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SBD/Issue 129/Events & Attractions
WBC Concludes With Thrilling Final At Packed Dodger Stadium
Published March 24, 2009
|Japan Wins Its Second WBC Tournament|
INSTANT CLASSIC: YAHOO SPORTS' Tim Brown writes the WBC is "far from perfect," but any format that "put Japan and Korea on that field for four hours Monday night, the ballpark close to full and frantically loud, the players getting after it so hard they practically had tears streaming down their faces, it just can’t be all wrong." Some believe that since some top U.S. players, such as Yankees P CC Sabathia and Phillies 1B Ryan Howard, would not play in the WBC, it "must not be worthwhile." But Brown writes, "Stand amid the Koreans and Japanese at Dodger Stadium, amid the songs and costumes and flags and tension, stand amid the baseball soaked in nationalism, and know this wasn’t about us or our place in it." Instead, last night's game "was about the baseball" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/24). In L.A., Bill Shaikin writes both Japan and Korea fans "exuded passion and spirit for 10 of the most memorable innings ever played at Dodger Stadium, a weirdly wonderful mix of baseball game, rock concert and pep rally." Last night brought "four hours of joyful noise," and the Dodgers "ought to figure out how to share some of this with their fans." Dodgers Dir of Asian Operations Acey Kohrogi: "The noise factor is a bit different. There's a lot of cheering going on, but it's all controlled by the fans. It's not induced by the public address announcer or the scoreboard. It's not controlled in any way by the teams" (L.A. TIMES, 3/24).
Writer Says Korea And Japan Are Examples
Baseball Can Still Be A Beautiful Pastime
NEW WORLD ORDER: In Orlando, David Whitley writes this year's World Series champion cannot be called the World Champion, because "that title belongs to Japan." Most Americans "pay less mind to the WBC than the World Cup" because the WBC is a "concocted, made-for-ESPN event whose main purpose is to market the MLB brand around the world" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/24). In N.Y., William Rhoden writes baseball in the U.S., "for better or for worse, has moved to lavish new stadiums and supports lucrative player contracts." It is "built on power and entertainment." However, nations like Korea and Japan have "learned our game, digested it and improved upon it by going back to the basics." Rhoden: "Did the United States lose a semifinal game? Or have we lost the game itself?" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/24). In L.A., Kevin Baxter writes last night's game was a "classic final," and the "only thing separating it from a major league playoff game was, well, teams made up of major league players." Only 12 players from Korea have ever played in MLB -- Indians RF Shin-Soo Choo is the only active MLBer -- but that is "about to change." An NL scout said, "I've been surprised. I think a lot of people have. Maybe I was just ignorant. I was ignorant. If you don't think some of these Koreans can play in the big leagues, then that's prejudice" (L.A. TIMES, 3/24). MLB Network’s Greg Amsinger: “Big league scouts are buying plane tickets to South Korea at the moment, I have a feeling” (“World Baseball Classic Tonight,” MLB Network, 3/23). In Miami, Linda Robertson writes just as NBA teams "now rely on European players, major league teams would be wise to stock up on players from the Pacific Rim." Venezuela manager Luis Sojo, when asked why more Koreans were not in MLB, said, "There will be from now on." U.S. manager Davey Johnson: "The world is catching up to us" (MIAMI HERALD, 3/24).
Writer Says Biggest Problem With WBC An
STILL NOT CONVINCED: In N.Y., Mike Vaccaro writes the WBC is "doomed to remain a glorified exhibition for as long as that indifference lingers and lasts in the mindset" of the U.S. (N.Y. POST, 3/24). ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser: “We still don’t care about the (WBC). ... We don’t (care) in the way we care about the Olympic Gold in basketball because we haven’t gotten beaten enough to care about it” (“PTI,” ESPN, 3/23). FanHouse.com’s Kevin Blackistone said the WBC “is just a fraudulent event” because the “best baseball players (are not) playing against each other” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 3/23). In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones wrote the WBC returning in '13 is a "nightmare waiting to happen." Jones: "All it will take is one big-name pitcher blowing out his arm in a meaningless tournament and wrecking his team's pennant chances. But by then, it will be too late" (TAMPABAY.com, 3/23). In Chicago, Greg Couch writes the WBC is a "waste of time." Couch: "No, it's worse than that, really. Players are coming back to their major-league teams hurt, tired or out of shape." Selig is "about to turn 75, and more and more you hear his thoughts turning to his legacy." Couch: "I can only imagine him sitting there watching his creation and seeing things that aren't really there, a desperate and pathetic last grab for greatness" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/24).