WBC Moves On Without The US
Did any of you catch the last out of the US/PR game? Lazy fly ball out to center field, Angel Pagan caught it and celebrated like he had just won the world series. The closer (Romero?) pointed to the sky and started crying as he was getting dog piled on the mound. Think this tourney doesn’t mean anything to the other countries still alive? Think again.
And it really is tough for the US to compete in something like this. Despite not sending our best, we still sent a collection of players that could have gotten the job done. But 3 other factors made the task nearly impossible.
1) All our guys were still in spring training mode. Most of the Latin players just finished winter ball and hit the ground full speed when the WBC started. The US players are used to stretching and working on fundy drills this time of year.
2) Players from other countries simply care more than the US players about winning this thing. Brandon Phillips must have said “Losing stinks” at least three times in his interview. Dude, watch it, I thought for a second there you might let out a muffled *sigh*. Had it been a player from Puerto Rico being interviewed after the same loss the dude would probably be crying and lamenting the fact that they just let an entire country down. When you care more, you usually try harder.
3) Joe Torre is a numb skull. I think I’ve written that about 15 times over the years. But it’s true. I know he probably had a lot of people to make happy in terms of playing time or limiting their playing time or whatever, but he managed these games like Bobby Valentine. Come to think of it, B-Val would probably have been a better choice. If the manager isn’t managing to win how invested are the players in winning?
This tournament has unfolded as a very entertaining diversion from spring training. I don’t really care that the US has been eliminated. And actually, that’s probably #4 as a factor that influenced the US loss. If the US fans don’t care, how much could the players possibly care?