittingly, his average was way down).
This team is going to have to be carried by its pitching staff. They need Jake Peavy to step up and show why he's thought of as one of the best pitchers in the world. More importantly, the U.S. needs a big effort from the bullpen If that doesn't happen, this team could be in trouble in a hurry.
Ok, if the pitching is bad, the team is in trouble. Where do journalists get this kind of insight?
I guess the logic here is if something like untimely slumping excists, the opposite - timely hitting - has to excist, too. Fair enough, I just doubt that it is a repeatable skill.
Yes, they have the goods to repeat as champions. Coming into this tournament, I deemed them my favorite because they don't make the little mistakes that eat away at team's chances. This isn't a team built around power, as evidenced by the three home runs they have as a team. But they get on base.
Finally, valid points. Japan only has allowed only one unearned run so far. But then again, they have only allowed nine runs overall in seven games. Their OBP is .366, their SLG barely higher at .385. So I say the key for team USA: Throw strikes.
So far, Korea has faced China, Taiwan, Mexico and Japan (four times). They beat Japan at the semifinals of the Olympics, too. So Korea knows how to play Japan, but other (good) teams? This, in my opinion, is one of the big shortcomings of the WBC. Why does Korea get to play Japan four times?
They had a great showing in the 2006 tournament. This year they are being led pitcher Jung Keun Bong and infielder Tae Kyun Kim. ... Kim has looked great, showing a great ability to get on base. I don't see him slowing down in the semifinals.
Kim has some pop, too. His WBC line so far:.364/.500/.682. His career OPS in the Korean league is .936, so he really can hit.
My only problem with this team is I don't quite trust this bullpen. They've had some blowups, and I'm not sure it can hold a lead in a tight game against some of these impressive lineups.
Good point here. I have been too harsh on Mr. Young, I apologize.
So basically, the team that pitches well and/or hits well is going to win the tournament because by definition, it will face the team that hits badly and/or pitches badly. Same old, same old.
There are only best-of-one series left, so everything can happen. Even the Royals win one out of three against the Yankees.Call it luck, focus, fate or whatever (I choose luck). And that is - I am sorry I am repeating myself - one of the big shortcomings of the WBC: Too much luck involved.
Of course, critizing is one thing, coming up with a better solution is the other. So here is my proposal: Form two groups with 8 teams and make it a robin round. Seven games for each team. Then, let the two group winners face off in a best of three final. What are you saying? Too many games that don't count make it boring? I doubt that. Puerto Rico vs. the D.R. should be intense no matter the standings. The Netherland will be motivated against the USA on every day. At least, each matchup should be more exciting than the fourth coming of Korea vs. Japan.