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Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Great Britain qualifies for first World Baseball Classic


The third time was the charm for Great Britain and the World Baseball Classic.

After failing to qualify for the 2013 and 2017 tournament, the British National Team made certain that would not be an issue. They scored a come from behind 10-9 victory in ten innings over Spain on Tuesday to punch their ticket to their first ever berth in the WBC.

Great Britain had needed a bit of magic to get the clinching win. Blue Jays minor league outfielder Jaden Rudd hit a game tying homer in the bottom of the ninth while Alex Crosby, who has spent the past eight years in the independent leagues, hit a walk-off sacrifice fly.

The British National Team has some intriguing players on the roster already. Mariners prospect Harry Ford made his presence felt with three homers in the Qualifying Round. Pirates prospect Tahnaj Thomas has a plus-plus fastball that can hit triple digits, although he has struggled with his command when throwing that hard.

There are also several former major leaguers that suited up for Great Britain. Vance Worley, Michael Roth, Chris Reed, and Akeel Morris all saw time in the majors, with Worley having the most extensive experience.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 21, 2022 at 10:04 AM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: world baseball classic

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   1. sanny manguillen Posted: September 21, 2022 at 11:15 AM (#6097289)
Alex Crosby

He must be pretty unusual. Never played with an affiliated team, six full seasons in the American Association and Atlantic League. 566 games and 583 hits as a pro.
   2. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 21, 2022 at 04:46 PM (#6097379)
As the lowest ranked team to qualify for the WBC (so far), I'm realistic enough have no illusions about how Britain will do. But as a British person who loves baseball, this makes me really happy. I know that it's bad form in sports to say that it's just nice to be there, but in this case it applies.
   3. JJ1986 Posted: September 21, 2022 at 04:54 PM (#6097385)
I do not understand the various permutations in which the UK competes in international sports. Is there a separate Northern Irish team?
   4. PeteF3 Posted: September 21, 2022 at 05:02 PM (#6097389)
My understanding is that the four constituent UK countries were essentially grandfathered into FIFA at its formation, despite not fitting the criteria for membership otherwise (though actually, I don't think Wales was a member at all until much later as for awhile they didn't have a Football Association). In almost all other cases (like the Olympics) the UK competes as one country. Since this team is referred to as "Great Britain" I'm assuming it refers to the entire country and the entire British Isles.
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: September 21, 2022 at 05:09 PM (#6097393)
Since this team is referred to as "Great Britain" I'm assuming it refers to the entire country and the entire British Isles.

I think it would just refer to England/Scotland/Wales, at least if you're going to call the team Great Britain.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 21, 2022 at 05:16 PM (#6097395)
What about the Falklands?
   7. Baldrick Posted: September 21, 2022 at 06:24 PM (#6097404)
At least for the Olympics, it's an active branding decision to call them Team GB. I don't really get it, but they've been doing it for a long time.

I also believe that people from Northern Ireland are entitled to participate with the Ireland team if they choose.
   8. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 21, 2022 at 06:27 PM (#6097405)
Is there a separate Northern Irish team?

I think it would just refer to England/Scotland/Wales, at least if you're going to call the team Great Britain.

I'm a little confused, also. Wiki says that it's the "national men's baseball team of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". But it also says that, "The Irish National Baseball Team represents both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland". So either one of them is wrong, or someone from Northern Ireland can play for either, as they choose, as Baldrick says.

Note: edited on multiple occasions as I was trying to figure it out.
   9. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 22, 2022 at 07:31 AM (#6097461)
At least for the Olympics, it's an active branding decision to call them Team GB.

Well, they tried. Even for the 2012 Games in London, the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Football Associations screamed like stuck pigs at the very idea of a combined team, presumably because they're afraid they would somehow lose their individual statuses within FIFA if they did so. So "Team GB" was initially going to be all-English, but Wales kinda changed their minds, I guess, since the team wound up featuring five players from Wales (along with 13 from England). In the end, it didn't matter; despite the home-country advantage, they lost to South Korea in the quarterfinals. No medal for you, lads.
   10. Richard Posted: September 22, 2022 at 12:34 PM (#6097500)
Football: 4 constituent home nations, as stated above. Republic of Ireland been separate since independence. Only played as Great Britain in Olympics, and only once in last 50 years.

Rugby Union: 4 constituent home nations, although Irish team covers the whole island, so people from the North and the Republic play. Also merge together to play as British lions on tours to Australia, NZ and South Africa

Rugby League: varies. There have been Great Britain and England teams at various points. Largely irrelevant as they lose to Australia in every guise.

Cricket: Test Cricket has teams from England (really England and Wales) and Ireland (covers both Northern Ireland and the Republic). Scots eligible to play for England. Limited overs cricket has separate teams for England, Scotland and Ireland.

Athletics: all 4 home nations compete as Great Britain (including Northern Ireland) save in the Commonwealth games where they all compete separately.

Baseball: God knows.

Best British born baseball player: Harry Wright, who also helped invent the major leagues. Bobby Thompson the second best, probably.
   11. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: September 23, 2022 at 03:53 AM (#6097603)
Since this team is referred to as "Great Britain" I'm assuming it refers to the entire country and the entire British Isles.
I don't know what this team is called and I don't know who's eligible for it, but "Great Britain" absolutely does not refer to "the entire country", and it absofreakinlutely does not refer to "the entire British Isles".

"Great Britain" is an island. It is the largest island of what you're referring to as "the British Isles" (more on this later). The second largest island in the British Isles is "Ireland". There are thousands of others, but Great Britain and Ireland are by far the two largest and most populated.

"Country" and "nation" are not terribly specific terms, and can mean different things in different contexts, but if we're talking in the strictest "totally sovereign" sense, there are two separate nations in the British Isles: (1) "the Republic of Ireland"; (2) "the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" (commonly just called "the United Kingdom", or "the UK"). The Republic of Ireland is entirely on the island of Ireland (plus a bunch of minor islands). The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is, as its name suggests, partially on the island of Great Britain and partially on the island of Ireland (and, again, plus a bunch of minor islands).

In another sense of "nation" or "country", there are also (depending on how you count) either one or three other polities in the British Isles that are in some sense "top level" (but are not totally sovereign): (1) "the Isle of Man" (definitely); (2) "the Bailiwick of Guernsey" (sort of); (3) "the Bailiwick of Jersey". No part of any of these is on either of the two "big" islands, neither is part of either of the two totally sovereign nations, and no part of either of the two totally sovereign nations is on any of the islands consisting of either of these three. Each of the three of them is a "Crown Dependency"; their ruler is the same person who happens to be the ruler of the UK, but (again) they are not part of that nation, nor of any other nation. Again, though, they are not totally sovereign; they have self-governance, but the UK is responsible for their international diplomacy and their defense. All three (even "the Isle" of Man) include several islands.

The "sort of" for Guernsey and Jersey is because they're in the English Channel and much closer to France than to Great Britain (or Ireland). So if you ask a geographer, and explicitly tell them to ignore politics, they'd likely tell you they are minor islands off the coast of mainland Europe, not minor islands in the British Isles. However, due to their close and longstanding political associations with the UK (and the fact that they're not really all that far from Great Britain, even though they're much closer to France), they're often referred to as being parts of the British Isles.

In yet another sense of "nation" or "country", the UK consists of three: (1) "Scotland"; (2) "Northern Ireland"; (3) "England and Wales". Note that England and Wales is one single thing. This is because before there ever was a "United Kingdom of Great Britain" (let alone a "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland"), there were two separate sovereign nations on Great Britain: (1) "the Kingdom of England"; (2) "the Kingdom of Scotland". Wales was a princedom within the Kingdom of England (hence "the Prince of Wales"). The union between the two kingdoms put an end to them, creating "the UK of GB" (which eventually became "the UK of GB and Ireland", and even more eventually "the UK of GB and Northern Ireland"), but in at least a certain legal sense, "England and Wales" continued -- and continue to this day -- being a single thing.

In still another sense of "nation" or "country" -- actually in two other separate senses -- the UK consists of four: (1) "Scotland"; (2) "Northern Ireland"; (3) "England"; (4) "Wales".

Sense (A): They all have their own independent legislatures. Well, sort of, at least - strictly speaking, England does not have its own legislature; rather, the legislature of the UK essentially does double duty as the legislature of England.

Sense (B): All four are typically viewed as having separate (though of course intertwined to one degree or another) cultural identities.

There are also various "British Overseas Dependencies", which, like the Crown Dependencies, are top-level "nations" in all but the totally sovereign sense (i.e. they govern themselves and are not parts of the UK, but the UK is responsible for their international diplomacy and their defense). However, none of these are parts of the British Isles (they're all physically far away from the British Isles). The Falklands, mentioned earlier in this thread, are an example.

On top of that, there are a bunch of other sovereign nations that are in a sense closely related to the UK, in that the recently crowned King Charles III is also the king of each of them. However, his kingships in each of them are totally separate things; he is "the King of the UK", and "the King of Canada", and "the King of Australia", and "the King of" something like a dozen other sovereign nations, but none of "the UK", "Canada", "Australia", and so on are sovereign over any of the others. They're all independent of each other, despite the fact that the same guy is the (theoretical) ruler of each of them individually.

Then I guess if we want to be a little more expansive, there's also "the Commonwealth of Nations", of which Charles is also the head (though not "king" - it's not a kingdom). This is not a "nation"; it's like a club of nations, like the UN or the OAS or a bunch of others. It consists of the countries that Charles is king of, plus a bunch of other countries that the UK and/or its monarch once ruled (for example, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, South Africa; dozens of others). Not all of them, though - for example, the Republic of Ireland is not part of the Commonwealth, nor is the USA. Most of them are republics, but a few are even monarchies that Charles is not the monarch of (for example Eswatini).

Much of what I wrote above is oversimplified, and I'm sure that at least some of it is likely to be incorrect. But I'm confident that it's all more or less correct, short of some nitpicks and/or special cases.

Finally, the "more on this later" mentioned up top regarding the British Isles: "The British Isles" is not an entirely uncontroversial term. Many Irish people, and I think also the government of the Republic of Ireland, object to it since it carries (or at least can be thought to carry) the false implication that Ireland is part of, or somehow subservient to, Britain.
   12. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: September 23, 2022 at 04:22 AM (#6097605)
Oh, and the "Great" in "Great Britain" is not in contrast to other part of the British Isles; rather, it's in contrast to Brittany, the northwest region of mainland France, which is occasionally called "Little Britain". This is due to significant parts of both Great Britain and Brittany being homelands of Brythonic peoples (a branch of Celtic peoples - the other main branch of which that survived to modern times is the Gaelic peoples, primarily in Ireland, most of Scotland, and some of England).
   13. Ron J Posted: September 23, 2022 at 09:01 AM (#6097610)
Further to #11/12 CGP Grey's career as a YouTube content creator really started with his video on the subject.

The Difference between the UK, Great Britain & England Explained
   14. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: September 23, 2022 at 09:14 AM (#6097613)
Best British born baseball player: Harry Wright, who also helped invent the major leagues.

Jim McCormick would like a word. Maybe that would be, "Don't call me British," because he was a Scot, but he's by far the best British-born ballplayer we have good records of. (Wright is probably a special case, since much of his career came before the organization of pro ball.)
   15. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 24, 2022 at 03:17 PM (#6097764)
All-UK team

1B: Ed Cogswell
2B: Hobe Ferris
3B: Jimmy Austin
SS: Dave Brain
LF: George Wright [manager]
CF: Bobby Thomson [the most recent UK-born regular position player in MLB; he retired in 1960]
RF: Tom Brown
DH: George Hall [no UK-born player has ever been used as a DH, but Hall hit .322, so what the hell]
C: Dick Higham
SP: Jim McCormick, Ted Lewis, Danny Cox
RP: Tom Waddell, Lance Painter, PJ Conlon [most recent UK player and only Irishman on the team]

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