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Ichiro delivers as Japan beats South Korea 5-3 to win WBC title

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Well done, Japan! An exciting final between 2 great asian teams.

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Yes, it's time for the Japanese public to eat those Freddy Mercury champon noodles again. Because "We are the champons, my friend. And we'll keep on fighting to the end...We are the champons...of the world..."

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Congratulations Japan on a well deserved win!

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omedetoo Japan on the win, very entertaining game.

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Good for Japan, and Korea deserves a bit of credit, too. It was a very tense game to the end. Ichiro FINALLY deserves a bit of credit, for it not for that hit I am SURE Korea would have won in the end (meaning, if it were still three to three going into the bottom of the 10th). I think those two runs crushed any fight left in the Koreans. So, Ichiro can finally feel he earned some of the bragging he did and hero worship he gets from around the world. Good job.

This game had me thinking at a couple of points that the Japan/Korea finally is probably a better than Korea vs. the US would have been, though it still may be detrimental to the attendance and WBC as a whole.

Again, good job, Japan. And a well deserved victory. Tough luck for the Koreans, but there's always next time, and the next Olympics, too.

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what a match. Ichiro was stunning. Cometh the man cometh the hour. He put his money where his mouth is for sure. shame on half the Korean team who turned their backs to the Japanese when they were receiving their medals. Little wonder Ichiro loves beating them and today he did.

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This game had me thinking at a couple of points that the Japan/Korea finally is probably a better than Korea vs. the US would have been

What makes you think America could even make it to the final? I think they were lucky to get to the semis, at which point they were of course soundly beaten.

Two great asian teams have really taught the Americans a lesson here, so time for a bit of humble pie from our American friends....

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What a boring match, nothing classic except plate umpire's own strike zone (low, almost ground touching), feel sorry for Korean batters, perhaps Japan has bought exclusive winning rights for WBC matches.

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Half of the Korean team turned their backs on the winners??? Wow, talk about nationalism taken to the extreme. It's just a game, for crying out loud, and this was a tournament that went mostly unnoticed outside of Japan.

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bobbafett: "shame on half the Korean team who turned their backs to the Japanese when they were receiving their medals."

I had to run the minute the last out hit so I didn't notice the last part. That is shameful, indeed. As for why Ichiro loves beating them... it goes beyond just this. I fully admit he came through when absolutely necessary at the end of this game, and as such wrapped up the tournament with a bit of flair.

imacat: This has nothing to do with the US, so stop trying to turn this into an anti-US rant; it's about the Japan/Korean game that just ended, and about Japan winning.

Moderator: And you cut out the anti-Ichiro rants.

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some14some,

What a boring match, nothing classic except plate umpire's own strike zone (low, almost ground touching), feel sorry for Korean batters, perhaps Japan has bought exclusive winning rights for WBC matches

This is a poor post. This was a great game. It had everything. Japan won it fair and square and a large number of the Korean team displayed complete contempt and terrible sportsmanship over their loss. It seems you are bitter over Japans success.

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That was an amazing game! Congrats Japan! Kudos to Korea for playing their hearts out. Ichiro's still got it! Daisuke MVP!! Let the MLB teams start the bids for Yu Darvish..

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It seems you are bitter over Japans success.

No, certainly not because both teams can not lose. I will not say if poor umpiring helped Iwakuma but it did hurt Korean Batting also Japan could have decided much earlier (how many LOB?) instead of going into extra inning, in that sense it was boring game.

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Congratulations to Japan! Also, good job to Korea for making it a very tense and exciting game. It seems as if these two teams were meant to play each other in the final, since only Japan could have any chance of beating Korea, and vice-versa.

This game had me thinking at a couple of points that the Japan/Korea finally is probably a better than Korea vs. the US would have been, though it still may be detrimental to the attendance and WBC as a whole.

Good point smithinjapan. I have a feeling that Korea vs. the U.S. wouldn't have been as competitive. And although the attendance might have been a bit higher, the attendance in this game (54,846) is nothing to be ashamed at. In fact, that is much higher than the 43,874 average attendance of the 2008 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays. And you know, in American baseball, it doesn't get any bigger than the World Series.

In any case, congratulations to Japan for a well-deserved victory.

Two great asian teams have really taught the Americans a lesson here, so time for a bit of humble pie from our American friends....

True imacat, but in all fairness to Team USA, they will be back. And in their post-game comments after their loss, they clearly understand where their weaknesses lie and I'm sure they will be much better prepared in 2013. In fact, I'm sure all teams will be better trained and prepared. I just hope that the schedule gets worked out better so that we'll see a more mixture of teams playing each other. I've heard that Bud Selig was thinking of expanding it to 24 teams with play-in games. Also, he was considering mixing the teams after the first round pool play.

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Great game played by both teams and congratulations to Japan. Korea came back in the bottom of the ninth to tie it up, however, Japan proved to have an extra set of legs at the end.

Looking at the WBC in general, it was great to see a team like the Netherlands score some historic victories. It was also good to see fans in the stands enjoying themselves. On the other hand, however, the camera shots of empty stadiums were a bit of a letdown. Furthermore, something needs to be done to either increase the number of teams competing in order that the same matchups don't happen again and again. For example, Korea and Japan seem to have squared off about 6 times during the course of the last month.

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Exciting finish, for sure. I'm an American, and while I naturally wanted the Americans to win, I wasn't holding out hope. Very few of of the American players care about the tournament. The biggest nightmare for them is if they get hurt in the game, and miss out on their fat major league salaries. Not that I can blame them, but you have to admit, teams like Japan, Korea, and Cuba wanted it far more than the Americans did, and, in the end, the teams that deserved to win did just that.

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I knew that Japan would win WBC 2009 champion game. Japan played "Yakyuu" not baseball to keep winning games. Japan does not have powerful players like US, Cuba, Venezuela. Korea only has learned many things of Japanese Yakyuu, so that is why not easy to beat Korea, But finally Japan defeated Korea once again. Japan became WBC 2009 champion again. I wonder who will be champion next WBC?

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I know nothing about baseball...but still, congratulations Japan! Congratulations Ichiro!..:)

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Congratulations Japan! Fantastic game! I'm absolutely exhausted from watching that marathon of a roller coaster.

some14some - "I will not say if poor umpiring helped Iwakuma but it did hurt Korean Batting also Japan could have decided much earlier (how many LOB?) instead of going into extra inning, in that sense it was boring game."

There were some questionable calls on both sides I thought, but I don't think there was any favoritism either way. But how could you call this game boring??? I think you were rooting for Korea, judging by your comments, but you found it boring that Japan left a lot of runners on base? You found it boring because it went in to extra innings? Did you find it boring seeing the momentum of the game go back and forth? Calling this game boring is just mind-boggling to me, unless you're not into baseball at all, at which point I would have to question why you watched in the first place.

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Yoshhhh!!! WAY TO GO JAPAN!!!!!!!

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Very few of of the American players care about the tournament.

This is what the rest of the world can't understand. Look at Japan and Korea, both playing their hearts out and making a very exciting tournament. Also look at the passion and fervor with which countries play in the soccer World Cup.

How is it that America has no pride in what should be its national sport?

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cat-It's all about the money. If a player suffers a major injury in the WBC, it puts their season in jeopardy, which puts future contracts in jeopardy. Putting money in front of national pride in unfortunatly a very American trait, if you ask me.

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go Ichiro!

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It's all about the money.

Well, maybe someone rich philanthropist like Bill Gates could offer American baseball players huge sums of money to participate in the WBC. Would that work?

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TheHambugler - What difference does it make if a player has a major injury in the WBC, rather than if they had one during a regular season game? I'm not sure a lot of owners would choose not to sign someone because they've played in the WBC before.

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Well done Japan! Great game, great finish.

Ichiro was definitely man of the match. Also congrats to Dice-K for his 2nd MVP trophy in as many tournaments.

I agree with a few of the previous posts about the apparent lack of interest in the American camp. Shame.

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Congrats to fans of Team Japan here.

Personally, I didn't think appointing another former Kyojin to succeed Oh as manager would lead to final victory.

But then, I'm in Kansai :)

Criticism of Ichiro (or of any star player who has supposedly 'failed' his team in playoff games or tourneys) comes from people who don't know anything about baseball.

Koreans - and overseas Koreans - really need to leave at home the over-the-top jingoism and petty little stunts like planting your flag on the pitcher's mound.

It cheapens the game.

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Does anyone know why this WBC is on every 3 years, while every other major sporting event is held every 4 years? Also, why is it called the WBC & not ,for example, the Baseball World Cup?

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Congrats Samurai Japan! Definately the best team, after playing South Korea 5 Times. Only a matter of time though before the Japan domestic players in the Samurai are thrown blank cheque-books from the Major League Teams. Possibly, there could now be a mass exodus as players like Dervish - probably worth $100 mill. plus - chase the big bucks. Lets face it, they can only earn money for a short time.

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Way to go Japan! Knew you could pull it out! Congrats 日本! Reading through this thread made me giggle a bit, imacat just keeps diggin’ at the states around every corner. This is Japan’s time!

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korea vs. japan was the best matchup for this finals. japan being the reigning champs of the wbc & korea winning the gold medal at the summer olympics. 2 best teams in the world at the moment it seems. as many have posted, america is all about the money. pride is 2nd for sure. but if the wbc becomes more popular in the states, usually a small footnote in the american papers, they will start fielding better players & play with a bit more pride i feel. still don't know if that would help them. only time will tell.

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BANSAI !!!!!!!!!!!!!! ^___^

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but if the wbc becomes more popular in the states... they will start fielding better players & play with a bit more pride i feel.

Seems unlikely. This was America's second chance to show a bit of pride in their national sport and what has happened? Their team has been dumped out by superior asian teams and there is little interest amongst the American public.

We often get posts here about how insular Japan is... this tournament seems to show America in a similar light... little interest amongst ordinary Americans in the wider world. It's very sad.

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My congratulations to Japan. They were definitely the class of the tournament. But, a tournament that has two teams playing each other 5 times inside a couple of weeks has some serious flaws in it. Would dare say the "World", outside of Japan and Korea, think that this WBC final was very anti-climatic. Bet the TV ratings in the U.S., outside of LA, were dismal. And, no, I do not think that it is embarrasing that the U.S. does not field its best team, or have much interest in the WBC. First off, it is played in the midst of March Madness, and nothing can compete with that. Second, baseball in the U.S. is centered around city by city rivalries. There is no other national team to stir a real rivalry for the U.S. baseball fans like there is for Japan and Korea.

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And, no, I do not think that it is embarrasing that the U.S. does not field its best team, or have much interest in the WBC.

When I visit my friends in the States I am always amazed by the stars and stripes hanging on flagpoles outside many homes and generally get the impression that many Americans have immense pride in their country.

Here is a chance for Americans to show that pride in a competition centered on their national sport!! But they don't care a damn. If I were an American I think I would feel very disappointed and even ashamed by this attitude.

baseball in the U.S. is centered around city by city rivalries.

This seems like a feeble excuse. If it's true then it's a very narrow-minded way to think.

Moderator: Please do this discussion into an anti-U.S. rant. It lowers the level of discussion. Better yet, please focus your comments on the final.

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the attendance might have been a bit higher, the attendance in this game (54,846)

The seating capacity of Dodger Stadium is 56,000 so they were as close to capacity as you can get. Add another 20,000 in the stadium in Seoul (on a weekday morning)and the game drew almost 75,000 to the two stadiums. as I said in other posts, this was the dream card for Los Angeles with Little Tokyo and Korea Town, and the crowd was in it from the opening ceremony until the last out. The way the game was played defensively is a clinic for little leaguers.

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Great stuff Japan. A well deserved win. Perhaps now, with Japan triumphing twice in as many tournaments, the Americans will be prompted to take the tournament more seriously. Hopefully next time we can have more opportunity to see more fixtures between Asian and Latin American teams.

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herefornow: great post. Sorry people, NCAA basketball is the topic right now in America and if you are not paying attention to that, you are more than likely more worried about your next pay check than the WBC.

imacat: do not know where you are from and do not care either.

There were bad calls made on both sides and pitches that were called and not called good on both sides. Both teams played their butts off and played a spectacular game. Sad what Korea did in the end, but what can you do. They are the two major national teams and they will have a lot to look forward too in a couple of years. Hopefully the system will be revamped and there will be more teams and a better range of games. The timing of the series has to be changed so it does not affect the MLB or any other countries baseball league. This way we can get a great range of players from all over.

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This is the end of the tournament and, after congratulating both Japan and Korea for their excellent attitude and prowess I am making some salient points about America's poor participation.

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Congrat. to Japanese team. After watching the whole game, I cound not see any significant difference between the Japanese and Korean teams. It was like a fight between the lion and the tiger. It was like a coin flipping game. I felt Japan had more luck over Korea. If another game will be held tomorrow, the Korean team may well win. In this kind of a strange tournament rule, final winner's medal should be given to the team that won 3 consecutive times to eliminate the probability of the luck. But the only difference was that in the 10th inning Ichiro was detemined to hit the ball for the pride of Japan, but the Korean pitcher was determined to strke out him for his personal ambition.

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YABADABADOOOOOOOO!!! Great performance by Japan. Thought they'd blown it in the 9th, after leaving so many runners on base. Well done Ichiro coming through with that hit. Japan thoroughly deserved the victory. Bad sportsmanship by half that Korean team. I wish a Japan player had stuck a Japan flag on that pitching mound! Yeeeeeeeee!!!

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Bad sportsmanship by half that Korean team. I wish a Japan player had stuck a Japan flag on that pitching mound!

Did not you see the Nakajima crushing the head (helmet) of the Korean runner? He was almost killed! totally not acceptable manner. He should put his leg/foot on the mound, not stepping on the runner.

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In this kind of a strange tournament rule, final winner's medal should be given to the team that won 3 consecutive times to eliminate the probability of the luck.

Uhh, highhope. Actually, having a rule like that would be strange. Winning any combination of three wins within a best-out-of-five game series is enough to rule out the possibility of luck. Or, you could make it a "best-out-of-seven" series with the winner having to take four games, but not necessarily consecutive. That's what happens in the World Series, the Stanley Cup finals, and the NBA finals.

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Did not you see the Nakajima crushing the head (helmet) of the Korean runner? He was almost killed! totally not acceptable manner. He should put his leg/foot on the mound, not stepping on the runner.

Somebody doesn't play baseball. It's a base, not a mound and he didn't step on him. It required a tag, not simply the base, and when turning from left field after the catch, it would be impossible to gently turn yourself around and make the tag. You swish the glove and you tag the player. It is why most players slide FEET first when there is an obvious slide/play. The player is ALLOWED to make the tag. Heck... it's REQUIRED on that play.

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I wish a Japan player had stuck a Japan flag on that pitching mound!

That would have ALSO been unsportsman-like. The best response to anything Korea did.... was winning.

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For all this "feel good Japan" in their WBC victory, I choose to be the foil. The Japanese team is made up of great players and they have also a great manager, but I, for one, think that Japan's second championship run basuically sucks lemons, and for two reasons:

(1.) The Japanese Media will be playing this and will flaunt their own arrogance to the rest of the world (particularly when it comes to baseball), writing stories that tell how "Samurai" Japan scripted their own path to the Championship Podium, giving little to no credit to Team Korea (who beat the Champs twice), nor any other team that played well or closely in matches and games with Team Japan (honest, I'd have liked to see Team Venezuela take on "Samurai" Japan). This will be the continuing story through the rest of this year, and the J-media will just keep the hype pumping through until the end of the year. Even in interviews on TV this evening, the media kept on aobut how it was Samurai Jaspan's "destiny" to win it again, and no mention (not even from the players, but more on that below) whatsoever of the strength of their competition. The J-Media helped and hyped Team Japan to "script" their run through the WBC.

(2.) Is it just me, or does it seem like every time Japan plays a baseball match on the international stage, they seem to think it is their "right" to win, and anyone or anything that keeps them from winning is a fluke at best or a joke at worst? There just seems to be this expectation that, yes, Team Japan will win, and the opposition will roll-over and play doormat for them, and anyone or anything that doesn't gets criticized by not only the media, but dismissed by the J-Team's players. Someone mentioned how the Korean layers turned their backs on the champs -- what about Jojima's little hissy fit on a called thrid strike when they lost the second time to Team Korea (that particular umpire being a far better plate ump than the one that Team USA had against Japan, and better than the one Team Korea got in the Championship game)? Walking off and leaving your bat because you disagree with a correct call from a good umpire? If I'd have been the plate ump then, Jojima would have been outta' the tourney entirely for that little tantrum. Which is better: to walk off of the field turning away from the team that defeated you (and whose to say that Team Korea DIDN'T shake hands first? And on that note, did Team Japan even give Team Korea the opportunity to do so? If not [and from the video I have seen, "Samurai" Japan DIDN'T do the classy thing, and walk over to shake hands after a good game, but instead, started celebrating right away], how then can Team Korea's actions be deemed nationalistic? On top of that, what defeated team waits around and watches as the Winning Team Celebrates? I've done the exact same thing in similar circumstances: walked away, turning my back on the opponents as well [with the difference that the opponents I sparred with 100% of the time took time to shake hands before celebrating, something it seems Team Japan didn't do] or acting like a spoiled child when a correct call goes against you? Upn listening to some of the players on Team Japan after they were blanked here in Tokyo, their attitudes were such that they could not believe that Korea could even be on the same field with them, let alone compete or win. Ditto that after their second loss to Team Korea in San Diego. This victory will do nothing but cement in the minds of most of the Team Japan players that they should dominate asia and, yea, even the world, when it comes to International Baseball. It seemed that this tourney was all about beating Cuba, rather than anyone else, and the players seemed to think they'd win it again in a walk because it was their "right", and this attitude will even be stronger in 2012 when the WBC is possibly played again, or whenever another international baseball championship tourney is played.

Say what you will about my attitude, but this is my take on this WBC "win" by Team Japan. Japan got extremely fortunate this year.

And, oh, yes, Team USA played horribly in this WBC. They, too, were VERY fortunate to get out of pool play both times....

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FYI to the masses... The US is a multi sport lover... Football is first then hoops and baseball is third with hockey following after... WBC I have read was created and dreamed up by the Asians to give their national sport a kick and feel of the world cup. A pride thing. To be honest if you did put the US best's line up and did it world series style things would come out different. As Lasorda said last week... Why not put the winner of the Japanese regular season against the World Series winner and call it the real World Series?... Anyhow it made the wife happy and I am happy for Japan.

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Does anyone know if Murata gets anything? Does he get a medal or not? He is part of the reason they made it this far. Just asking.

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I believe, IchyaWarFare, that Myrata will receive a medal. He didn't leave voluntarily, but left due to injury....

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Yeah, I know he left due to injury, but they have a limit of players and he got substituted. He was also on the news tonight, but they did not mention anything about it. I liked how one of the players held up his jersey throughout the game.

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Blue Tiger - "(1.) The Japanese Media will be playing this and will flaunt their own arrogance to the rest of the world (particularly when it comes to baseball), writing stories that tell how "Samurai" Japan scripted their own path to the Championship Podium, giving little to no credit to Team Korea (who beat the Champs twice), nor any other team that played well or closely in matches and games with Team Japan (honest, I'd have liked to see Team Venezuela take on "Samurai" Japan)."

The media will enjoy this, but flaunt it to the rest of the world? How so? And I think a lot of Japantoday posters give the media here a lot of flack (and this doesn't necessarily mean you Blue Tiger), but the majority of times it's misinterpreted. I'm definitely not a fan of the media here, but there is a lot of bashing here from posters who understand maybe half of what is said on TV. And the commentators were full of praise of the Korean players today throughout the entire game.

"(2.) Is it just me, or does it seem like every time Japan plays a baseball match on the international stage, they seem to think it is their "right" to win, and anyone or anything that keeps them from winning is a fluke at best or a joke at worst? There just seems to be this expectation that, yes, Team Japan will win, and the opposition will roll-over and play doormat for them, and anyone or anything that doesn't gets criticized by not only the media, but dismissed by the J-Team's players."

I don't know if it's just you, but it isn't true. They don't hold back on showing love for their players, but I don't sense that expectation at all when they're playing top teams such as Korea, Cuba, or the US. In fact, against teams like the U.S., if anything, there's an inferiority complex. The oohs and aahhs when David Wright threw a guy out at first without taking a step were indicative of that. What exactly have you heard that tells you that the media feels it's Japan's right to win? They may expect to beat the lower tier teams, but against the good teams, I don't see any of the attitude you talk about.

And Jojima didn't have a hissy fit. He put his bat down and left it there. He was pissed off, and he showed it (very calmly). And he got thrown out of the game. Nothing more, nothing less. People argue calls in baseball all the time. That's not really much of an incident.

And have you ever seen a team in baseball win a championship and run right over to the opposition to shake hands? No, because that never happens. Everybody runs to the pitcher's mound to celebrate. That's baseball tradition. The turning of the back happened afterwards when the teams lined up on the baselines.

Japan is very aware that the Korean baseball team is good. They won't think that "they should dominate Asia," and they didn't believe that they'd "win it in a walk." I'm not sure what you expect them to do or say, but Japan won this tournament, but Korea put up a great show. I think you're really reading into things a little too much.

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"The fact that two Asian countries were able to play against each other in the finals is something that we and the Koreans can be proud of." -Hara

"I believe that we were the two best teams in the world," "Asia is best, world best, and Korea and Japan were able to fight until the end. It was a great glory for all of us." -Bong

Classy stuff!

Congrats Japan!!!

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Congratulations !! :)

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something positive :)

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Congrats to Japan and also to South Korea. Good tight game, though maybe a bit too many slap singles (effective in tournament play, but not so much if you have to watch it for a whole season - plus puts too much everyday pressure for your pitchers too).

Obviously for both these nations, their nations' club teams have sacrificed a lot for this tournament. Reaching and winning the finals may help alleviate that. The clubs may have sacrificed at least the early part of the season with some of their players not getting the proper spring training (like some Japanese starting pitchers who were used mostly as relief, or losing Murata for weeks or months). Though it helps that South Korean (~120 games) and Japanese (~140 games) seasons are shorter and thus more training/rest days (plus in Japan, 6-man SP rotation).

It'll be interesting to track how the WBC-participating players play out the upcoming season.

Now, the next WBC is back to 4 years (year 2013), I think. This 3-year gap was probably an adjustment to avoid the Olympic and World Cup years.

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Blue Tiger... good write up.

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In comparison, as for the previous game with the US, seems the US manager was not ultimately playing for the win. Questionable decisions seem kowtowing to MLB clubs to give players the requisite spring training workout (starting SS Jeter instead of SS Rollins, leaving SP Oswalt too long to get his # of pitches, pinch-hitting righty Longoria against righty pitcher to get his at-bat justifying his long travel, replacing effective lefty relief pitchers to get righty RPs their workouts, etc.)

Except for Cuba and maybe some smaller nations, until the US and other big Western teams are willing to sacrifice a bit of their early MLB season, those teams won't play to win the tournament.

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Also the wife tells me in the past the Japanese have been known to throw water on returning players at the airport if they lose. I am looking into it now. I guess this happened after the last world cup. As we argued I thought it seems quite childish and we have agreed jokingly its their mentality vs mine. I do recall in 2006 when the Aussies beat the Japanese I did not see one Japanese jersey the next day... It was like the Cup disappeared. I'll email the Times and see if they will do a story on this.... You know, when the Red Sox lose... you still see all of Boston sporting the B hat with pride...

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My thoughts on the game.

First, great thrilling game by both teams, but a game marred by bad sportsmanship on Japan's part (trying to take out the legs of Korean infielder WAY out of the basepath then complaining about the interference out call) and biased calls by the homeplate and 2nd base umpires.

As even the US commentators mentioned, it's just NOT RIGHT to make such bad calls in a game of this importance, referring to a strikeout call on a ball so low that was almot in the dirt but brought back up by the Japanese catcher.

The Japanese pitcher consistently got the outside/inside/low/high strike calls while the Korean pitchers mostly had to throw right down the middle. If you don't agree, you didn't watch the game closely.

The 2nd base umpire made 2 crucial out calls even when the replay shows that the hands were in first.

This entire tournament was for the US and Japanese teams to win for economic benefits, as the advantageous schedules in Tokyo (Japan had advantageous schedule as well as home advantage) and the seedings showed.

And that is why team Korea's accomplishment's shine that much, having a high school baseball player population that is 1/80th of Japans and playing the final game with good sportsmanship without any complaints even with the obvious numerous bad calls.

This rivalry between Japan and Korea is very good for both nations in terms of keeping each other sharp; neither team will get better playing only teams like China and Taiwan :)

Until 2013~

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WBC I have read was created and dreamed up by the Asians to give their national sport a kick and feel of the world cup. A pride thing. To be honest if you did put the US best's line up and did it world series style things would come out different.

I can't believe what I'm reading here. The US did enter a team. Of Major Leaguers. If you can't take your 3rd/ 4th place finish on the chin then don't enter the tournament, no matter which team you put out (which was held, by the way, in the US).

Why not put the winner of the Japanese regular season against the World Series winner and call it the real World Series?...

Errm, because then it wouldn't be a real World Cup. And most of the World Series players would be from Latin America and you wouldn't see many American players. But I can understand why Team USA would prefer a team of World Series players instead of American players.

its their mentality vs mine. I do recall in 2006 when the Aussies beat the Japanese I did not see one Japanese jersey the next day... It was like the Cup disappeared. I'll email the Times and see if they will do a story on this.... You know, when the Red Sox lose... you still see all of Boston sporting the B hat with pride...

So I guess that now you can really wear your Red Sox/ USA/ Australia losers jersey with pride tomorrow then. But I guess you might have a lot of experience of that.

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Blue Tiger,

"(1.) "The Japanese Media will be playing this and will flaunt their own arrogance to the rest of the world . . . "

I wasn't aware that Japanese media had a lock on the world's news outlets. Last I checked, the news coverage of Team Japan's win was produced in Japanese, by Japanese, for Japanese. Color me crazy, but it might have something to do with this being Japan.

"(2.) Is it just me, or does it seem like every time Japan plays a baseball match on the international stage, they seem to think it is their "right" to win . . ."

It's just you.

Well done, Team Japan. You earned that victory today against a strong Korean team. Again, well done!

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Great game. To all the WHINERS: whine all you want, the WINNERS have some celebrating to do!!! They DESERVE it.

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Well done Japan! Was a great series and the Samurai outplayed the lot. Japan has an absolute quality baseball team.

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northlondon. I was just refering to what some of the US coaches have said and you take the Japan side and win quite seriously old boy.

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imacat, your points are moot. When you get on the field and you are getting paid millions, let me know.

northlondon can sport his loser colors whenever he wants. Thats what losers do.

US got 3rd or 4th respectively. Nothing wrong with that. Plaqued with injuries and some players who did not want to risk their careers. I have no problem with that. Why do you guys? We got a lot of other team sports and single sports to watch.

Japan played a great game and if you are watching the news, you can see Korea being bad sports now. They are claiming how the Japanese were bad sports. There were numerous bad calls and they went both ways. Happens in sports all the time, never going to end, get over it. Koreans played great, but Ichiro pulled it off when it counted. End of story.

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and then Aso rubbed it in real good...and so did the wife... now I really feel like a gaijin loser. Go Japan!

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The Japanese pitcher consistently got the outside/inside/low/high strike calls while the Korean pitchers mostly had to throw right down the middle. If you don't agree, you didn't watch the game closely.

True, JohnDoe. That did happen, but too be fair and objective, you have to also mention the many questionable and bad calls that went against Japan, like the questionable 7th innning ending double play which commentator Rick Sutcliffe questioned on the broadcast.

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Really,who cares who won ? It was Japan and Korea for a start,decent high school disciplined baseball,not pretty but effective,manager dominated.People just aren't used to that style in the US.It's not crowd pleasing,but c'mon the tackiness of the broadcast and the fans was amusing...for all those insecure gaijins,it's ok,Japan is not the best in the world for the next 4 years,hell,they didn't even play most of the actual baseball playing nations,they just were good at this format.

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Great game. I felt sorry for Ichiro. Such pressure. He came through and acted very cool. Not rubbing it in, but thinking why "I thought of all the wrong things for a Zen experience yet succeeded." He truly came through. I am proud of him. That moment could have made him or broke him. Thank the Good Lord, for he came through for all Japan. Congratulations Japan! I am proud of you.

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The LORD had nothing to do with it...just baseball ability.

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You tell him that. I am just a spectator.

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Deduct one happy day from once-in-a-century economic crisis that has crippled this island.

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Congratulations Japan and Korea on a nail-biting finale! WBC detractors...if you don't like the tournament...turn off the box and do something else for gods sake...some of you seem to have watched every minute of the tournament, just to nit-pick! I enjoyed every moment! Japan played fantastic baseball. That's that.

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Ichawayfare: "Japan played a great game and if you are watching the news, you can see Korea being bad sports now. They are claiming how the Japanese were bad sports. There were numerous bad calls and they went both ways. Happens in sports all the time, never going to end, get over it. Koreans played great, but Ichiro pulled it off when it counted. End of story."

I would add to that and say that, watching the calls by the commentators during the game it was ONLY the Japanese side. When the Japanese got a very controversial out (when the guy hit the double and was called out at second), it definitely looked safe but all the commentators could say was, "YAPPARI, SAMURAI JAPAN! YAPPARI!". And yet when they were called out on a double play (two, actually), the commentators were always, "Doushiou, kana? Hountou ni seifu to omotteita ga, doushiyou kana?!"

My point is just that you are correct, it goes both ways. Had Japan lost you could bet they would be complaining about the exact same things, and the Koreans would be saying all was fair. It goes both ways, as you said.

As for Ichiro, I'd say the actual TEAM pulled it off when it counted. Ichiro finally got in one good play in the whole tournament, but to pretend it was all him makes you fall into the same category as the myth that makes him seem like a legend to many, when in reality what was his total average for the tournament? I agree this was the most timely and important hit of his for the entire thing, but my point is it was not him who did it... it was the team.

OneForAll: "I felt sorry for Ichiro. Such pressure. He came through and acted very cool. Not rubbing it in..."

I guess you missed the interviews where he said that he was basically the best in the world, and that of COURSE he was expected to be better than anyone on the team, etc. Hell, even the Japanese media picked up on it. I found myself feeling a wee bit of sympathy for his sorry-a$$ performance until this evening, until I saw his interviews leading up to the WBC.

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your points are moot. When you get on the field and you are getting paid millions, let me know.

Comments like this are unfathomable to non-Americans.

A simple thing like taking pride in playing for your country's national team... has that become too much for American sportsmen? Are they content to put money before everything?

I thought Americans took pride in their patriotism. Obviously not.

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kwatt: "I knew that Japan would win WBC 2009 champion game. Japan played "Yakyuu" not baseball to keep winning games."

PLEASE do not start in on the 'Japan played "Yakyuu" not baseball', 'Japan practices "Judou", not 'Judo'" crap. I absolutely hate it when Japanese start making excuses for loses, and reasons for winning that go beyond simply an excellent performance for a win, or a not so good one for a loss. When the Olympics are on and a Japanese Judo athlete doesn't win gold, that's all I hear is how the world does 'Judo' but Japanese do 'Judou', which is 'pure'. Or how how it's not 'Sumo' but 'Sumou' and the foreign 'influence' is what is wrong with the world.

The Japanese did very well in the end and should therefore be praised on their performance. Had they lost, saying, "The Japanese lost because they play 'Yakyuu', not baseball" would be insulting. It's called the WBC, even in Japan, and stands for "World Baseball Classic", written in katakana. It's not called 'Kokusai Yakyuu Shiai' or some such thing. I realize I'm getting technical and I don't think you at all meant to make the post sound arrogant, but it does; you make it sound like the Japanese are playing some pure, uniquely Japanese form of the sport that is the best thing in the world when they win, but is their excuse for losing when they do not.

It's baseball, bottom line.

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Kreza23 - Obviously, you haven't heard the players coment following games, or prior to them. "Samurai" Japan, after they lost out on a medal in the Olympics, blamed everyone but themselves, even so much as subtily blaming Coach Hoshino (which is, perhaps, the reason he didn't take the job this time around when offered). They knew that the US Team at Beijing was made up of college players and minor leaguers, and had every expectation to win the gold in an almost-walk. Again, take soem time and listen to the commetns made by the "Samurai" Japan players then, and as well as now. Never once in any of the interviews since "Saurai" Japan won did anyone on the team give any kind of credence or credit to the strength of Team Korea.....never once.

Yes, Jojima did have a hissy fit. Leaving your bat in the batter's box after striking out is an ejection offence. That isn't "arguing", but basically being a whiny, spoiled, I-didn't-get-my-way-so-I'm-doing-it-my-way attitude that -- I thought -- Kenji Jojima was bigger than (obviously not). Arguing involves TALKING to the umpire, not leaving your bat in the batter's box in protest following a clear and easy-to-see fastball right down the middle of the plate. It uis further eveidence of this attitude of entitlement that Team Japan has always had when playing against teams they consider inferior (this time, it was Team Korea).

And what line-up? When? Was this alleged line-up after Team Japan had bunced around on the pitcher's mound for twenty or thirty minutes, not one of their players taking the time to go and say "Good game" to any of the Korean players? Must have been some diferent WBC Championship game, because I never saw any line-up of the kind following the thrid out in the bottom of the 10th. And if it was some great offense, why didn't the media pump it up like they pumped up Team Korea plantign the Korean Flag n the pticher's mound following their second win over "Samurai" Japan? Hmmmmm.....that turning of the back thing seems to have been a major offense in the eyes of the J-media. Amazing that I could find that offense absolutely NOWHERE on the internet. Big offense obviously.

Finally, you've obviously neverp layed any knd of organized sport at any level. The reason? At the end of the game, either before or after the celebration (and I had sports coaches that were pretty strict aobut their players doing it before celebrating) the winning team takes time to thank the losers for a good or great game (this includes baseball, and if the teams don't exchange thanks and handshakes, the winning team at least takes the time to express their gratefulness at the losing team giving its best effort at the press conference [didn't happen at the end of the WBC Championship game, at least, no Japanese players said anything close to being congenial to the Korean Team, though Coach Hara did mention their defense in passing).

Fnally, team Japan is aware of one thing, and one thing only with regards to Team Korea: that they have no business being even mentioned in the same sentence as "Samurai" Japan, let alone bothering to be on the same field with them or Gasp! (dare they) actually pull off a win against Team Japan. That attitude was most obvious after Japan was blanked 1-0 in the Tokyo Final, and in the Pool B rematch soem time later. If Jojima's reaction doesn't best express this attitude, or Ichiro's words, then there's nothing that will convince you....

meanmutha - Thank you.

LFRAgain - You must have missed the lead-up to the Beijing Games in 08, or the Athens Games in04, when the J-Media basically explained to anyone who cared to listen that their team was going to win the Gold basically in a walk. The players on this year's "Samurai" Japan team basically said the same thing in interviews, expressing in no uncertain terms that the Tokyo round was going to be theirs to take, and that they really didn't have any true competition in the whole Tournament except for MAYBE Cuba. Team Korea and their wins were dismissed as easily as a Summer Sun dismisses cool morning mist by "Samurai" Japan.

And on point (2.)? No, it isn't just me....

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meanmutha: "and then Aso rubbed it in real good...and so did the wife... now I really feel like a gaijin loser. Go Japan!"

I wouldn't take anything Aso says personally. A guy with an approval rate of 7% or so saying he approves is almost like a death-blow to the team.

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Damn good final.

For most of the game, Japan hit well, except for when it counted, and then the Koreans played some excellent "D". Iwakuma pitched superbly, until he got tired in the 8th (with the pitch limits and spring training mentality, did any other starting pitcher in this entire tournament ever make it that far?). Ichiro, whatever you say about him (over-rated, arrogant, bigoted, etc., all of which may be true), had a great game tonight.

Still don't know why Hara loved the bunt so much - I mean, 'small ball' yeah, but ordering a bunt with Ichiro on 2nd and no outs? Huh?

Anyway, I've been seeing scuttlebutt on the 'blogosphere' criticizing Korea's manager for NOT ordering an intentional walk to Ichiro in the 10th when first base was open. Speculation (of course) was that he hated Ichiro so much that he couldn't 'lose face' by intentionally walking an obviously hot Ichiro (http://eastwindupchronicle.com/how-korean-nationalism-cost-it-the-wbc-crown/).

Well, seems we know Korea and Japan are tops in baseball, if not in terms of shear talent (although I think they have plenty), at least in terms of desire and spirit. You know, the WBC doesn't have to be about the US. Heck, since "they"(the players/fans/pro-club managers/etc.) don't seem to care, maybe they should just skip the next WBC next time.

Didn't get to watch the end of the game, so I didn't witness the supposed bad sportsmanship of the Korean team (until I see proof, I'll put it up there with Ichiro's supposed using of the Korean flag as bumwad, etc.). But in my opinion, I hope there's still some bad blood between those teams, as it makes for a good rivalry and good speculation. I mean, is the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry built on mutual respect and appreciation? Heck no, it's built on total hatred and disrespect! Gotta love sports!

So, way to go Japan! And Korea too! as without them, it wouldn't have been half as exciting and interesting.

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I see so many comments about 'poor sportsmanship' on the part of Koreans, but the photo to the link tells a thousand words. The photo is of Nakajima trying to take out the legs of the Ko, who is well outside of the baseline. Nakajima even got a verbal warning from the 2nd base umpire for protesting the interference call, which is arrogant and pretty much represents Japanese 'high and mighty' attitude. Not to mention being a poor sport, this is a dangerous move that could cause a career threatening injury.

http://sports.media.daum.net/nms/baseball/news/general/view.do?cate=23789&newsid=1163534

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By the way, that is why the hitter was called out even when he beat the throw to first base, due to the flagrant interference of Nakajima. But of course, the Japanese only focus on the hitter beating the runner, which is typical Japanese logic and victim mentality.

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Despite my support for Japan during this WBC, their win creates three major problems:-

The old army-style coaching of Japanese 'yakyu' with kids being screamed at and bullied, will now seem justified.

The team name 'Samurai' Japan, which should never have been used (the Samurai died out with Tom Cruise and swordplay), will unfortunately now be associated with a winning WBC team.

Idiot Hara with his Yomiuri-biased/ anti-Tigers decisions has landed on his feet yet again and will be regarded as a winning manager despite the fact that he hasn't got a clue.

Bad news.

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Blue_Tiger: Excellent post. I agree with you 100% The thing about Kreza is he shows up when Japan wins, and hides when they lose, and can't praise another team except Japan if his life depended on it -- which makes him fall exactly into the category you name when talking about Japanese being unable to congratulate any of the Korean players whatsoever... not a single, honest, congrats in the whole lot. As one person posted, "It's no wonder Ichiro loves to beat them", well all I can say is that if they DID turn their backs after Japan stopped jumping for the 20 minutes you say with no congrats to their rivals, it's 'no wonder the Koreans turned their backs'.

thormgrimfile: An excellent and very objective post, which I admire. It's a shame the rivalry is the way it is for the reasons it really is, but it does make for a great game, eh? As I said earlier, I was very concerned about it being Japan/Korea in the end because of how it could damage the sport (especially since it was the FIFTH game!!) and the ratings, and ultimately support for the WBC, but this was almost countered by the sheer intensity of the game; and let's face it we have no idea what would have happened if either Japan or Korea faced another team in the final.

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Bluetiger - I have listened to the comments. Give me one exact quote to support what you claim. On the contrary, I thought Hoshino was a bone-head at the Olympics and was hoping for a player to have the guts to call him out, but obviously that never happened.

Jojima laying the bat down was not sportsmanlike. I didn't disagree with that. But you're reading far too much into that, and you said that he should've been banned from the rest of the tournament, which is ludicrous. This may just be a matter of semantics, but to me, putting the bat down (not even throwing it) and walking away doesn't equal a "hissy fit". I don't think that had anything to do with a sense of "entitlement", and even less to do with the fact that they were playing Korea. Just protesting a call. He got thrown out of the game, and that's the end of that.

"And what line-up? When?" - The teams lined up after the celebration, the Korean team on the first base line after they accepted their medals, and the Japanese team on the third base line. Obviously you missed that.

"Finally, you've obviously neverp layed any knd of organized sport at any level." - Was captain of my high school baseball team and volleyball teams. Care to make any more assumptions? In baseball, you line up and shake hands with your own teammates. Have you not seen that?

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smithinjapan - "The thing about Kreza is he shows up when Japan wins, and hides when they lose, and can't praise another team except Japan if his life depended on it -- which makes him fall exactly into the category you name when talking about Japanese being unable to congratulate any of the Korean players whatsoever"

After both of Japan's losses to Korea, I came on here and congratulated them. You can click on my name and see that for yourself. And the commentators never said "YAPPARI, SAMURAI JAPAN! YAPPARI!" after that play, nor did they say "Doushiou, kana? Hountou ni seifu to omotteita ga, doushiyou kana?!" Why would they say "Doushiou, kana?" What would they be able to do about it? I'm not sure how good your Japanese is, but it seems that you're hearing what you want to hear.

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imacat - look at the English soccer team, none of those guys play any good unless its for money. The issue you raise is not an American one, it's an unfortunate side effect of sports with deep histories of professionalism.

Peace

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I think the supposed 'bad calls' have been over-analyzed. Both teams had them go their way at times. That's just the way sports are - at least the game didn't come down to some stupid penalty kick on a blown call (OK, you can tell I'm not a soccer/football fan).

Bad sportsmanship? Wow, since when is that a cause for banning from an entire tournament? Jojima left his bat on home plate, big deal - not a cool move to be sure, but was it worse than that American pitcher who threw at/behind the head of the Dutch player who paused a fraction of a second too long when admiring his homer a week ago? THAT could've killed someone, but he wasn't even kicked out of the game! But that kind of thing is just what you get in any intense sporting event.

As far as the "turning their backs" thing by the Koreans after the game, I've been watching highlights all night (on J-media to boot), and haven't seen that yet. Sounds like there's been some misinterpretation going on? Perhaps some of you K-haters better link to You-tube if you're so sure of that...

As for dirty play? Pretty much the same as I said about bad sportsmanship. Sliding cleats first at the guy at second to try to disrupt a double play is a nasty move. It would earn you tons of hate if you did it during an "exhibition" like an All-Star game. But what is this WBC? Is it a just-for-fun exhibition, or is it 'serious'? If it's serious, expect that kind of crap. Especially between two teams who obviously hate each others' guts. I just can't believe there weren't a ton of bean-balls (intentionally hitting the batter) in this game...

So, all you J or K fanboys (and you know who you are), time to knock off your obviously biased rantings, and let the rest of us alone to savor an amazing final to a flawed but still enjoyable WBC. Asian baseball rocks, what more needs to be said?

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What an ending. Great thrilling game by two great teams. They deserved to play each other and they both showed so much passion throughout. Congrats to both teams for showing their stuff. Especially Korea. They refused to lie down and they pushed Japan to the limit. I hope the Koreans are proud of their team.

One thing about Ichiro. His last at-bat was genius. He fouled anything that he didn't like or thought was going to be called for a strike and just waited for the right pitch. When he got it, he placed it where he wanted: right over second base. After that 7th pitch, the manager should have had him intentionally walked. It was clear that Ichiro was seeing the ball well. I am sure Mariners fans want to see "that" Ichiro from hereon.

Also, there were very many questionable calls including an erratic strike zone by the umps but both the bad calls and good calls went to both teams. But you have to give much credit to the players and coaches for restraining themselves. Although the umps did do a pretty good job overall, the bad calls is something that will be addressed for future WBC tournaments.

About baseball teams lining up and congratulating the other team, that does not happen all that much in the pro leagues. It is a war out on the field and winner takes all. It is so rare that there was a big write up on it when it did happen. If I recall correctly, it was the St. Louis Cards that shook hands with the Dodgers after a playoff series that was won by the Cards. Can’t remember but if someone does, please correct me if I am wrong.

As for all the whiners, methinks its just sour grapes. An above poster complained about the hands to the leg when he slid into second. Yes, a bit out of the ordinary but would you rather have him slide into the second baseman cleats up like most do in the MLB? I don’t remember the second baseman even getting knocked over. That is baseball. They teach you to break up the double play. BTW, the second baseman did complete the double play so...

And Johjima’s bat incident? He did get thrown out of the game didn’t he? Why even bring it up as an argument? Obviously it was him and Japan that was hurt the most by his actions. The officials made their statement in the end. Man, put it to rest.

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The vitriol reserved for both teams on this website is just hilarious. I assume most of you are adults, but you behave like 10 year olds. Seriously grow up the lot of you, and you know who you are.

I thought the game was played hard, but fair and in a fairly good spirit. All these "incidents" that people keep on referring too amount to nothing. They are a part of baseball and happen all over the world between all kinds of teams.

It was a good game, played by two very determined teams. Hats off to both of them.

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Amen, Beowulf!

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thorgrimfile and mecchasuki - Thank you for your posts. Good points from both of you.

Blue Tiger - "that turning of the back thing seems to have been a major offense in the eyes of the J-media. Amazing that I could find that offense absolutely NOWHERE on the internet. Big offense obviously."

I just want to clarify further on that point. I didn't bring this up originally, and I didn't make a big fuss out of it either. You were answering somebody else, and you countered that Japan should've gone right over to the Korean players to shake hands after the last out. I simply said that isn't the norm in baseball, and told you when this back turning incident occurred because you didn't seem to know.

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The problem with Team Korea was that they were trying to win a political war (and not the WBC) using baseball as the battle-ground. If Team Korea had any notion of sportsmanship they probably would not have let their pride get the better of them and would have prevented them from making the wrong call to pitch to Ichiro.

j0hnd0e : In terms of sportsmanship, baseball is a rough sport. The korean article photo of Nakajima's arm blocking the legs of the korean baseman is simply a sour stab at attempting to make Team Japan look dirty. Baseball is a man's game, base runners will clock out the catcher to ensure a run, or slide into the path of a basemen to prevent him from getting a double out. THAT IS HOW BASEBALL IS PLAYED.

Korea tried to tie/win the game by bringing out their "big guns" in their giant designated hitters. Sure, that is one way to win a game ( the cheap way ). But if you're going to slide into 2nd base headfirst, into the stationary knee of the basemen, you should expect to get your face and helmet cracked. When I saw that play as it happened my first reaction was "dude, he just tried to take out that guy's knee." I'm sure to other fans it looked like "dude he just intentionally kneed that guy's head". That reckless play by the korean runner would be considered just as "dirty" as Nakajima putting his arms out to prevent the double out.

Orel Hershiser, as well as other commentators, favored Japan to win. Japan played with better strategy and understanding of the game. Their approach was one of finesse and calculated risk. How many times did Korea bunt in the final game? Team Korea basically got outsmarted, and paid the price for disrespecting Ichiro's ability to make clutch plays.

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smithinjapan-I was referring to the last inning where Ichiro worked and mecchasuki posted it best. I believe he is full of himself, but a very talented player none the less. I don't like Kid or Masato either, but I respect their skill.

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ispano6 at 01:52 AM JST - 25th March

The problem with Team Korea was that they were trying to win a political war (and not the WBC) using baseball as the battle-ground. If Team Korea had any notion of sportsmanship they probably would not have let their pride get the better of them and would have prevented them from making the wrong call to pitch to Ichiro.

j0hnd0e : In terms of sportsmanship, baseball is a rough sport. The korean article photo of Nakajima's arm blocking the legs of the korean baseman is simply a sour stab at attempting to make Team Japan look dirty. Baseball is a man's game, base runners will clock out the catcher to ensure a run, or slide into the path of a basemen to prevent him from getting a double out. THAT IS HOW BASEBALL IS PLAYED.

The problem with you, ispano6, is you're biased and don't know anything about baseball. If you had watched the game, Ko was at least several feet AWAY from the basepath. A player can slide into the path of a defensive player IF he is IN THE BASEPATH, if you go WAY OUT of the basepath as Nakajima did, the hitter is out AUTOMATICALLY due to interference. You can also knock the catcher out, as long as the catcher is IN THE BASEPATH blocking the plate, but you don't go SEVERAL FEET OFF THE BASEPATH chasing the defensive player and using your hands to take out the legs from under him! Come on, I know you're pro-Japanese but be objective here. And protesting the umpire's call for being called out? That's being whiny, don't you think?

And I never mentioned anything about Lee's head first slide and broken helmet;he risked it by not sliding legs first.

Since you brought up Lee, the beanball last week was intentional, can't deny that, as Utsumi has a history of throwing at the head and Lee being the catalyst of the Korean offense in the previous loss to Korea, look at the context of the incident, and if you have any REAL baseball playing experience like I do, then you can add up 2+2.

You're just an rmchair baseball expert and don't know the rules :)

The korean article photo of Nakajima's arm blocking the legs of the korean baseman is simply a sour stab at attempting to make Team Japan look dirty

Yea, I guess the Koreans altered the photo using Photoshop, is that what you're saying? Ha ha ha ha. You are ridiculous.

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Congrats Japan!

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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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Hey, what did I say about you J and K fanboys? Lay off! 5-3 Game over!

Tonight, Japan won fair and square (or as fair and square as any major sports event can be), but Korea also manned up and played tough! It wasn't no wipe out, but a hard fought game, which everyone but you psycho-partisans enjoyed!

BTW, there will be no more Olympics baseball, that's done with - Asians and a handful of of "Americans" (by that, I mean people who live on both continents) may care about it, but the rest of the world thinks it's stupid (of course, I disagree, can't imagine anything more goofy than soccer, but I'm sure I'll receive a ton of hate for that comment - but of course those people shouldn't even be reading a post about baseball anyway :P).

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Last night's game was great. It was truly a classic. Both Japanese and Korean teams showed what the baseball really is and how the baseball should be played. Both Korean and Japanese people showed the world their love for the baseball on the field and stand.

The only thing was the officiating, which could've tainted last night's fantastic game. The ump's call wasn't very consistent and a couple out calls by the second base umpire were a bit questionable. It shouldn't happen, but these things happen during games at any level whether it is favorable for your team or for your opponent. That is a part of the game. That can't be blamed for the defeat and shouldn't be. Anyway, even a questionable officiating couldn't prevent last night's game to be called THE CLASSIC.

Congratulate to Japanese team and its fans for the championship. I'm a Korean so that the result was a very disappointing, but it really was the one of best games in baseball history, if it is not the best, and very fun and exciting to watch. Again, congrats Japanese team. They surely deserve the championship. Also, salute to Korean team to play great game. Hat off to both Korean and Japanese teams.

I wish both teams and their fans to develop a friendly and productive rivalry and become leaders for the success of Asian baseball.

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Yea, I guess the Koreans altered the photo using Photoshop, is that what you're saying? Ha ha ha ha. You are ridiculous.

Photoshop? Now you're putting words into my mouth that I never said. Way to go.

The problem with you, ispano6, is you're biased and don't know anything about baseball. If you had watched the game, Ko was at least several feet AWAY from the basepath.

I've watched baseball for 20years. I played in little league. I watched the game on ESPN in HD and re-wound, slow-moed many of the controversial and questionable calls on both sides.

I brought up the Lee incident because what I was trying to portray as what one country deems "dirty" is not going to be viewed the same from another. It's called Eye of the Beholder, and as much as you want to mention beanballing or what have you, that was in the previous game. Team Korea had many calls go in their favor (Johjima caught a strike out ball but it was KNOCKED out of his glove on the return swing and was mistakenly called a foul tip). You are trying to attribute Japan's win as something "given" to them or they played "dirty" to achieve it. You even go so far to say that the WBC was rigged in favor of the US and Japan due to economic reasons. Japan earned the Championship fair and square.

An article from the LA times read:

"I think just about everybody here could probably play in the big leagues," Davey Johnson, a former all-star player and World Series manager, said before his U.S. team -- featuring 28 major leaguers -- lost to Japan in the WBC semifinals. "Fundamentally I don't think anybody plays the game as well or practices as hard as the Japanese."

This much is true.

You're just an rmchair baseball expert and don't know the rules :)

Really..

Moderator: Readers, no more childish sniping at each other please. This forum is for mature adults.

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I hope both Korean fans and Japanese fans get over with the Championship game.

It is a done-deal and just accept the result as is. Both teams played so hard and very well with passions. Nobody can deny that. Both Korean team and Japanese team were superb.

Japanese team won the title because they played a little bit better and maybe a little bit luckier. Same thing with Japanese team's 1-0 defeat to Korean team. That was also very good game. That night Korean team played a little bit better and maybe a little bit luckier so that they won the game.

Yes, there were a few questionable calls by umpires. But, that's a part of game. You cannot put down the winner with that, and you can use that as an excuse of your defeat.

I am a Korean and yesterday's defeat was a heart breaking to me and all other Korean baseball fans. But, the fact is Japanese team won the game and got the Championship Trophy. Korean team had chances to take that game, but they couldn't make it happen.

Now the game is a part of a baseball history. All Korean fans just accept the result as is and congrats Japanese team for the Championship. And, Japanese fans please put your hands together to the loser for the great game.

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Very interesting to see many posts saying Korean players were playing dirty and having calls go their way, and also posts saying that Japanese players were playing dirty and having calls go their way. Objectively speaking, after having watched the game in its entirety and watching several recaps again on the Internet, it was an overall fairly clean game. There were of course some disputable calls on both sides of play and some borderline dirty plays from both teams, but when you have an intense rivalry like Japan and Korea has, and on a stage as big as this, you will have moments which can be interpreted as "dirty" or "hard play" from both sides of the coin. Whether or not one missed or bad call would have turned the outcome of the game around is pure speculation. It was nice to see both teams continue to play hard in this game and not gripe about supposed missed or bad calls. Good show, Team Korea and Team Japan! It's like watching a Boston Red Sox/New York Yankees game. Red Sox supporters will always claim the Yanks played dirty and vice versa. In the end though, you have to continue to play the game and let your skills determine the outcome, rather than letting complaints do so. In any case, it was an excellent way to cap off a tournament which was better than the 2006 version. As the color commentator Rick Sutcliffe said, it will only get better in 2013.

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Kreza: "And the commentators never said "YAPPARI, SAMURAI JAPAN! YAPPARI!" after that play, nor did they say "Doushiou, kana? Hountou ni seifu to omotteita ga, doushiyou kana?!"'

Actually, they did, in both cases. I don't know why they said, "Doushou kana?" after the second double play call, but one commentator did, approximately three times. It was his partner that said, "Seifu to omotteita ga..." followed by a drawn out, "hhhhmmmmm" which clearly denotes he thought it was a bad call. As for the 'Yappari, Samurai Japan' it was indeed said, four times if I'm not mistaken, after they caught the guy trying to steal second for the third out.

Anyway, I'm not trying to snipe at you. I believe my original post on the commentary was in regards to people saying that Korea is complaining about calls, to which I replied by saying it goes both ways and commentators for a team's country are far from objective in most cases. Neither the Korean nor Japanese teams are exceptions to this.

Hotbox: "There were of course some disputable calls on both sides of play and some borderline dirty plays from both teams, but when you have an intense rivalry like Japan and Korea has, and on a stage as big as this, you will have moments which can be interpreted as "dirty" or "hard play" from both sides of the coin."

Bang on. This is what I was getting at earlier. But even with that being common knowledge, you're STILL going to see the fans/media of both nations go at each other over perceived biases, etc. Japan showed the Korean flag-planting at least 20 times that I saw, which means they did heaps more, and Korea is making a huge spectacle of Ichiro's epithets in particular. This is nothing that is going to stop any time soon.

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Hotbox: "In any case, it was an excellent way to cap off a tournament which was better than the 2006 version. As the color commentator Rick Sutcliffe said, it will only get better in 2013."

Good point. As much as people, myself included, complain about the rules and/or match-ups it needs to be remembered that this is still a tournament in its infancy. One HOPEs it can only get better, and with baseball out of the next Olympics it's likely it will take on more importance as well.

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smithinjapan - OK, you've changed when the commentators said "Yappari Samurai Japan" in your posts, unless by "trying to steal second", you mean when the guy tried to stretch a single into a double. If that is the case, it again tells me you don't know baseball very well, which is fine, no problem.

And maybe they did say "Yappari...", I don't know, I'm not gonna check on that, but even if they did, I don't see what the big deal with that is. It's just showing some faith in their players. The "doushiyou kana?" though, I'm willing to bet that they didn't say that, and that you misheard it. It doesn't make any sense. I remember the "Seifu to omotteita ga..." from Kiyohara, and the "hmmmmmm", and there is nothing wrong with that. I agree that there were questionable calls going both ways, and I've never said anything to suggest otherwise. And the commentators voiced their opinion on that particular call, but there is nothing wrong with that. But like I said, "doushiyou kana?" is a very strange comment to make there, and goes back to my point that people mishear or misinterpret things and give media unwarranted grief sometimes (although there are many times where it is deserved as well).

Anyways, it was a fun tournament, and I hope it grows to be an even bigger event the next time.

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Blue Tiger wrote:

Never once in any of the interviews since "Saurai" Japan won did anyone on the team give any kind of credence or credit to the strength of Team Korea.....never once.

From another article:

Hara, however, pointed out that the difference in talent level between the two teams is minimal, and he gave credit to Korea for making the finals.

"As you know, baseball wins and losses are just paper-thin differences, especially in this World Baseball Classic," he said. "The fact that the two Asian countries were able to play against each other in the finals is something that we and the Koreans can be proud of."

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That was an exciting game anyway you want to slice and dice it. And all the fans in the stadium were a part of the excitement. As I said before, a good Korean team adds excitement to Asian baseball and a good Korean team in Los Angeles means a lot of enthusiastic Korean fans and a more exciting atmosphere. So it's a win-win situation.

You can talk about a lack of respect or bad managing but I actually give credit to the manager for challenging Ichiro. It’s always more exciting when the star player has the opportunity to get the big hit. The fans want to see drama – why do you think Americans fans boo when a good hitter gets walked in a key situation. You’d think fans in Japan would be grateful.

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fightfan2008, how was Hara's words giving any kind of credence to Team Korea, aside from saying that they both represented Asia in the WBC? He'd have said the same thing had Chinese Taipei, Red China, or Vietnam had won their ways to the Final Game as well.

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Kreza --- I've checked the internet, and all over YouTube Video, even the WBC site for this supposed line-up you say happened after the third out of the C'ship game: NOTHING. No line-up, no hand-shakes, now bowing, no......NOTHING. If you have some sort of PROOF positive that Japan and Korea lined up after Team Japan Jumped around and Celebrated for twenty minutes, after receiving the trophy and gold medals for winning the WBC, then please, be my guest and lead me to a link. Otherwise, it's your word against the video footage I've viewed and seen.

Re: Jojima --- You are right that calmly laying down a bat doesn't equate ot a hissy fit, but laying down a bat, all the while sputtering and muttering and talking about the bad call DOES. Further, in your initial rebutt to my initial post, you equated those actions with arguing a call. Now you change your tune and agree with me? How do you, then, expect me to believe that you really were a part of an organized sports team, if you change your tune at the drop of a hat? Anyone also knows that before you line up, after a baseball game, and congratulate your own team, your winning team libnes up and walks across the field to congratulate the losing team on a good effort. Haven't YOU ever seen that (obviously not)? Ditto that for Volleyball. So much for your claims about being some sports captain for both in high school...

thorgrimfile --- Who has analyzed the bad calls? J-Media? Only if the "bad calls" went against Japan. If "Samurai" Japan got away with a bad call, no replay whatsoever was shown.

ispano6 --- If Korea was trying to win the game with their "big Guns", then please explain why their biggest gun of all (the one who put out "Samurai" Japan's lights in the Olympics with three home runs) Lee Sunyup wasn't even on the team? Further, you think that Team Japan isn't trying to win some political war? The subtility of Team Japan's attitude was clear to see for anyone having eyes to see it. They pass themselves off as the only real baseball team in Asia, and their glaring lack of respect for Team Korea at the end of each and every game agaisnt them was clear as a bell. How can Team Korea -- or any other team who played against Japan for that matter -- not help but attempt retaliation? Team Japan needs wake up, smell the coffee, and begin to realize that their record against Team Korea (championship trophies notwithstanding) is a woeful 6-9. Unfortunately, Team Japan explains away losses againts others as flukes, or they pass the blame for their pathetic play off on the head coach (as they did Hoshino after failng to medal in 2008).

Someone mentioned my name with regards to Hoshino: for the record, Hoshino took the Hanshin Tigers to a Japan League Series where, despite a great effort by his team, fell short to the then-Daiei Hawks in Seven Games. Nice try, but the blame for "Samurai" Japan's failure in both of the past two Olympics falls squarely on the players on the team, not the managers nor coaches involved.

Smithinjapan --- Thank you...

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Bluetiger - Like I said, it wasn't me who originally brought this line up thing, so I don't know why you insist on me giving you proof, but here you go. Copy and paste this into youtube. WBC 2009 メダル授与. There is your line up.

When did I change my tune about Jojima? Here's what I said in my first post to you.

"And Jojima didn't have a hissy fit. He put his bat down and left it there. He was pissed off, and he showed it (very calmly). And he got thrown out of the game. Nothing more, nothing less. People argue calls in baseball all the time. That's not really much of an incident."

Here's the second one.

"Jojima laying the bat down was not sportsmanlike. I didn't disagree with that. But you're reading far too much into that, and you said that he should've been banned from the rest of the tournament, which is ludicrous. This may just be a matter of semantics, but to me, putting the bat down (not even throwing it) and walking away doesn't equal a "hissy fit". I don't think that had anything to do with a sense of "entitlement", and even less to do with the fact that they were playing Korea. Just protesting a call. He got thrown out of the game, and that's the end of that."

I think I'm being very consistent there. I don't know what you found to be different in both of those comments. But again, this is a matter of semantics, but I wouldn't consider muttering to oneself a hissy fit anyways. Whatever, what I'm saying here is that you're making a big fuss over absolutely nothing. I haven't seen anybody else here support your claim that Jojima should've been thrown out of the tournament for that. He got thrown out of the game, which I said was deserved, and that should be the end of it.

"Anyone also knows that before you line up, after a baseball game, and congratulate your own team, your winning team libnes up and walks across the field to congratulate the losing team on a good effort. Haven't YOU ever seen that (obviously not)?"

After any professional baseball game, after the game, players line up and the bench players line up while the starters go down the line and they each shake hands or give high fives. At least that's how it is during the regular season. After winning game four of the World Series (or whatever championship you are playing for), you go ballistic and everybody runs to the pitcher's mound and goes nuts. I didn't say the same rules applied for volleyball. Maybe at Koshien where there is a long tradition and set rules, but watch a professional game and tell me if you ever see that. Especially after a championship win? No way. I could care less if you don't believe that I played high school sports, but we certainly didn't line up right after winning our championship games.

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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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Kreza: "And maybe they did say "Yappari...", I don't know, I'm not gonna check on that, but even if they did, I don't see what the big deal with that is. It's just showing some faith in their players."

They definitely said 'Yappari'. I don't really think it's a big deal at all... in fact, I never mentioned it until some posters (nudge) decided to come on and complain about bad plays and calls, or how 'unsportsman-like' some teams can be, etc. You mention in your post that people sometimes 'mishear' and/or 'misinterpret' things, and I think you prove your point, for in some cases it is braggery and unsportsman-like, and in other cases it is 'having faith in your team'. You've been pretty respectful when portraying the side of the Japanese, from Johjima being ejected to the media bias in Japan, but not quite so objective/respectful when talking about the Korean side. THAT was why I made my comment about the media, and it is enforced by your comments, although I will say I appreciate the slightly more objective tone in your later posts.

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Kreza: "Anyways, it was a fun tournament, and I hope it grows to be an even bigger event the next time."

Meant to add, 'I hope so, too'.

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Blue_Tiger: "If "Samurai" Japan got away with a bad call, no replay whatsoever was shown."

Not true... they replayed it, but the commentators simply said, "YAPPARI, SAMURAI JAPAN!" and everyone acted like the Peko-chan doll with a spring for a neck that nods for an hour when you touch it.

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Anyone also knows that before you line up, after a baseball game, and congratulate your own team, your winning team libnes up and walks across the field to congratulate the losing team on a good effort. Haven't YOU ever seen that (obviously not)? Ditto that for Volleyball. So much for your claims about being some sports captain for both in high school...

That would require the Korean team to come off the bench but they didn't. So what's the big deal? As Kreza stated, in professional game, the winning team just goes ballistic on the field while the losers either remain on the bench or head to the showers.

If Korea was trying to win the game with their "big Guns", then please explain why their biggest gun of all (the one who put out "Samurai" Japan's lights in the Olympics with three home runs) Lee Sunyup wasn't even on the team?

Yeah. The replacement for him was just AWFUL hitting JUST.345 with 3 homers and leading the ENTIRE tournament with 11 RBI'S. Not to mention the fact that he was selected unanimously to the All tournament team. What a shame!! (sigh)

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Wow Blue_Tiger why do you hate anything Japanese? I am beginning to wonder if you will ever say anything good about Team Samurai or it's victory over the world?

Sad the way you to try claim that they did not really win against Korea in the final game.

Man you are even looking for "the smoking gun" that Japan cheated, the Umps cheated, the Koreans were not really playing, the fans cheated by cheering and that Japan was not good at all.

BTW just a reminder, Japan won and they are the best of the best of the best. You can not take that from them.

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smithinjapan - I appreciate your comments. But I really don't know where you've gotten the idea that I've said anything to disrespect Team Korea. Admittedly, I've been here trying to disprove that Japan is the root of all evil, so perhaps that's where you've misinterpreted me, but if you look at my comments, not a single negative comment was directed towards Korea. Not one.

"They definitely said 'Yappari'. I don't really think it's a big deal at all... in fact, I never mentioned it until some posters (nudge) decided to come on and complain about bad plays and calls, or how 'unsportsman-like' some teams can be, etc."

Is that nudge directed towards me? Because I've said from the beginning that there were questionable calls but that they went both ways and never complained about that. And how does what a commentator says have anything to do with how unsportsman-like a team is or isn't? I agree with a lot of what you say, and respect your opinion, but I continued to be puzzled at some of what you say to me. I think you're grouping me in with some other posters, because you keep accusing me of saying things that I haven't.

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Ichiro delivers as Japan beats South Korea 5-3 to win WBC title Tuesday 24th March, 02:49 PM JST

I VOTE FOR ICHIRO AS THE NEW JAPAN PRIME MINSTER *** He Can Deliver !!! **

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Smithinjapan, why don't you buy yourself a baseball computer game? So you can simulate games exactly the way YOU want it. No Ichiro, no Japanese commentators, no questionable calls, NO JAPAN, no yappari......just the way YOU want it. Maybe then you'll be satisfied? And we'll be spared from your endless whining about what Japanese commentators said or not said. Small details, Smith. Just small details, and you're making such a fuss about it.

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"Ichiro delivers as Japan beats South Korea 5-3 to win WBC title "

The blind hatred towards Ichiro displayed by the likes of highhope, smitty and other Koreans COMPELLED the Korean team to pitch to Ichiro in the top of the tenth when there was a base open after Aki stole second.

The ESPN color commentator stated something like "you don't pitch to a guy who's known around the world by one name." But then again, we're talking about Korea. They would of never allowed Ichiro to walk intentionally. That is equivalent to accepting the FACT that Ichiro is indeed a good player and will deliver in the clutch. Their "stupid" nationalism coupled with their blind hate for Ichiro simply did not allow that alternative. Simply put. Not only their stupidity cost the game and the championship, they made a hero out of their most hated player.

I'm no Ichiro fan during the MLB season but the reaction of Korean fans when Ichiro delivered that GW hit was something I have yet to witness all my years of attending baseball games. There were tears. There were middle finger jestures. The 4+ hours of "De Han Min Guk!" chants were gone. Mass exodus Blue wearing crowd heading towards the parking lot. (Note: First ones to go were those annoying "Dokdo" freaks in Right Center field bleachers)

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Kreza -- This -- WBC 2009 メダル授与 -- is your "proof positive" that Team Korea was snubbing Team Japan at the supposed Congrats line-up? Are you serious? That's proof of nothing except that, yes, both teams were lined up, but some Korean players were facing Team Japan, and some were not, some members of "Samurai" Japan were facing Team Korea, and some had their backs turned ot Team Korea as well. No snubbing, no offense, no nothing going on except a whole lot of nothing. Nice try anyway.

About Jojima, so which is it, Kreza? Is he "arguing with the ump" and still being sportsmanlike as you imply in your first comment, or is he being unsportsmanlike as you say he is in your second? Hardly consistent. Etiehr defend Jojima for being professional and sportsmanlike or accuse him for being a spoiled brat who didn't get a call he felt he was supposed to get.

About the congrats line up, my apologies, was this an entirely professional thing, or were amateur players invited too? Was this final game between the BoSox and the dodgers, or was it between two teams on an international stage, one having a LOT of amateur players? And, yes, to be quite honest, I have seen it happen at Royals Stadium in Kansas city, at Reds Stadium in Cincinnati, and at Cardinals Stadium in St. Louis. Just because the Yankees or Red Sox don't do it, doesn't mean nobody else does.

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JoeBigs -- Actually, I love Japan and Japanese people. I am glad for the people of Japan that their team won, but I am not happy (nor looking for some alleged smoking gun of cheating) that "Samurai" Japan continues to look down their noses at the competition in (a.) Asia, and now (b.) the rest of the world. Please don't put words in my mouth.

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Blue Tiger - For goodness sakes. Why don't you talk to Bobbafett about the line up. He/she gave Team Korea grief about it. I didn't. I don't know why "proof positive" was in quotes, because I never said that. I couldn't find the TV broadcast of it, so I gave you that link which was the best I could find without spending a lot of time doing it. And I didn't say it was a "Congrats line-up" either. After getting their medals, they each lined up on their respective baselines. That clip was after Korea got their medals, and the Japanese players were getting waiting to get theirs.

As for Jojima. WHERE in my first comment did I imply he was being sportsmanlike? All I've said from the beginning is that he didn't like the call, so he protested it. He deservedly got thrown out for the manner he did it in. End of story.

"Etiehr defend Jojima for being professional and sportsmanlike or accuse him for being a spoiled brat who didn't get a call he felt he was supposed to get."

Are there no other options? Love him or hate him? You said he should've been tossed from the entire tournament, and that's what I disagreed with you about. He disagreed with a call and he showed that. But he didn't get up in the face of the umpire like many others have, and he didn't take a "hissy fit" and go back to the dugout and throw the Gatorade cooler around like others have. And even then, I don't think it would've meant he'd get thrown out of the entire tournament. Do you follow baseball? Is this not something you've seen before? Why are you making such a fuss about this Jojima incident? Basically what I'm saying here is, if we were to put this into soccer/football terms, you're saying he deserved a red card, I say yellow was fair, but for some reason you're asking me to choose between a red card or no card at all. I don't get it.

Really, I don't remember ever seeing teams line up to shake each other's hands after a professional game, but if you say it happens, can you find me a clip? And while you're at it, can you find a clip of a World Series win and the teams lining up before any celebration occurs? Honestly, if you can find one, I am completely willing to admit that I was wrong, but I do think that you're being unreasonable about Japan celebrating without shaking hands with the Korean team first. And correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that Team Korea was made up of players in Korea's professional baseball league, weren't they? I don't think their team was made up of " a LOT of amateur players".

I have no doubt that Japan feels like they deserved to win this tournament, but I don't know why you insist that they "look down their noses at the competition in (a.) Asia, and now (b.) the rest of the world." I'm not sure, but I really do think you're reading into things a little too much here.

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Blue Tiger - My apologies. I just looked at the clip again, and it's showing the Korean players lining up after they get their medals, and Japan waiting their turn to receive theirs. Not after the entire Korean team received their medals. My mistake.

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Blue_Tiger at 06:32 PM JST - 26th March JoeBigs -- Actually, I love Japan and Japanese people. I am glad for the people of Japan that their team won, but I am not happy (nor looking for some alleged smoking gun of cheating) that "Samurai" Japan continues to look down their noses at the competition in (a.) Asia, and now (b.) the rest of the world.

Now I will sue your own quote to ask you a question. Who is the better team Japan or Korea?

Something that everyone seems to be forgetting in this "Whose Better, Japan or Korea in Baseball?" is the fact that over the last eleven Baseball Games played between Korea and Japan, Korea leads the series 7-4

So who was the better team, Korea or Japan?

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Tatsuhito Iida, Los Angeles bureau chief of the Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan's largest daily newspaper, said some Japanese would agonize over losing to Korea because of historical rivalries.

"Many people feel they can't lose to Korea especially because historically [Koreans] don't have good feelings toward Japan and will try to beat us," he said. (From LA Times http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-japan-korea24-2009mar24,3,7678117.story)

The hate between Korea and Japan lies on the anger and fear. As Tatsu Iito said, Japan has fear that one day Korea will beat Japan (not only in baseball but also socio-economically as it has shown in many fields of industries and business). (And Korean by their nature will bot be nice to Japan). (Koreans also think Japan will hurt Korea again if opportunity allows). WBC was just reflection of the above underlying psychology. Untill those grudge of Korean people against Japan are resolved, fierce competition way over the normal sportmanship will continue.

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Kreza -- No problem.

JoeBiggs -- Your using of my words (suing? typo?) is to prove, what? That I think Korea is the better team? The point you are missing, Joe, is that "Samurai" Japan seems to think that they are the best team in the history of Asia Baseball, and their lack of class throughout the WBC, especially with regards to Team Korea, is a glaring piece of evidence of that fact.

The World Baseball Classic this year was, much like the past WBC and past Olympics, just another grotesque, glaring repeat of "Samurai" Japan walking across the world stage, not so much with their heads held high as their noses, giving little credibility to any other nation (especially in round one Tokyo Pool Play), other than passing a few bones to Cuba, and not even givng Korea credit for defeating them twice, and playing them a great game in the WBC Championship game.

I see this second WBC Win not a humblign thing in that "Samurai" Japan played some great teams and some great games, and that Team Japan is grateful to their opponents and the WBC that they were able to win, but more along the lines of, "We're supposed to win, we are entitled to win, and any loss or hard game we had happened because that is what we wanted, and since we won the title and we got what we wanted, to the flames with our competition."

Moderator: Readers, stay on topic please. Your comments should be about the final of the WBC tournament.

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Bleu Tiger is doing his/her very best to make the WBC look like nothing important, BECAUSE Japan won it. Tiger.......do yourself a favor........give it a rest. Not for me, but for yourself.

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Japan shut out by S Korea; ends up 2nd in WBC Tokyo round Blue_Tiger at 04:09 PM JST - 11th March Hotbox08 -- question to you: how does Japan end up on the losing end of a 7-4 record over the last 11 meetings in baseball against Korea, when Korea has had MAYBE one or two MLB players (none on this team, this time around), and Japan has had an increasing -- yes, increasing -- number of MLB players on its roster? Care to try this one on for size? So far, none of the "Samurai (SHAM-urai, perhaps) Japan" Basebal,l supporters have even attempted to answer this question. Perhaps you can? How is it that a squad with a LOT of MLB players on its roster get beaten by a team that has had very few MLB players on its roster to the tune of 7 times in the last 11 games, especially seeing how "awesome" the "Samurai Jqapan" team is supposed to be???

Ok no editing how about your "SHAM-urai" comment? You have a bunch of these, and yes this is your exact words. Nothing added nothing removed like before.

The real thing here that you can not and will not give the Japanese team a single compliment.

Come on do you really think they were as bad as you have claimed?

They beat everyone and made it to the top. The best of the best of the best!

Keep denying and the dirt keeps coming.<BG> Words last a long time, you may try to change them but they never lie.

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JoeBigs: Blue_Tiger gave players credit for composing a good team and having a good coach. He followed it with a quick 'but', but anyway.

"The real thing here that you can not and will not give the Japanese team a single compliment."

I think many of his comments are bang on and raise legitimate questions, but I have also congratulated the team on their win and complimented them in their last game play in particular. Does that help validate his arguments in your mind, then, simply because of said compliments?

A lot of Samurai Japan fans, or people who support Japan on any other Japan-related threads, tend to take this stance that if you don't support the Japan side of the issue 100% you are a "Japan hater" and therefore your comments don't count. Of course, if you stand behind Japan it has nothing to do with you being a "Japan lover" and has only to do with Japan being correct or superior, etc. This goes for the US as well, in cases from sour grapes about this tournament to comments that are for/against the war in Iraq. People can be critical of politicians, sports events, or certain nationals, etc. and not hate or particularly love one country more than any other.

The WBC was fun, but there are still a lot of kinks to be worked out of the system, and in my opinion more teams that need to take it seriously for it to be truly worthy of a World Classic. But, it was fun. Japan won (again, congrats!), so that's all the motivation for other teams to win in the future, and best of luck to all (assuming the WBC continues). The rivalry between Japan and Korea will continue to make it more fun for many, as well.

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