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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Barra: The World Baseball Classic: Where America Getting Creamed is a Good Thing, Apparently

Allen Barra: Cream’s Profiles.

My question is: Why does Bud Selig, commissioner of the American major leagues, give a hoot about “the internationalization of the sport?” Does he think this will help produce more talent for American pro teams, the way the increased popularity of basketball in Spain and France has produced top players like Pau Gasol and Tony Parker? Or does he think that the internationalization of the game is going to lead to him, Bud Selig, being elected commissioner of all the world’s professional baseball leagues?

Simply put, what does he mean by “our vehicle?” Who exactly is the “our”—the American team owners who keep grumbling about having their star player miss spring training and risk injury while playing in games that mean nothing to management? (And it just isn’t American-born players who are the concern of American team owners, but their players who are playing for the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and other international teams.)

“Overall, you’ll look back on this in retrospect someday and realize that you’re watching a sport that is going to be legitimately worldwide.” But what is baseball now, illegitimately worldwide? Japan has won the two previous WBCs, Cuba and South Korea were runners-up, and Venezuela and the Dominican Republic finished in the top four. There have been, over the past six years, increasingly tough teams from Taiwan, Australia, Italy and Spain.

What exactly does this signify if not the “internationalization” of baseball?

Repoz Posted: March 13, 2013 at 05:24 AM | 191 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: wbc

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   101. Nasty Nate Posted: March 13, 2013 at 05:20 PM (#4387863)
You cannot have a meaningful tournament with such wildly disparate goals, efforts, and dynamics at play. The participants and others can talk all they want about how "It Counts." But everyone knows that it doesn't. Everyone knows that it *can't*.




A thing is meaningful if people give it meaning - it's not a mechanically-derived property.

Also, ALL tournaments have "wildly disparate goals, efforts, and dynamics at play."
   102. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 13, 2013 at 05:21 PM (#4387864)
If someone whose approach to every topic of discussion, at all times, is to say that it isn't important and isn't interesting and only ignorant people could care about it, says that the WBC isn't important and isn't interesting and only ignorant people could care about it, does he make a sound?
   103. Nasty Nate Posted: March 13, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4387865)
In the WBC, in stark contrast, the primary goal for managers of real players is to keep the real players healthy while allowing them to get some work in, and if the team wins the thing under those constraints, great.


In 2013, similarly, the primary goal for the Astros is to develop and evaluate the group of under-talented players they have, and if the team wins the thing under those constraints, great.
   104. cmd600 Posted: March 13, 2013 at 05:25 PM (#4387867)
In the WBC, in stark contrast, the primary goal for managers of real players is to keep the real players healthy while allowing them to get some work in, and if the team wins the thing under those constraints, great.


This sounds exactly like someone who hasn't seen a minute of the WBC, and is being very selective in what information they read. Sure, managers are rotating through guys who aren't fully ready for everyday play. But if you saw even one shot of the Dominican bench as they were coming back against Italy, you would laugh at the idea that the primary goal was anything but winning.
   105. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 05:29 PM (#4387868)
We've heard major leaguers claim that the games matter. Justin Morneau was one of them. Would he risk playing through an injury in a WBC game at the start of a contract year? I'd have to see it to believe it.

On the other hand, not all major leaguers agree that the tournament is not bogus. Russell Martin said the following. And note the bolded part which highlights an absurdity with the tournament:

“People are really adamant about the WBC,” the 30-year-old said after a spring training game in Bradenton. “But I feel like it has so many details that aren’t true to baseball.” For one thing, Martin doesn’t agree with the strict pitch limit to which the tournament adheres. As the official rules of the WBC states, no pitcher can exceed 65 pitches within the first round of competition, 80 within the second round, and 95 in the championship final. “I feel like, if a pitcher isn’t potentially going nine innings and he’s your best pitcher, that’s not what baseball’s about,” Martin said. “An ace like CC Sabathia, for example. He’s good because he goes deep into ball games. He goes eight or nine innings every time. “With the WBC, he throws maybe four innings and it’s left for someone else. That’s not how baseball works.”
   106. rb's team is hopeful for the new year! Posted: March 13, 2013 at 05:37 PM (#4387873)
If someone whose approach to every topic of discussion, at all times, is to say that it isn't important and isn't interesting and only ignorant people could care about it, says that the WBC isn't important and isn't interesting and only ignorant people could care about it, does he make a sound?

Ray (RDP) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 05:29 PM (#4387868)
[ Ignored Comment ]


Doesn't appear to.
   107. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: March 13, 2013 at 05:54 PM (#4387875)
This is false, misleading, and, basically nonsense. The Astros have the exact same goal as the Indians as the other 28 teams: to win a championship. The Astros recognize that it can't be done this year, so they have a different plan than the Angels. But the ultimate goal is the same, and is the primary goal.


Well, 27. The Marlins don't even pretend to compete anymore.
   108. cardsfanboy Posted: March 13, 2013 at 06:11 PM (#4387880)
The Astros have the exact same goal as the Indians as the other 28 teams: to win a championship. The Astros recognize that it can't be done this year, so they have a different plan than the Angels. But the ultimate goal is the same, and is the primary goal.


I think that this is a page for YR to come to the thread. The Marlins have no intention of winning a championship, they have every intention of collecting a profit. Pirates in the past were the same way. If a championship year happens, then great, but they aren't going to go out of their way to make that happen, if it means cutting their profits to only a few million.

Well, 27. The Marlins don't even pretend to compete anymore.

I think that is why he listed 28, now that I think of it, there are 30 teams, and according to Ray 29(28+ Astros) are trying to win a championship(eventually)
   109. Blastin Posted: March 13, 2013 at 06:11 PM (#4387881)
Ray (RDP) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 05:29 PM (#4387868)
[ Ignored Comment ]

Doesn't appear to.


I always notice, if I use something other than my home computer or my phone, where I auto log-in, that the site is a lot louder, and then I log in and it gets so much more pleasant.
   110. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: March 13, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4387884)
I think that is why he listed 28, now that I think of it, there are 30 teams, and according to Ray 29(28+ Astros) are trying to win a championship(eventually)


No 28 + Astros + Indians = 30

The Astros have the exact same goal as the Indians as the other 28 teams:
   111. cardsfanboy Posted: March 13, 2013 at 06:19 PM (#4387887)
No 28 + Astros + Indians = 30


Glanced over the Indians part.. :)

I do think he is being naive though, sure some teams want to win a championship, but other teams seem to be very content doing whatever it is they are doing, and collecting profits and waiting out to see if they get a lucky year or two where everything lines up and then they can go for it. (See Pirates, Royals, Twins etc.)
   112. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 13, 2013 at 06:39 PM (#4387898)
This is only true if we admit that MLB teams are not competing toward the same goal. The Astros (trying to completely rebuild) have a different goal than the Indians (claw back to being competitive) than the Yankees (WS or bust).

This is false, misleading, and, basically nonsense. The Astros have the exact same goal as the Indians as the other 28 teams: to win a championship. The Astros recognize that it can't be done this year, so they have a different plan than the Angels. But the ultimate goal is the same, and is the primary goal.


You both may be wrong, with Ray more likely of the two of you to be so. Cal Griffith's primary goal was simply to stay at the table. To be able to continue to own a major league franchise. That may also be Jim Crane's primary goal. Assuming it isn't is erroneous.
   113. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 06:46 PM (#4387903)
So the claim from you folks is that there is no difference between the goals of a major league team and the goals of a WBC team?

If that's not your claim, then I invite you to identify the differences.
   114. Nasty Nate Posted: March 13, 2013 at 06:54 PM (#4387908)
So the claim from you folks is that there is no difference between the goals of a major league team and the goals of a WBC team?


No the claim is that major league teams have disparate goals, just like the various WBC participants.
   115. Ebessan Posted: March 13, 2013 at 07:03 PM (#4387911)
Cal Griffith's primary goal was simply to stay at the table. To be able to continue to own a major league franchise.

Or the Browns and both Philadelphia teams during the '40s.
   116. Yardape Posted: March 13, 2013 at 07:05 PM (#4387912)
This is completely untrue for both hockey and basketball. And actually, when you consider that the KHL as a whole certainly isn't as highly regarded and as nationally important in Russia as NPB is in Japan, it might actually be even less correct.


I think there is no question that NPB is closer to MLB than the KHL is to the NHL or EuroLeague is to the NBA. In fact, one of the things the WBC has shown me is how much talent is outside of MLB.
   117. Greg K Posted: March 13, 2013 at 07:06 PM (#4387913)
But baseball is also an anomaly in that it's the one "international" sport where there's one "national" Major League that's universally acknowledged to leave all other Major Leagues in the dust.** Not that there aren't large numbers of great players in many of those other leagues, but the overall level of competition is dwarfed by ours, especially since we've been poaching the best players from those countries.

Are you leaving out hockey, or counting the KHL as a significant rival league?
   118. Greg K Posted: March 13, 2013 at 07:07 PM (#4387914)
Again, I can see other countries getting fired up about their various David vs Goliath triumphs, but in its existing format I just can't see the big deal about it from the POV of a U.S. fan who needs to have a rooting interest in a team to get interested in watching, and doesn't get that rooting interest from the mere presence of "USA" on the jersey.

I do agree with this. There's very little for the Americans to play for. They know they're the best and the WBC isn't going to change that. It's a bit like what I imagine Canadian hockey fans felt before 1972, though I don't really see an analogous Summit Series happening.
   119. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 07:12 PM (#4387917)
No the claim is that major league teams have disparate goals,


In what way are they disparate? Please list the ways, since apparently nobody agreed with my listing.

just like the various WBC participants.


Do you really believe this?
   120. cardsfanboy Posted: March 13, 2013 at 07:16 PM (#4387919)
So the claim from you folks is that there is no difference between the goals of a major league team and the goals of a WBC team?

If that's not your claim, then I invite you to identify the differences.


A wbc teams goal is to win the tournament. A major league team goals(acknowledging that various owners have different level of priorities) is to eventually win a world series title, while acknowledging which years they are competitive and not wasting money. Add in that the MLB teams ultimate goal is to make money, and that being competitive year in year out is one of the ways to be profitable, another way to be profitable is to spend no money and collect revenue sharing.

   121. JJ1986 Posted: March 13, 2013 at 07:33 PM (#4387931)
A wbc teams goal is to win the tournament.


Except for the American team.
   122. Bob Meta-Meusel Posted: March 13, 2013 at 07:52 PM (#4387936)
I've been thinking about this, and while I have nothing against the WBC and have watched a few games when I noticed they were on, I'm not excited about it, and my order of preference for what I'd choose to watch would be 1) A spring training game of the team I root for 2) a WBC game 3) another spring training game.

Here's my reasoning on that part... if I'm watching "my" team's spring training game, it may not matter, and it may not be the highest quality of baseball, but I get to see some prospects that I'm interested in and wouldn't otherwise get a look at, and I get to see how the players I'm going to be rooting for all season look. If I'm watching a WBC game, the quality of play will be better, but I care less about the individual players.

There's another factor that I'm kind of surprised no one has mentioned though... maybe it's just that none of us really want to admit it. When I'm watching and following a MLB season, there are two things I'm enjoying, the games themselves and the statistics. (I don't live in my parents' basement, and I really do watch games, I just like the numbers too.) A short tournament in which the teams don't even play the same number of games and even the teams that play the most games don't play enough to generate a meaningful sample size loses something for me. It's still fun, it just can't hold my interest the way a MLB season can.
   123. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 13, 2013 at 07:59 PM (#4387941)
You know what part of the MLB season is always terrible? September. For most of the season, teams are playing with the goal of winning a championship. But by September, some teams can't do that anymore. And so you have some teams who are trying to win, who are just playing and can't do that anymore. And sometimes, they just play prospects to get them experience! And the games only have meaning if both teams have the same goal in mind!
   124. Greg K Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:08 PM (#4387944)
There's another factor that I'm kind of surprised no one has mentioned though... maybe it's just that none of us really want to admit it. When I'm watching and following a MLB season, there are two things I'm enjoying, the games themselves and the statistics. (I don't live in my parents' basement, and I really do watch games, I just like the numbers too.) A short tournament in which the teams don't even play the same number of games and even the teams that play the most games don't play enough to generate a meaningful sample size loses something for me. It's still fun, it just can't hold my interest the way a MLB season can.

I've been thinking along these lines a lot lately, and I've come to the conclusion that I want to get to know players better. I've been spending the last few months writing brief comments on every player that's had a significant career since 1990, more as a memory exercise than for anyone to read them. I'm coming to realize that far too many are just a series of stats to me, if they didn't play for the Jays, or particularly if they played in the NL. So I'm going to try a project this year of picking a different series every weekend and following the games with a specific focus on three or four players each time. Sort of like scouting reports, but not so much evaluating their abilities so much as getting to know them as players.
   125. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:17 PM (#4387948)
“People are really adamant about the WBC,” the 30-year-old said after a spring training game in Bradenton. “But I feel like it has so many details that aren’t true to baseball.” For one thing, Martin doesn’t agree with the strict pitch limit to which the tournament adheres. As the official rules of the WBC states, no pitcher can exceed 65 pitches within the first round of competition, 80 within the second round, and 95 in the championship final. “I feel like, if a pitcher isn’t potentially going nine innings and he’s your best pitcher, that’s not what baseball’s about,” Martin said. “An ace like CC Sabathia, for example. He’s good because he goes deep into ball games. He goes eight or nine innings every time. “With the WBC, he throws maybe four innings and it’s left for someone else. That’s not how baseball works.”


One thing I haven't heard mentioned anywhere is that the pitch count limits actually contribute to making the WBC more like "real" baseball despite the weird tournament format. Without pitch count limits, if you had Sabathia and vintage Randy Johnson on your otherwise mediocre squad, you'd be an odds-on favorite in any game, but with pitch limits you have to go to your bench at some point. Each individual game is a little more like a three-game series with the pitch count in effect.

EDIT: to get my pronouns in the right places
   126. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:17 PM (#4387949)
@124: I've been doing the same with babes I've known. It's a fascinating process. You start diving in and recollecting obscure details you'd forgotten; you get a better sense of them as human beings. Of course, it also brings back some very pleasant times, and has the additional benefit of putting them into my consciousness, meaning I've been dreaming about them more.
   127. Steve Treder Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:30 PM (#4387955)
I've been doing the same with babes I've known. It's a fascinating process. You start diving in and recollecting obscure details you'd forgotten; you get a better sense of them as human beings. Of course, it also brings back some very pleasant times, and has the additional benefit of putting them into my consciousness, meaning I've been dreaming about them more.

Dude, you're creeping me out.
   128. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:33 PM (#4387958)
Never did any focused looking back?
   129. JJ1986 Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:37 PM (#4387962)
Ah, sweet dreams of Tyler Houston and Roberto Mejia.
   130. RollingWave Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:50 PM (#4387965)

The baseball programs in places like Spain The soon to be Republic of Catalonia or Aragon can probably be expected to follow that trajectory.


fixed
   131. Steve Treder Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:54 PM (#4387968)
Never did any focused looking back?

To the extent of "writing brief comments"?

Uh, no.
   132. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 13, 2013 at 09:18 PM (#4387978)
Whoever heard of an injured player getting a cortisone shot or having his ankle heavily taped so that he can take the field in a WBC game?


Shinnosuke Abe, captain of Team Japan and last year's MVP of the Central League, is their DH in this tournament isnstead of their catcher, because he is recovering from a knee injury. This page notes that he had a shot in his knee on March 2 to help him be able to play.
   133. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 09:41 PM (#4387990)
One thing I haven't heard mentioned anywhere is that the pitch count limits actually contribute to making the WBC more like "real" baseball despite the weird tournament format. Without pitch count limits, if you had Sabathia and vintage Randy Johnson on your otherwise mediocre squad, you'd be an odds-on favorite in any game, but with pitch limits you have to go to your bench at some point.


Another horrible aspect. The byproduct of this is that it in effect rigs the games to make the talent level of the teams appear closer when it's really not.
   134. Tschingsch Posted: March 13, 2013 at 09:45 PM (#4387993)
How do teams needing to use their bench show that the talent level of a team is closer than it really is? If anything, it does the exact opposite.
   135. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 09:51 PM (#4387998)
Because you have an ace MLB starting pitcher cruising along, and even if his organization didn't demand that you take him out, the rules require that you take him out.
   136. Tschingsch Posted: March 13, 2013 at 09:59 PM (#4388004)
...and if he didn't have a pitch limit, you'd complain that the tournament is bogus because 1 pitcher could effect the outcome of the entire tournament regardless of the talent level of the rest of the team.
   137. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 10:01 PM (#4388005)
...and if he didn't have a pitch limit, you'd complain that the tournament is bogus because 1 pitcher could effect the outcome of the entire tournament regardless of the talent level of the rest of the team.


I would? Are people just making things up now?
   138. danup Posted: March 13, 2013 at 10:12 PM (#4388010)
Your strawman was that the event doesn't have tradition. But what I was explaining is that the event can never have tradition. Unlike the real international competitions, it wasn't birthed as a sporting event for the sake of sport.


Unlike the real international competitions, its money-grubbing, cliquish beginnings occurred after you were born. The third modern Olympics were the St. Louis games, an enormous disaster that occurred entirely because St. Louis threatened to have their own Olympics if Chicago got it (that was otherwise a noble sporting event for the sake of sport.)

10 years from now there will be full-fledged, BTF-lurking baseball fans who were born after the first WBC. I hope they enjoy it even more than I do.
   139. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 13, 2013 at 10:57 PM (#4388034)
PR-Italy was a damned entertaining game tonight.
   140. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 13, 2013 at 11:45 PM (#4388052)
I would? Are people just making things up now?


Yeah. That's been going on a while. Back in 2011, someone started making up that the season was over and that the Red Sox had made the playoffs and spouted it off every day like it was true.
   141. Dan Evensen Posted: March 14, 2013 at 12:29 AM (#4388066)
The WBC is a huge deal in Taiwan. Holding first round games in Taichung was an excellent touch, and I'm sure people are still excited over how surprisingly well Taiwan played (the Cuba game notwithstanding). I was in Taiwan on vacation for the Chinese New Year in early 2009, as well as this year, and the excitement level has clearly risen. That's got to be great for baseball's growth as an international product.

Here in China, things are different. I was here for the WBC in 2009 as well, and can assure each of you that nobody even knows China fielded a WBC team. There is no Chinese language media coverage at all, not even a blip on CCTV-5 News, not even a replay broadcast of one of Team China's losses at 3 AM. I mean, good heavens, CCTV-5 News reports on how chess players from China do in international competition.

MLB has a long way to go here if they want to get even a fraction of the population interested. It's not going to be as easy as the inroads that the NBA made here. After all, basketball was played in China throughout the Mao era (for example, there's a basketball scene in "The Story of Lei Feng," an ultra-propagandist 1964 cult classic), whereas baseball was banned outright.

I think some of that has to do with baseball's association with Japanese imperialism. I don't know what baseball was like in China before the mid-1930s, unfortunately -- nor do I know where to look for information. I do know that teams in Manchukuo competed in the Japanese high school tournament during that time (in fact, I think a team from Dalian actually won once), but I don't know very many details.

Personally, I think baseball would be wiser to develop the sport more fully in South Korea and Taiwan, and try to make inroads in Europe before expending too many resources on the mystical China market. Let things develop gradually in China, and work harder on places where you already have a foothold.

Look at the lack of success the NFL has had in China. I remember seeing NFL promotional commercials on television here way back in 2006, when I first came to China. Still, there is no American football coverage anywhere -- not even the Super Bowl (unless you have a fancy hotel cable package with the ESPN / StarSports channels, which pretty much means you're a foreigner). I don't know what NFL China's budget is, but I would be really surprised if it had any actual return on investment.

EDIT: One more thing. I'm upset that I can't watch any of the games online. I remember watching the 2009 WBC final live through MLB.TV. The new deal requires me to have a US cable subscription that includes the MLB Network -- kind of hard to do while residing in a foreign country. Meanwhile, in Taiwan, the games are broadcast on basic cable.
   142. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 14, 2013 at 12:59 AM (#4388077)
How much more fully do they need to go in Taiwan and S. Korea?
   143. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: March 14, 2013 at 02:42 AM (#4388099)
The WBC is a huge deal in Taiwan. Holding first round games in Taichung was an excellent touch, and I'm sure people are still excited over how surprisingly well Taiwan played (the Cuba game notwithstanding). I was in Taiwan on vacation for the Chinese New Year in early 2009, as well as this year, and the excitement level has clearly risen. That's got to be great for baseball's growth as an international product.
I had a relative who lived in Taiwan for a while, and I visited her for a week or so a few years back (2008?). It was amazing even then how prominent baseball was, as an advertising phenomenon (wang's face was on every other bus), and she took me to dinner with this guy she was sort-of dating, and all he wanted to talk about was taiwanese prospects, none of which I'd ever heard of.

Anyway, I've loved the WBC so far. I wasn't a huge fan at first, but the idea grew on me, and I caught the US-Japan game at dodger stadium in 2009, and it was a great experience. I was totally hooked. USA lost, but I got to see Ichiro and Matsuzaka play live (as an NL fan, the only time, for either, now I can tell my grandkids), and the ancient japanese dude next to me was talking some awesome smack (i was probably the only white guy in the section), and it was just fun. USA lost, badly, but none of them looked like they were mailing it in. This year, it's been a real joy actually being able to root FOR ryan braun, brandon phillips, jimmy rollins, etc (and it's also been awesome seeing minor league washouts strike 'em out). I had to decide who I was going to root for on a number of occasions- the DR, since I've done some things there, Puerto Rico, because of yadi and beltran, Italy, since I'm kind of a mutt, the netherlands against Cuba, twice, on principle, etc.

Anyway, I'm totally looking forward to the games in SF next week. Not sure if I'll be able to go, since it looks like $500 for a pair of decent seats, but that's a different issue.

   144. RollingWave Posted: March 14, 2013 at 05:19 AM (#4388104)
How much more fully do they need to go in Taiwan and S. Korea?


CPBL was on the brink of extinction this off season, so I think some things can improve. also, the actual common spread of the game is not nearly as high as you'd guess, if like 60-70% boys played at least some little league in the US, that figure would be more like 6-7% in Taiwan.

Korea have similar issue, Japan not quiet as bad, the problem is that starting right from little league everything is school team, so only really athletic kids gets to play at all. so if your wondering why there appears to be a huge disparity of competitiveness between Taiwan's little league and grownups, that's the answer, they literally kill the chicken to get the egg so to speak. I never got a chance to play in Taiwan (though I did live in the states a couple years and play little league, but i'm like well below average in terms of coordination and athleticism ) until I got to college where we actually had a field in our school (well sometimes, it turns into a river once every couple years.) and we can form department teams, it was only then I actually seriously learned how to hit a baseball and I'm actually pretty good at it (relative to my athleticism anyway). This kind of story is true across the country, every boy probably played some hoops in school, but very very few gets to play baseball starting young. and that's the super ironic thing, since basketball is something where our physics more realistically limit our ability to compete internationally, but baseball? not so much.

It doesn't help that Taiwan's basically the most densely populated country on earth by a BIG margin (it's about the same as Banghelesh, until you realize that over half of Taiwan is actually uninhabitable mountains.) so even getting a baseball field is difficult. not to mention that since most parents either work to their death or has no money, that doesn't exactly make forming little leagues on our own a likely option (IIRC only a few really wealthy suburbs have that.)

The best possible thing on a policy basis that could happen to Taiwan for baseball? ban elementary school baseball competition permanently. we'll never NEVER take a serious step forward as long as we're serious contender for Williamsport, as counter intuitive as that may sound.
   145. RollingWave Posted: March 14, 2013 at 05:47 AM (#4388108)
To further on why Taiwan's general approach is a terrible idea in general.

A. it basically exclude most potential talent basis right off the bat, since we can probably agree that not all future great players are obviously already great at age 10-12. not to mention the general selection bias would hurt kids who either grows slower or who might have baseball skill potential not clearly evident in his athleticism.

B. more importantly, it excludes a very large portion of the population from really participating in baseball, yeah everyone knows Wang AFTER he became famous. but the "casual" fans of Taiwan isn't the same as the once in the US. As I pointed out in a previous post elsewhere, there is an EXCEPTIONALLY high rate of relatives in the CPBL, almost everyone is someone else's cousin or brother, that should already speak volume on how limited Taiwan's actual pool of player is, we're not a big country, but our population is still the size of Texas, it participation are distributed evenly, there is no way you should have that many cousin / brothers in a group of some 150 players in a population of 24 million.

If your already excluding most of the population from participating in the sports, is it really a huge surprise that attendence is bad? and actually surpassed by an upstart basketball league (that , to be frank, suck badly, Taiwan is at least a second tier baseball country, they're like a 10th tier basketball one. our basketball team in international competition suck almost as much as our soccer team, and we hardly play soccer! hell half of that basketball league was my high school classmate, they're certainly well above your average mortals, but the sad truth is you probably find plenty of pickup basketball team in the US that can beat them.)

The early high attendance were smokes and mirror due to Taiwan's lack of access to foreign media at that point, and recent success in international competition, once those things changed, it evaporated quickly, the gambling thing only made a bad situation worse , it didn't really cause it, in fact, you can say it's the other way around. the fundamentally flawed baseball situation in Taiwan caused the gambling issue.

the MLB attendance won't change much if team USA wins it all or if they somehow got eliminated by team Italy. But Taiwan's basically relying on sometimes doing well enough in these competition to revive small spurts of interest.


End of rant
   146. vivaelpujols Posted: March 14, 2013 at 07:38 AM (#4388124)
People are really adamant about the WBC,” the 30-year-old said after a spring training game in Bradenton. “But I feel like it has so many details that aren’t true to baseball.” For one thing, Martin doesn’t agree with the strict pitch limit to which the tournament adheres. As the official rules of the WBC states, no pitcher can exceed 65 pitches within the first round of competition, 80 within the second round, and 95 in the championship final. “I feel like, if a pitcher isn’t potentially going nine innings and he’s your best pitcher, that’s not what baseball’s about,” Martin said. “An ace like CC Sabathia, for example. He’s good because he goes deep into ball games. He goes eight or nine innings every time. “With the WBC, he throws maybe four innings and it’s left for someone else. That’s not how baseball works.


This is a good point. This makes it seem more like the All Star game than a regular baseball game, and I can't stand the all star game.
   147. vivaelpujols Posted: March 14, 2013 at 07:45 AM (#4388127)
...and if he didn't have a pitch limit, you'd complain that the tournament is bogus because 1 pitcher could effect the outcome of the entire tournament regardless of the talent level of the rest of the team.


I would? Are people just making things up now?


This argument is stupid. A reliever is likely better than CC the 3rd time through the order anyway.
   148. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 14, 2013 at 08:03 AM (#4388128)
MLB has a long way to go here if they want to get even a fraction of the population interested. It's not going to be as easy as the inroads that the NBA made here. After all, basketball was played in China throughout the Mao era (for example, there's a basketball scene in "The Story of Lei Feng," an ultra-propagandist 1964 cult classic)....

Let's see if baseball can wrangle an endorsement out of Pope Francis that can match the one that Pope Pius XII gave to basketball:

IN ST. PETER'S SQUARE

In the thronged square of St. Peter's last week Pope Pius XII sat and watched a basketball game (see page 24). It was the first time since the Renaissance that any kind of sport had been presented in that beautiful and historic quadrangle. Beforehand, the Pope addressed the throng on the subject of sport for 25 minutes.

It was not an impromptu address but obviously a long-considered one. The widespread interest in sport, said Pope Pius, is one of the "phenomena of modern society." How is it to be regarded? The 79-year-old Pope answered as one who, when a young man, was skilled in riding and swimming and who, when he succeeded Pius XI (the mountain climber), installed a gymnasium in the Vatican.

Pope Pius told his listeners that he finds in the objectives of sport a parallel to the artistic ideals which made St. Peter's itself:

"Power and harmony, order and beauty, effort, victory and the renown of achieving a record, expressed in artistic form by the incomparable architecture of the dome, of the facade, of the colonnade and the obelisk; they are the ideal goals longed for by every athlete."

He urged prudence in the selection of a sport within the physical means of the would-be athlete, and he cautioned against too much emphasis on technique at the expense of spirit.

"Technique alone," he said, "not only impedes the acquirement of those spiritual boons which sport has for its aim to achieve but, even when leading to victory, it satisfies neither him who employs it nor those who attend to enjoy the contests.... In general, whenever there be a question of human activity, the point of departure and of arrival must always be the psychic element; in other words, spirit must predominate over technique. Make use of technique, but let the spirit prevail."...


Picture
   149. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 14, 2013 at 08:51 AM (#4388146)
So the suggestion is that an event at which there's a pitch limit deserves to be taken seriously? Really?

The games aren't even played under the rules of baseball. Please. Enough.

Anthony Rizzo, "Italian." Nick Punto, "Italian." A pitch limit.

It simply doesn't get more jerry-rigged than that.
   150. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 14, 2013 at 09:39 AM (#4388172)
If people like the WBC, I get that (I like it). If you don't like it, I get that too.
Most of the arguments I've seen for why it's not a legitimate event ring false to me, however. I'm receptive to annoyance with the pitch count thing. Not so much on "questionable nationalities" (don't like how ITA/ESP "overdo" it - but this is hardly unique to the WBC). The different goals thing is complete BS (does no one here watch college sports).

***

Thanks RollingWave - very illuminating. I thought (naively) that the CPBL's troubles were a function of gambling and relative disinterest in ongoing local sport (if that makes sense - so natives competing overseas or national competitions were one thing, but local leagues something else). I knew about the high incidence of relatives but didn't put two and two together - your explanation makes sense.

In your opinion, what's the short-to-mid term prognosis for pro ball in Taiwan?
   151. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: March 14, 2013 at 09:49 AM (#4388178)
Reading Rolling Wave's comments, it just reinforces my belief that MLB needs to be actively (financially) involved in making sure there are viable leagues in as many places as possible. Whether or not baseball is a profitable business right now in Taiwan, it seems to me that letting the CPBL die would be a terrible idea for the long-term health of the sport there.
   152. vivaelpujols Posted: March 14, 2013 at 09:59 AM (#4388182)
I'm receptive to annoyance with the pitch count thing.


To be fair I probably wouldn't like the WBC even if this wasn't the case. I think the main reason is that there is far too much randomness in a single game of baseball and I have no rooting interest. Hell I barely care about the world series if the Cardinals aren't in it.
   153. cardsfanboy Posted: March 14, 2013 at 10:20 AM (#4388195)
To be fair I probably wouldn't like the WBC even if this wasn't the case. I think the main reason is that there is far too much randomness in a single game of baseball and I have no rooting interest. Hell I barely care about the world series if the Cardinals aren't in it


There is a difference between not being interested in it, and actively against it. It seems there are people on here who have a mission in life, to bag on the concept and the execution of the WBC. I just don't get what is the purpose of tearing it down. I think that the college world series and little league world series are jokes but I wouldn't disparage the mere existence of them.

It is what it is. An attempt to create a baseball comparable to the world cup or the Olympics. It's in the best interest of the WBC for the U.S. team to not be a powerhouse(which coincides with the goals of MLB)so that other teams can feel competitive. It took the Olympics several tries before it was taken seriously world wide, this is not something that you start and expect to be perfect out of the box, or even after the 3rd try.

I always like to point to my brother who isn't baseball fan at all, and he fell in love with Ichiro in the first WBC and didn't even know that he was already a major league ballplayer. (He told me, he thinks Ichiro could play in the majors)
   154. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 14, 2013 at 10:27 AM (#4388200)
That's close to how I feel as well, cfb. For what it's worth, the most recent Hang Up and Listen podcast had a discussion similar to this one (Pesca and Fatsis taking the pro-WBC stance, Levin anti-WBC ... I had quibbles with all of their positions but they went over the same issues we are).

I don't need a rooting interest - the tournament provides an opportunity to see cool players playing games that, in many case, have been pretty exciting. If you're a foreign/indy/minor league junkie, as I am to varying degrees - the WBC is great.
   155. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 14, 2013 at 10:44 AM (#4388216)
So the suggestion is that an event at which there's a pitch limit deserves to be taken seriously? Really?


You can't make it up.
   156. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 14, 2013 at 10:54 AM (#4388224)
There is a difference between not being interested in it, and actively against it. It seems there are people on here who have a mission in life, to bag on the concept and the execution of the WBC.


I haven't given the WBC more than a passing thought in years, if ever. The concept was a bankrupt idea from the start, and it's played out exactly as predicted. But this thread is the most I've ever commented on it. And far from it being a "mission in life" to tear it down (please do grow up), I commented because of the remarks made by people at the start of the thread wherein they expressed confusion over why more people weren't interested in it. Then my comments were commented on, and I responded, etc. That's kind of how discussions work.

But if we're pretending we understand the motives of people, I submit that the people protecting the WBC as they would a retarded member of their family seem odd to me. I don't get what that's about, other than perhaps as a defense mechanism arising out of the need to feel that they're watching something worth watching. The baseball season doesn't start until April, and there's no reason to pretend that it has.
   157. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 14, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4388230)
Major League Baseball starts in April. There is other baseball at other times of year. MLB Network showed the final of the Australian baseball league last month, that was fun to watch. The WBC is on now, that's fun to watch. There are plenty of other winter leagues in the Caribbean and of course Arizona Fall League that I wish I could watch.

Like I said earlier, it perplexes me that a baseball fan wouldn't enjoy baseball. You clearly don't like the WBC, that's fine, but it just seems odd to me.
   158. BDC Posted: March 14, 2013 at 11:09 AM (#4388233)
I liked the first WBC, and watched some of the second, and now I don't have cable anymore and if I see any at all, it's in a restaurant or bar, by chance. I'd be interested in it if I could watch it consistently start-to-finish. Oddly enough for someone on this site, I don't really share Meta-Meusel's interest in real-time statistics. I love watching baseball, or for that matter nearly any sport I understand, just by following the details of play, often without any prior knowledge of the players or their relative talents. People have fun with sports in different ways, and I would never knock a stat-based interest in a sport; I simply don't start from there myself. I like stats mostly for looking back and wondering whether Michael Young was a better hitter than Cecil Travis, that sort of thing.
   159. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 14, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4388236)
Like I said earlier, it perplexes me that a baseball fan wouldn't enjoy baseball.


If I'm walking in central park I'll often stop to watch a softball game or little league game. I've been to spring training games. I have played organized baseball or softball for 20+ years. I have played non-organized baseball or softball whenever I can. I go to major league games and minor league games a few times a year. I watch it on tv occasionally (not as much as I used to). I watch as many playoff games as I can. I love baseball. I just don't like when people pimp something as something it's not, and then act all "Why isn't everyone interested in this?" And then jump down someone's throat after they answer the question. (Not that you have done this, Jose, but others have.)
   160. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 14, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4388273)
Major League Baseball starts in April. There is other baseball at other times of year. MLB Network showed the final of the Australian baseball league last month, that was fun to watch. The WBC is on now, that's fun to watch. There are plenty of other winter leagues in the Caribbean and of course Arizona Fall League that I wish I could watch.

There are also a kazillion college hoops games at this time of the year that are the equivalent of October baseball. There are also NBA and NHL games. There are also (for me, at least) some of the greatest films of all time showing on my favorite movie channel. Many of these films may not be shown again for many years, if ever.

And this is only the commercial entertainment options, never mind little things like work and family. Even if I cared a little bit more about the WBC, it's competing with much more interesting options for my attention. It's not the World Series, it's not the playoffs, it's not a division race, it's not my favorite team, and it's not even the Rockies vs. the Astros. It's basically a slightly better version of the X-Games or the Olympics. The product isn't necessarily all that bad, but there's zero rooting interest.
   161. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 14, 2013 at 12:25 PM (#4388281)

So the suggestion is that an event at which there's a pitch limit deserves to be taken seriously? Really?


Quite right. No MLB team would ever put a pitch limit or innings limit on one of its top players.
   162. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 14, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4388287)
it perplexes me that a baseball fan wouldn't enjoy baseball.

To paraphrase Groucho Marx's comment to a woman with 10 kids "I like my cigar but I take it out of my mouth once in a while". I happen to enjoy the rhythm of the year with MLB with the hot stove period, Spring Training, the long, leisurely first 4/5 of the season, the pennant chase and then the post-season. By the time the season is done, I'm ready for the break of the hot stove league again. Read a lot more books, watch some other sports half-heartedly. That Spring Training corresponds to the season of rebirth is one of those magical correlations. I once got great feedback from my fellow students in a speech class on this topic. One woman told me that she still didn't like baseball but she now understood how someone could.

I'm the same with gardening. As much as I like planting, tending, watching nature's miracles, harvesting, eating!!!, by mid-fall, I'm ready to shut it down. I take care of the leaves in November and December (no global warming? Hah, the leaf cycle is a good 3 weeks later than it was when I first owned a house). Then I shut it down for 3 months. Now I'm getting excited that it's near lettuce, broccoli and spinach planting time, and that it's about time to order some mushroom soil and leaf mulch for the summer.

But I'm not compelled to trash the WBC. :)
   163. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 14, 2013 at 12:42 PM (#4388297)
Quite right. No MLB team would ever put a pitch limit or innings limit on one of its top players.


Pitch limits in MLB are not rules handed down by the league, and when instituted by teams are to further the goals of the team instituting the pitch limit, to win a championship now or later.

Pitch limits in the WBC are rules handed down by the league and run counter to the team's goal to win the tournament.

People are just flat arguing dishonestly now.

(And we saw what happened when the Nationals put an innings limit on a pitcher while also contending for the championship. People were extremely critical.)
   164. OsunaSakata Posted: March 14, 2013 at 12:42 PM (#4388299)
Reading Rolling Wave's comments, it just reinforces my belief that MLB needs to be actively (financially) involved in making sure there are viable leagues in as many places as possible. Whether or not baseball is a profitable business right now in Taiwan, it seems to me that letting the CPBL die would be a terrible idea for the long-term health of the sport there.


I think it would be more important for Chien-Ming Wang or some other Taiwanese or Taiwan-American players to be heavily involved the way Dave Nilsson was in Australia.
   165. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 14, 2013 at 12:56 PM (#4388308)
lots of rules are set by leagues or tournaments that run counter to a team's goals of winning games.

just say: this isn't mlb, i only like mlb (as far as high level baseball is concerned)
or games involving the specific team(s) i root for
or edmundo's explanation from 162
or andy's 160.
or lots of other arguments.

yours, ray, come off (whether intended to or not) as "this is a fake product and something is wrong with you if you like it". understandably, that'll meet resistance from those that disagree.
   166. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: March 14, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4388322)
I think it would be more important for Chien-Ming Wang or some other Taiwanese or Taiwan-American players to be heavily involved the way Dave Nilsson was in Australia.
That's probably true, though the fact that Nilsson lost his shirt financially on the ABL is probably the sort of thing that would hold guys like Wang and Kuo back.

I suggest that the owners collectively (and not individual players) make the investment because it's exactly that - an investment that will take time to pay off. Maybe they'll lose millions every year, but that's a drop in the bucket when it's split 30 ways. If they subsidize Australian, Taiwanese, Italian, and Dutch baseball to the tune of $2.5M per country per year, that's $300K per owner. That's ~60% of an MLB minimum salary for one player. That's a fraction of what they spend on player development, and long-term, seems fairly likely to noticeably increase the international player pool *and* international fan base.

It's entirely possible I'm dead wrong about the extent to which this would help the game grow overseas, but I'll say this: Whatever it is they've done to expand international interest over the past half-century, it hasn't worked.
   167. OsunaSakata Posted: March 14, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4388339)
I still think a strong evangelizing personality is necessary to spread baseball to another country. I would rather MLB spent money helping out college baseball in the U.S. and develop less of an adversarial relationship with college coaches. It would put more African-American players in the game and not drive them to basketball and football.

If local heroes don't sell baseball in another country, just rely on fashion and marketing. Heck, there are plenty of people in the United States who wear a baseball cap or jersey just because it looks cool, not that they have any interest in baseball at all.
   168. Ebessan Posted: March 14, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4388345)
Does anyone know the level of investment put into the European Academy?
   169. BDC Posted: March 14, 2013 at 02:03 PM (#4388346)
lots of rules are set by leagues or tournaments that run counter to a team's goals of winning games.

just say: this isn't mlb


Exactly. One-day, limited-overs cricket would be a good analogy. Such matches are simply different from Test cricket, and require different team strategies, and might favor one team over another set up better for a five-day match. And you might like one but not the other.
   170. Greg K Posted: March 14, 2013 at 04:41 PM (#4388469)
Exactly. One-day, limited-overs cricket would be a good analogy. Such matches are simply different from Test cricket, and require different team strategies, and might favor one team over another set up better for a five-day match. And you might like one but not the other.

I certainly like One-Day Limited-Overs cricket more than Test Match cricket when my insane friend says "Let's play a match of XBOX cricket all the way through!"

Though, while I'm not an experienced cricket watcher, I'd much rather watch test match cricket. Perhaps not from beginning to end, but there's something about the strategy involved that I find fascinating. When to stop and let the other guys have a go, and when to give up on winning and try to cling on to life long enough to get the draw.
   171. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: March 14, 2013 at 07:23 PM (#4388553)
There's really only one reason for the WBC to exist: because it makes people like Ray purple with rage. (In a perfect world, Ichiro! would score the WBC-winning run by plowing over and permanently disabling Ray's favourite player, then get inducted into the Hall of Fame the next day.)
   172. Steve Treder Posted: March 14, 2013 at 08:48 PM (#4388597)
There's really only one reason for the WBC to exist: because it makes people like Ray purple with rage. (In a perfect world, Ichiro! would score the WBC-winning run by plowing over and permanently disabling Ray's favourite player, then get inducted into the Hall of Fame the next day.)

Yessssssss!!! :-)
   173. Steve Treder Posted: March 14, 2013 at 08:51 PM (#4388599)
To paraphrase Groucho Marx's comment to a woman with 10 kids "I like my cigar but I take it out of my mouth once in a while". I happen to enjoy the rhythm of the year with MLB with the hot stove period, Spring Training, the long, leisurely first 4/5 of the season, the pennant chase and then the post-season. By the time the season is done, I'm ready for the break of the hot stove league again. Read a lot more books, watch some other sports half-heartedly. That Spring Training corresponds to the season of rebirth is one of those magical correlations. I once got great feedback from my fellow students in a speech class on this topic. One woman told me that she still didn't like baseball but she now understood how someone could.

I'm the same with gardening. As much as I like planting, tending, watching nature's miracles, harvesting, eating!!!, by mid-fall, I'm ready to shut it down. I take care of the leaves in November and December (no global warming? Hah, the leaf cycle is a good 3 weeks later than it was when I first owned a house). Then I shut it down for 3 months. Now I'm getting excited that it's near lettuce, broccoli and spinach planting time, and that it's about time to order some mushroom soil and leaf mulch for the summer.

But I'm not compelled to trash the WBC. :)


How very sane.

Because of clear weather, I've gotten a good deal of early-spring weeding already done. Once I'm back from Spring Training, it'll be time to refresh the soil in the raised beds, and in early April plant the tomatoes and peppers and beans.

   174. madvillain Posted: March 14, 2013 at 09:02 PM (#4388605)
I'm the same with gardening. As much as I like planting, tending, watching nature's miracles, harvesting, eating!!!, by mid-fall, I'm ready to shut it down.


You should try backpacking. By day 3 you're ready for a shower, a comfy couch or bed, and a big 'ol plate of carbs -- I usually go for Indian food.

As for the WBC, I find it hard to get that worked up either way. I'm sure there are people in Japan and maybe the Dutch Antilles that for them, this is their super bowl, their world series. That's kinda neat. As a White Sox and MLB fan it's not really my thing. Fandom is organic, I'll root like hell for the UMSNT because the World Cup has a huge history behind it and as a kid in 1992 I was hooked. Maybe in 30 years the WBC will be that way for kids that grew up with it in the aughts.
   175. RollingWave Posted: March 14, 2013 at 09:22 PM (#4388617)
In your opinion, what's the short-to-mid term prognosis for pro ball in Taiwan?


I guess it's getting better to an extend, because one major changes is that unlike the early 90s when the league was formed, today there are a lot more legitimately big companies in Taiwan, of the 4 teams currently in the league, only the legendary BROTHERS ELEPHANTS , are ran by small time owners. (Brothers hotel is a single hotel in Taipei. ) , but when the league started everyone was small time owners.

The four original team and owners were

Brothers Elephants : owners of a single hotel

Uni Lion : they gotten a lot bigger over the last 20 years due to their epic management of 7-11, but back then they were a small food company.

Wei Chuan Dragon : another small food company (most famous for local milk brands), think of them as Proctor and Gambles only much smaller. though since they left the league they also expanded due to their presence in China.

MERCURIES Tiger : Owner of a small department store chain that since collapsed, though they manage to hang around in other fields.

You can look at the Brothers Elephant in particular to see why there's a problem, The Hotel, ran by the Hong brothers (hence the origin of the name) their stated capitalization is only around 5 million USD , and how much money have they lost on running the team in the last 20 years? about 15 million USD. (though they do make more than that from the hotel in reality, however it is clear that most of their earning is going down the black hole of the team.)

It is a devious cycle, guys like the Hong Brothers are clearly committed to baseball, but they really don't have enough capital to sustain more than small losses on the team over the short term, and end up forcing to cut cost or limit cost to run a team, (and set up CBA rules that basically prevent wealthier owners to spend a lot more.) which in turn lower quality of players you can hire and also give a lot more incentives to fix games etc... which obviously just drive the league into an ever deeper hole.

However, in the last 20 years, a lot more companies that could be ranked as world class have popped up in Taiwan, which give us some hope that we'll be able to finally sufficently capitalize the league to the point where incentives to fix games are greatly reduced and serious marketing / development money can be spent. The league resisted for YEARS of setting up a minor league team because of cost consideration. only giving in in recent couple years. (recently, Foxconn have expressed interest in the league as well. as have HTC . if EDA can turn the league around a bit there are now far more legitimate ownership groups ready.)

There have been outcries from fans asking the Hong family to sell their team, but the truth is if they didn't hang on over the last decade the leagues' probably toast already, so it's a big dillema. the EDA group brought the team from a company that makes fertilizer for only Taiwanese farmers.


The Little league front have seen SOME improvement in the last decade, though not nearly enough IMHO. but at least now adays we're not just looking for overgrown 12-13 year olds to win in Williamsport and forget about everyone else. we've also built more fields, though most are built outside the dikes around Taiwan's rivers (since that's the only place where you have large fields that can't be used for much else.) which obviouly have their problems since maintance cost is high due to them getting flooded pretty much every other year. particularly during seasons where little league would be most ideal...

EDA group is very interesting since they would really be the first time a group that has major stake in the entertainment industry have ran a team. (most owners had been either manufacturers / construction companies or in a few cases, small banks.) so they seem to be more realistically equipped to change on the marketing in the league works.

So I don't know, I guess there are enough positives to remain hopeful, the Manny signing may end up being something of a historic moment looking back 10 years from now if the CPBL improves. at least it signify a new era where Owners really are willing (and capable) of breaking the bank .
   176. Dan Evensen Posted: March 14, 2013 at 10:13 PM (#4388667)
Where in Taiwan are you from, RollingWave? Just curious. My wife grew up in Kaohsiung. We were back there for 3 weeks around the Chinese New Year, mostly in the south (my father-in-law took us to Kenting 3 or 4 times).

How do you think Taiwan's basketball team compares to the CBA (the mainland league)? I didn't get many chances to watch Taiwanese basketball, but I've been following the CBA off and on, even after the Liaoning team got knocked out of the playoffs the other week (we're living in Liaoning Province right now). I read something in the local sports paper indicating that the CBA champions will play against the champions of Taiwan's league in the future, starting in 2014 or 2015 or something like that.

We went over to EDA World when we were in Kaohsiung. It wasn't bad, though there really wasn't much for our kids to do. They're 3 and 1 1/2, which probably explains it.

   177. OsunaSakata Posted: March 14, 2013 at 10:22 PM (#4388683)
So I don't know, I guess there are enough positives to remain hopeful, the Manny signing may end up being something of a historic moment looking back 10 years from now if the CPBL improves. at least it signify a new era where Owners really are willing (and capable) of breaking the bank .


Or to be a pessimist, it could be like the Cosmos buying Pele and Giorgio Chinaglia.
   178. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: March 14, 2013 at 10:43 PM (#4388714)
If you dont like the wbc tonights game was an example of why its fun and very enjoyable.
   179. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: March 14, 2013 at 11:22 PM (#4388732)
#178 has it dead on. That was a fun game with a fantastic crowd and players who desperately wanted to win. If you watch baseball when your team isn't playing, then the WBC is worth watching because it has a number of games each tournament like this one.

Also, in 20 years after the 8th WBC, I fully expect that there will be some tradition established around the game.
   180. RollingWave Posted: March 14, 2013 at 11:24 PM (#4388735)
Where in Taiwan are you from, RollingWave? Just curious. My wife grew up in Kaohsiung. We were back there for 3 weeks around the Chinese New Year, mostly in the south (my father-in-law took us to Kenting 3 or 4 times).

How do you think Taiwan's basketball team compares to the CBA (the mainland league)? I didn't get many chances to watch Taiwanese basketball, but I've been following the CBA off and on, even after the Liaoning team got knocked out of the playoffs the other week (we're living in Liaoning Province right now). I read something in the local sports paper indicating that the CBA champions will play against the champions of Taiwan's league in the future, starting in 2014 or 2015 or something like that.

We went over to EDA World when we were in Kaohsiung. It wasn't bad, though there really wasn't much for our kids to do. They're 3 and 1 1/2, which probably explains it.


I live in Taoyuan in the North.

The CBA is much better than Taiwan's SBL at the moment and for the forseeable future by a pretty wide margin, the best CBA players are probably better than the worst NBA players (hell many of them WERE NBA players, or went back to being NBA players later on.) the best SBL players play adequtely in the CBA (and there has only been a couple of them who can be reasonably described as good. inclduing my former classmate who's playing for Yao Ming's Shark this guy basically our best Center, and he essentially played himself out of the starter's job this year on the Sharks. (granted, Center is probably China's best position by a mile. the good thing about having the worlds' largest population is that you also have by far the largest collection of 7 footers. )

There is talks of merging the 2 league from what I've heard, but obviously this little slight political issue you may have heard about complicates matter ;)
   181. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 15, 2013 at 11:42 AM (#4388907)
They're not letting David Wright play through pain for the WBC. Shocking:


PORT ST. LUCIE – The Mets sent David Wright directly back to New York to be examined by team doctors at the Hospital for Special Surgery Friday morning. The third baseman was scratched from Thursday night's World Baseball Classic minutes before first pitch because of pain behind his left rib cage.

...

"Obviously it's been fine to play with," said Wright, who is batting .438 and has a tournament-best 10 RBI. "But I understand the precaution that's being taken here. I'm obviously disappointed and upset that I can't play, but I completely understand.

"I had a long talk with (Team USA manager) Joe Torre about it and I told him I'd like to try to play. Ultimately, it was taken out of my hands, which is completely understandable."



   182. Nasty Nate Posted: March 15, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4388914)
I haven't given the WBC more than a passing thought in years, if ever. The concept was a bankrupt idea from the start, and it's played out exactly as predicted.


If you haven't thought about it and don't watch it, how do you know how it 'played out?'
   183. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 15, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4388915)
Poz has a great rebuttal to the WBC naysayers.
   184. Swedish Chef Posted: March 15, 2013 at 11:53 AM (#4388916)
What's more fun, watching baseball or spending the same time bickering over whether that baseball is worth watching?
   185. Nasty Nate Posted: March 15, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4388924)
What's more fun, watching baseball or spending the same time bickering over whether that baseball is worth watching?


can't we do both?
   186. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: March 15, 2013 at 12:10 PM (#4388928)
They're not letting David Wright play through pain for the WBC. Shocking:


That really made your day, didn't it.
   187. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 15, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4388930)
If this was really ten times as important as the regular season, as everyone except RDP is claiming, players would be demanding to cripple themselves in the cause. Once again he is proved right, despite not following at all what is happening because it is so boring.
   188. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: March 15, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4388948)
If you haven't thought about it and don't watch it, how do you know how it 'played out?'

Ray is the one that's played out.

If this was really ten times as important as the regular season, as everyone except (Ray) is claiming

Hm? Who's saying that?

The anti-WBC people are letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. And the World Baseball Classic is a damn good tournament. A 'perfect' WBC would probably:

*Be during the actual baseball season, perhaps around the All-Star break;

*Run at least a month, with each of the teams playing at least ten games or more, to allow the best-quality teams to rise to the top. Baseball's not like soccer or football, where they play once a week;

*Strongly encourage the best players to play. (National pride? Lots o' money? Guarantee their MLB contracts if they get hurt? All the redheads they can carry?)

None of these things are realistic...at the moment. So instead, we've got a lot of really good ballplayers playing for their countries during spring training. And that's more than enough for me.
   189. SoSH U at work Posted: March 15, 2013 at 12:47 PM (#4388952)
Hm? Who's saying that?


In this case, the guy making a joke that you missed.
   190. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 15, 2013 at 12:58 PM (#4388958)

What's more fun, watching baseball or spending the same time bickering over whether that baseball is worth watching?


"Let's not bicker and argue over who beaned who..."
   191. DL from MN Posted: March 15, 2013 at 01:08 PM (#4388960)
she took me to dinner with this guy she was sort-of dating, and all he wanted to talk about was taiwanese prospects, none of which I'd ever heard of.


Which one did you go home with?

The American League plays baseball with the wrong rules so pitch count limits don't really bother me. I'd watch it if I could without changing to an entirely different way of receiving television.
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