Thursday, March 16, 2006

USA eliminated

The run is over for the American underdogs as Mexico eliminated them tonight, 2-1. Like most others, I've been pleasantly surprised by the success and entertainment of the tournament. It's been interesting to see a player I've never heard of hold his own against the likes of A-Rod and Ken Griffey Jr. Also, I've appreciated the national pride I've seen in the fans and players of the Hispanic teams.

Now for some complaints.
  • Notice I said the pride of Hispanic teams, not Asian. That's because I didn't get to see any Asian teams play. This tournament was promoted down our throats, but then when it was time for the games, they were either not on TV or on ESPN26 at 2 AM.
  • Brilliant move broadcasting USA's last game against the first day of the NCAA tournament (along with My Name is Earl and The Office).
  • It was disappointing to see so many big names drop out, but at least that gave fans the opportunity to learn about some new players.
  • Spring training does not seem to be the best time to have this tournament.

Now what good are complaints without solutions? Here's my proposal for the next WBC:

Have it during the All Star break, extending the break from three to five days. Put eight teams in a single elimination tournament. Day one would be an off day, day two the quarterfinals, day three the semifinals, day four the finals, and day five an off day. Finally, don't select the teams until the last minute. By doing this you don't need to worry about last minute injuries or the embarrassment of players opting out at the last minute.

There are some flaws to this plan. Injuries and tired players at mid-season would be troublesome. Also, Major League teams would be concerned about their pitchers being overused. To account for this, teams should be allowed to have 40 man rosters, so there would be plenty of pitchers to use.

But here's the positive: there's no other sports going on in early July. At this time, the WBC would be the only sport people would pay attention to. Also, most sports fans don't like to think too much, and that's the flaw with a round robin tournament. Waiting to see how Korea did against Japan to see if USA would have a chance for the next round is just too much for this misinformed fan. With the Bartcop WBC, it's very simple, you lose you go home.

Every four years having players in mid-season form competing in a single elimination tournament with no other sporting distractions could be a special event.

1 comment:

Patriotsy2k said...

ESPN 26? I need to contact my dish service, cause I don't get that channel.
Your idea of moving it to the All-Star break is a little nutty. The way they have it now is perfectly fine. You would need more than 8 days, anyways, with travel time and scheduling. Plus, the 16 team tournament lets us see more players from different countries, and prevents quality teams from being eliminated with 1 slip-up. Realistically, this is the only time of the year to have this tourney. And I am glad you didn't harp too much on the injury aspect of this, cause that's going to happen in Spring Training also.
I have enjoyed watching this Classic, and have rooted for the US. All those Americans that openly cheer against the US team better have a dam good reason. This team is not the arrogant Team USA in the 2004 Olympics. If one is so lost here in America, and they feel the need to be unpatriotic and naive, then go move to the Dominican...or Cuba. Good luck to you.