Thursday, March 09, 2006

Oh Canada

The US team was beaten by Canada yesterday in the WBC and could be eliminated today if Mexico beats Canada in a low scoring game. This would be a nightmare for those Major League Baseball head honchos who thought that a 'World Cup of Baseball' would be a good idea. TV ratings and interest in the tournament generally will certainly drop significantly if the US team's knocked out tonight.

While the US team losing to Canada was unexpected, it's hardly a shock. Most of the established Major League players - not just the Americans - look pretty rusty. Some of the minor league players I've seen look sharper, like they've played winter ball. The Cubans look like they're in mid-season form.

Hitting a baseball is all about timing and technique, which is never there in early March. The timing of this event was a mistake and there's a reason why baseball requires a long 162-game season to separate the wheat from the chaff: a flukey result is not unheard of in one-off games. I suspect that this will be the last World Baseball Classic.