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Great final shows WBC has potential

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By Tim Dahlberg

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will japan ever win a gold medal in olympics? NO!! FYI Korea always dominate japan in international competition. It's like 8wins to 4 loses. Korea had just 1 mlb player and japan have like 6?? and they still were about to beat japan for the 3RD time in the same tournament! and japan had 50 year head start on baseball development (their national sport) on Korea and still gets owned by Korea consistantly. japan won WBC, so what.Do americans or the rest of the world even care about WBC? WBC is just a pro exhibition game with different nations. Will Japan ever be gold olympians and win baseball world cup??NOPE!

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japan has a heck of a team and deserved to beat korea. they just lacked the skill to pull off the win at this wbc.

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oyaban, who cares what the americans think? the rest of the world does care about WBC. And I am an American--it's a shame that the US is a joke. Which is why I rooted for Japan the whole way. grab a tissue oyaban.

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will japan ever win a gold medal in olympics? NO!!

That's because there is no more Olympic baseball. No other reason.

LOVED the WBC, LOVED watching Japan WIN!

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The question which troubles me is why there is no more baseball in the olympic games. Will it return in the program if Tokyou hosts the games?

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There is no baseball in the olympics simply because it is not a world sport. More countries play cricket.

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I'll begin with a confession. Baseball bores me. In fact most competitive sports bored me. But baseball bores me more than any other sport. I have to let this out so that the rest of what I have to say can be put into its proper perspective.

Not being excited about the outcome of the WBC one way or another I was interested in only one thing: How nationalist passions were aroused by this business.

It seemed to have aroused ill-feeling between Japan and South Korea in particular, though, from what I could see, this was not registered in how the opposing teams interacted, unless I have missed something. Japan's win certainly aroused Japanese chest-thumping, led by Prime Minister Aso. Maybe baseball fans can sympathize with this. I found Aso to be idiotic once again.

We read the following: "If we didn’t know it before, we know now that, much to Tommy Lasorda’s dismay, baseball is no longer just America’s game." Hurt American nationalist pride--and you wonder how many Americans share this view. As an uninterested bystander, I have to wonder what difference it makes to the Americans if non-Americans happen to enjoy the game. I would think it would a source of national pride that the game has achieved the popularity it has. I doubt it affect the quality of hot dogs or Cracker Jacks or whatever Americans eat at baseball games these days.

George Orwell wrote that international sporting competitions are among the biggest sources of international ill-will and I agree. I am just happy that this event did kept passions down to a fairly low boil.

It's now life after the big game. Nothing has changed in the world outside the stadium and the locker room. What all this means for fanatic fans of baseball I do not know. I do, however, have a question about the title of this article, "Great final shows WBC has potential." Great potential for what? I think of "great potential" in terms of medicines that could cure pandemics or treaties that forestall wars. I don't think of an event that will simply create the possibility of more baseball games as a "great potential." But then I am not a fan.

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I do, however, have a question about the title of this article, "Great final shows WBC has potential." Great potential for what? I think of "great potential" in terms of medicines that could cure pandemics or treaties that forestall wars. I don't think of an event that will simply create the possibility of more baseball games as a "great potential." But then I am not a fan.

That is a pretty subjective definition of the word 'potential.'

What the title means is that the interest in this years final shows that the tournament is capable of gaining worldwide interest/help baseball's popularity grow on an international level.

Japan's win certainly aroused Japanese chest-thumping, led by Prime Minister Aso. Maybe baseball fans can sympathize with this. I found Aso to be idiotic once again.

By "chest thumping" do you mean 'celebrating their team's victory'? If so, then you would know that this is something that people in every country would do if they won an international tournament, regardless of their prime minister.

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I believe if they made this tournament more towards the begining of the MLB Season, more American players (and other nationals) would play. The fact that most of the MLB players and American fans were concentrating more on the MLB season in the states, the WBC was on the back burner to their real career. Just like the Olympic basketball team, Americans have the choice out of a lot of players to play but only a few say yes. It doesn't mean the players on the American team are the best in America, it means those players on the field are the ones that said yes. It has the potential but it will be more like soccer(football) to the mindset of Americans.

Japan and Korea brought their best players but Japan had the better game. They've proven that they are the best.

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Ichiro saved the Game If ichiro wasn't there. They would have lost the game.

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The author of this article supposes that, if the US plays with "all its stars" in good shape, they would win. It is clear to me that the US is not as strong as he thinks it is. They accesed the semifinals just because Cuba was matched against Japan and Korea. I hope next time the WBC goes out of the US, where we can see stadiums full of fans (maybe only in Japan or Cuba can happen). The empty stadiums of the first matches in the US were a shame.

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Umm...the rest of the world doesn't even play baseball,that's why it got the flick from the Olympics....

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nightflesh,

Your case doesn't hold up. How many of the Japanese players currently playing in MLB said no? They are also risking their season just as much as the US players.

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There is no baseball in the olympics simply because it is not a world sport. More countries play cricket.

It's just as much a world sport as several other Olympic events -- curling, anyone?

Moderator: Back on topic please. The subject is the WBC.

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My favorite comment in all the above is " I would think it would a source of national pride that the game has achieved the popularity it has." This truly must be the real meaning of the WBC. Any sport, not just baseball that is decided in one game, or double elimination as in College Baseball Series Champions, or even 3-5 are all "crap shoots". Whichever team is up for that day will win. It doesn't mean they will win forever, or even win 70% of the time. But at the same time, Japan and Korea showed that if they want to win, they indeed have the combined, determination/talent/organization/ to do so. Even the top player Jimmy Rollins (an MVP award winner) said, "those pitchers throw the kitchen sink at you". He means, they've got all kinds of variations on their pitches, that you can't get into your rhythm to hit as you would normally. In other words, I think it'll take time for each countries players to adjust to the different styles. Japanese and Korean pitchers (especially the former) throw the most darting drop balls we've ever seen. And with great control. In this vein, I asked a Japanese athlete who plays American Football in the X-league here in Japan his opinion. He said, if the sport is football, even the 2nd and 3rd string american players could beat the rest of the world. But baseball depends very much on the pitcher, and contact hitting, two things which Japan and Korea have drilled and drilled for years and years almost 365 days a year. Read a book on Ichiro's development by Robert Whiting The Ichiro Factor. You'll soon realize that these players are on a mission much like the Korean women golfers are on the LPGA. They live, breath and are ready to die for their goal. With such determination and practice, combined with improved nutrtition and modern day sports training science, they have indeed bridged the gap with the power of westerners so far, in the game of baseball. We should admire the skill of it. But on the other hand, if its so one-dimensional to exclude every other thing in their lives, well then, that may be the one thing American players are not willing to sacrifice.

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CONGRATULATIONS SAMURAI JAPAN!!!

You really deserve to be champions after all. What a strong game and a strong sense of sportsmanship as well!!! I'm really glad that you had won out of your hardwork and concentration on the game...

I commend the team because they really have sportsmanship and i think that's the greatest edge Japanese baseball has...it has no sense of grudge like the "flag incident" on the pitcher's mound

CONGRATULATIONS! i know that this was good timing to get off the economic issues for a bit and give the Japanese people a chance to be happy (REALLY HAPPY) and of course proud....

I found out about the results on my way to school this morning and it really made my day...What more to the Japanese people!!! I believe they are up to a hundred times happier...It's really a great thing how baseball can put a smile on people's face!!!!

I hope Japanese baseball continues to improve and be at the top always.. I hope it doesn't lose its good and light spirit..It is one of the many things Japan can be proud of!

You guys are the B-E-S-T!!! May you continue to inspire people through your games....

I'm really a fan that's why I'm so ecstatic about all these!!!...hahaha...In fact, there are a lot of fans here in the Philippines.

Again...its CONGRATULATIONS!...CONGRATULATIONS! and a lot more CONGRATULATIONS!!! the entire team has done so well..Everyone is at his best and really each one showed his best play!!!

SAMURAI JAPAN is definitely ...No. 1!!!

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congrats to Jpn for winning & for Korea putting up a good fight!

But come folks, this tourney saw every team win & lose lots of games, I mean Jpn & Korea played, what, 4-5 games against each other..........weird.

The idea of having countries play each other is good but this tournament was a mess, needs fixing otherwise its just a joke

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I was a little sick and tired of 4-5 times games of Japan vs Korea. I think that groupings of Pool 1,2,3,4 were not good. Asian teams should have been put in each pool, so not all asian teams in one pool 1. Maybe best way is to draw cards from the box for grouping in each pool. This way happens same teams games make twice at most for semifinal and final. But US complains about it.

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Ichiro was already a national hero in Japan even before he lined a two-out single into center field in the 10th inning Monday night for what would prove to be the winning runs against Korea. Now they’ll be building monuments to him in his home country.

Is this guy trying to be funny or insulting? Monuments? Little does this author realize Ichiro was the subject of ridicule in Japanese media for both his audacious comments and his reactions to losing to Korea. Americans and Koreans might think Japanese "idolize" Ichiro as a "hero", but up until those last three games of the WBC, many Japanese people wanted him off the team.

And all because Selig had a vision.

It was the united team play of Team Japan + Ichiro saving the game (maybe even more so for himself) for two reasons. One, he couldn't stand to lose to Korea again and second, he had to redeem himself as the captain of Team Japan. It is pretty obvious he wasn't going to settle for anything less than a hit and he masterfully won that 8 pitch-count battle. Selig might have "envisioned" the WBC, but credit should go to where it is really due.

Koreans have been playing professional baseball since only 1982, but they were coming off an Olympic gold medal win in Beijing and had the confidence to play a team they knew well. Unfortunately, their comeback to tie the game in the ninth inning was marred by a bad decision to pitch to Suzuki with first base open in the 10th inning.

Unfortunately? Seems like he's a fan of Korea and the US. Not once does he congratulate Team Japan.

Japanese Manager Tatsunori Hara was already way past psyched before the first pitch was thrown in the last game. “It could be the game of the century,” he said.

It wasn’t quite that, but it was just the game the WBC desperately needed to carry some momentum into the next tournament, which is four long years away.

Obviously, the author does not understand the impact it DOES have.

jeancolmar wrote:

George Orwell wrote that international sporting competitions are among the biggest sources of international ill-will and I agree.

I couldn't agree more. George Orwell was dead on. I'm already getting sour attitude from my Korean co-worker at work. Not to mention I also received poor service at a korean bbq take out joint where they know I am Japanese- they got my order blatantly wrong and made me wait 30minutes while they served other customers the exact same thing! It's all good, my pride is not hurt.

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"A perfect ending to a very imperfect tournament."

Well there ya have it, not much of a vote of confidence. Fact is, as is, the WBC is nothing more than "Fake Gucci". It looks good from a distance but the closer you look, well... theres a whole lot of shoddyness about. Lets take the quality of play in general. The vast majority of games were blow-outs. Teams that brought their MLB all-stars along failed miserably. Costa Rica, Venezuela, Dominican Republic. Individual stars also looked foolish, I mean Ichiro goes 0 fer 5 against China ? The semi finals were a joke. Two games and double digit errors ? And really now, can you think of any "world class" play at anytime ? The best play I saw was the Korean shortstop going behind the second base bag to rob a Venezuelan hitter during the first semi finale.

Now getting back to my "fake gucci" comparison. Make no mistake, some people are satisfied with fake gucci, I mean just look at the Japanese masses that have bought into this tournement hook line and sinker... and who am I to rain on their parade. But for media outlets to keep going on and on in an attempt to sell me fake Gucci, well, you've crossed the line. I'm a baseball guy, I can talk stats, strategy, history whatever. And the fact is, this WBC monkey simply won't juggle ! They're gonna have to move it as fa away from the spring training calendar as possible before this becomes legit. I for one am happy the Americans didn't fall for the hype. The team they sent was adequate for such a minor tournement. Fan interest waned for obvious reasons and fortunately Americas real superstars stayed away. Imagine Ryan Howard limping out of the WBC like the Central league home run champion Murata did. What a disaster ! Nope, the headline says it all... nothing but "potential" trying to say the tourney has arrived is silly.

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