2023 World Baseball Classic

CaptainLaddie

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This is the thing, most MLB pitchers already can't last a full 162+postseason going full guns. So guys can't go in March because they know they are cutting into what they have for their team, but if it is after the season, there are always very good pitchers who miss a few months and are back and great at the end of the year, but only get to 100 or 120 innings. If you want the best MLB SPs involved and you aren't going to cut the MLB schedule (heh), then Nov/Dec is the best time IMO.
I'm okay if they cut the MLB schedule, but that's not happening.

I think March is fine -- no one is throwing 8 or 9 innings or 100 pitches, right? Right now guys are ramping up, not trying to extend dead arms.
 

jon abbey

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I think March is fine -- no one is throwing 8 or 9 innings or 100 pitches, right? Right now guys are ramping up, not trying to extend dead arms.
It's the unnatural March intensity, I think it's probably fine or even good for hitters but I am really curious to see how the pitchers who threw a lot in this are doing in Aug/Sept.
 

jon abbey

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What about the big free agents that year? They might not want to risk an injury in November/December when there are bidding wars for them.
Or some might want to showcase. You're never going to get everyone, also guys are stretched out then so would not have to have so many pitch restrictions.
 

CaptainLaddie

dj paul pfieffer
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It's the unnatural March intensity, I think it's probably fine or even good for hitters but I am really curious to see how the pitchers who threw a lot in this are doing in Aug/Sept.
You're right that it will be interesting to see how it changes pitchers who threw vs those who didn't, but the sample size is so small. I guess over time we'll get an idea. I'm not against anything you're saying, I just think I'd rather have these guys throwing roughly the same amount of innings (albeit in a higher intensity environment) as they would in ST in March vs when they'd throw them in November when their arms are dead. I suspect a lot more guys would opt out if it were after the WS, too.
 

Tokyo Sox

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That's partly because they actually bring their best players, no?
@Tokyo Sox knows a thousand times better than me, but I think not only do they have incredible pitchers (and way more currently than ever before) but they are farther along in their preparation for the season, I think. They certainly all looked like MLB guys do in June, very impressive pitching depth and that was without Senga.
I think both these things are partly true. (Though I don't think Team Japan necessarily got a head start in camp or anything - they were probably on the same schedule as any MLB players who were committed to participate, and started getting ready and ramping up a couple weeks earlier than normal. Also a few of the MLB guys didn't arrive until a few days before pool play started.) Anyway it's hard to look at the US lineup and say they didn't bring their best players. Yes the pitchers were not the best, but no country had their exact ideal roster. Japan was missing Senga as noted, as well as Seiya Suzuki. Two huge names for them, not to mention Yuki Yanagita who is coming off an injury and opted not to play.

This is the post I started the thread with. Historically Japan's success in the tournament absolutely comes from the fact that they were one of the few countries to take it seriously in the early days. But I think it's safe to say that's changing:
I feel like the event has really picked up steam over the years. Only a few countries took seriously the first two in 2006 and 2009. In 2013 a few more folks took notice of the event thanks in part to how much fun the Dominican team had while going undefeated, and maybe this is just wishcasting but I feel like something really changed going into the last one in 2017. The US took it seriously both at the fan and the player level. People were fired up for this:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXr5FFSIuL8

Greater buy-in from the fans means a better experience for the players which leads to a better event for the fans and around and around in a virtuous cycle. As exciting as I found the event back in 2006 when I was paying USD 5.00 for internet access in a Cambodian airport so I could get an update on the Japan/Cuba final, I understand I was a bit of an outlier, and no one really knew if the event was here to stay or not. But now it feels like it is, and I for one am pretty stoked about it.
This W for Japan feels more legitimate to me than the previous two. DR/PR/USA/Mexico/Venezuela all sent championship-caliber squads.

What's with the Suzuki jersey?
It's for Seiya Suzuki of the Cubs, who was supposed to play but had to back out late when he injured his oblique in ST. He was pretty bummed so they kept him there in spirit.
 

AB in DC

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Or some might want to showcase. You're never going to get everyone, also guys are stretched out then so would not have to have so many pitch restrictions.
But then you're asking players to take a month (or more) off in October/early November and then still pitch multiple innings in late November. I think that would really wreak havoc on a lot of arms. Better to stick with march even if it means you have nine pitchers each pitching one inning per game. It becomes a slightly different kind of mini-season than a typical baseball season but that's ok -- it values pitching depth more than frontline starters. I'm fine with that.
 

singaporesoxfan

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That was a super fun game that was super fun to watch. The final at bat was something that could have been written as the ending of a baseball movie. It was great. Why do people need to be such poops?
Yeah and that was on the heels of an even better game. I don’t know why anyone would tinker with the format that just produced such great baseball
 

InstaFace

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It's the unnatural March intensity, I think it's probably fine or even good for hitters but I am really curious to see how the pitchers who threw a lot in this are doing in Aug/Sept.
What was the maximum IP of any pitcher in the WBC? Did anyone even make double digits?

*Looks it up* actually no, the max IP was Ohtani himself at 9.2 IP.

Yeah I'm not sure the workload is meaningful, relative to a full season.
 

LogansDad

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I dont know what that means. That wasn't even one of the best half-dozen games of the competition.

I don't like format I don't like the scheduling.

Just bring the best 8 teams and play a best of three each series, and best of 5 final. In November/early December.
Sometimes I wonder if you just go to ChatGPT and type in "How can I be most wrong about " x particular subject, and then cut and paste it back over here.
 

Marciano490

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Ale is an enthusiastic individualist, half mad and half brilliant. The hero of the hot bar, the Prometheus of the parking lot. Brilliant insult, but surely better aimed at someone other than Ale’s sweet, bold soul.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Honest to God guys I just figured being so popular here and spending so much time here he'd have learned. What in the flying hell is everybody so freaking accusatory for? Man this is about the first time I post anything on the WBC threads because it's only the third or so game I've gotten to watch a game. It was just an observation. I really do think I could learn some of the language if I worked there. My niece did and she was there a couple years. She's not going to do any public speaking but enough to converse and communicate in day to day activities. I just enjoyed the game and saw the interview. Not trying to piss anybody off.
I don't think you did anything wrong in this thread. I think there may have been some reflexive pushback, given what happened a couple years ago when Stephen A. Smith was basically saying that Ohtani shouldn't be the face of baseball, because he uses an interpreter.

https://thatballsouttahere.com/2022/01/13/shohei-ohtani-responds-stephen-a-smith-phillies-bryce-harper-face-baseball/#:~:text=Of%20course%2C%20what%20Smith%20seemingly,interpreter%20because%20he's%20not%20fluent.

Ohtani speaks and understands English. He just chooses to use the interpreter in public appearances for comfort purposes. It's been reported on pretty extensively.

He gave his ROY acceptance speech in English:

https://www.newsweek.com/video-shohei-ohtani-speaking-only-english-resurfaces-after-stephen-smith-comments-1609029
 

HurstSoGood

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There was some NLCS Game 7, 3-2 count, bases loaded in the 9th of a one run game and the closer threw the nastiest curve ever to ice the series. Maybe 10 years ago?
Sounds like Adam Wainwright vs Carlos Beltran and the Mets in '06. Nasty yakker looking to end Game 7 NLCS. STL won 3-1.
 

DeadlySplitter

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I feel like with the balanced schedule starting this year, cutting the MLB season back to 154 at least could happen at some point.

Four series a year against your division, two against all intraleague teams, one against all interleague teams, if it's all 3 game series, would be 153 games. We don't need a lot of 4 game and 2 game series, even if it gives the schedule some variety.
 

jon abbey

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Hardest pitch thrown in the WBC:
Shohei Ohtani - 102.0 MPH (Tied w/ Sasaki)

Hardest hit ball in the WBC:
Shohei Ohtani - 118.7 MPH

Farthest Homer in the WBC:
Shohei Ohtani - 448 ft (Tied w/ Soto)
 

hunter05

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That last pitch was just filthy. I have no idea how long he can do this, but it’s just so fun to watch right now. I live in Hokkaido, where he played and won a championship before transferring. To say he’s beloved here is an understatement.
 

jon abbey

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Ohtani just earned himself 50 million a year. Good for him. I really hope that health stays on his side.
He already had that, at least. The Dodgers just sat out the whole winter without spending money in order to better break the bank for him next year.

On a related note, Sox or Yankee fans or anyone else dreaming of Ohtani or Soto, I will personally be stunned if either of them end up anywhere but LAD/NYM/SDP.
 

rodderick

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Remagellan

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He already had that, at least. The Dodgers just sat out the whole winter without spending money in order to better break the back for him next year.

On a related note, Sox or Yankee fans or anyone else dreaming of Ohtani or Soto, I will personally be stunned if either of them end up anywhere but LAD/NYM/SDP.

I agree. I don't see him leaving the West Coast for anything but the most ridiculously lavish offer Steve Cohen can come up with.
 

lexrageorge

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When the WBC first aired, I ignored it completely as a total gimmick that simply risked injury, and I certainly wasn't alone. Just didn't care at all about it. This year was the first time I watched an inning of the WBC, and was hooked enough to watch quite a few. Anecdotally, I wasn't alone. Really was impressed at how seriously the players, the teams, and MLB took this tournament and the intensity of the play.

Honestly, the format and timing are fine. Japan deservedly won after beating a stacked Team USA; hey, that's baseball. Or any sport with an international tournament format. MLB desperately needed a shot of excitement; and the WBC delivered.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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What was the maximum IP of any pitcher in the WBC? Did anyone even make double digits?

*Looks it up* actually no, the max IP was Ohtani himself at 9.2 IP.

Yeah I'm not sure the workload is meaningful, relative to a full season.
I don't know that it's the work load itself so much as the intensity of the work. Pitchers in the past have talked about it being more stressful and tiring to throw 80 pitches in 6 innings of a 1-0 pitchers duel than 110 pitches over 7 innings on the winning side of a 10-2 blowout. The workload (in terms of innings/pitches) of most of these pitchers in the tournament is probably the same as they'd have thrown if they were in camp. The intensity of the work in a tournament setting, in a stadium with 50K+ fans instead of a minor league park with 2-3K in the stands, trying to win rather than trying to get ready for the regular season, probably makes a difference.
 

sunoff

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At one point tonight we had USA/JAPAN, Bruins, and Celtics all on at the same time. Crowd started very pro Bruins. Before the Bruins game was over, everyone was watching baseball. It was pretty cool and unexpected. People were definitely into it. Several actually commented about being excited for the start of baseball. That rarely happens.
Yoshida could single handedly raise ticket sales, listening to some folks tonight.


Between Casas, Yoshida, Bello, and..... A healthy Sale and Kluber.... Maybe this season will be more fun than I've been thinking.

WBC... It's contagious lol
 

ObstructedView

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Great tournament, great game. I fully understand why the top MLB pitchers weren't there, and I realize it was still a pitchers' duel of sorts, but it is a bit of a shame that we didn't get to see the best of the best on both sides.
Between Casas, Yoshida, Bello, and..... A healthy Sale and Kluber.... Maybe this season will be more fun than I've been thinking.
I'm 100% in this camp. The season could still be a dumpster fire, but for now my interest is piqued.
 

Max Power

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I don't know that it's the work load itself so much as the intensity of the work. Pitchers in the past have talked about it being more stressful and tiring to throw 80 pitches in 6 innings of a 1-0 pitchers duel than 110 pitches over 7 innings on the winning side of a 10-2 blowout. The workload (in terms of innings/pitches) of most of these pitchers in the tournament is probably the same as they'd have thrown if they were in camp. The intensity of the work in a tournament setting, in a stadium with 50K+ fans instead of a minor league park with 2-3K in the stands, trying to win rather than trying to get ready for the regular season, probably makes a difference.
It seems like it's a long tournament because of the play-in games and the big travel breaks for the teams that started in Asia. But teams play at most 7 games. Intensity is higher, but some players may even have to increase their workload in the last week of spring training to get ready for the season.
 

changer591

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I'm no longer a baseball fan in that I don't watch every Red Sox game like I used to...nowadays I only watch them if I'm bored because I just don't have as much free time. I ended up tuning into the final last night just to see what the fuss was about...I thought it was freakin' awesome...like World Cup type of atmosphere, but for baseball. And what a great showcase for players that I would never get to see normally.
I will say this though, I wonder how many people would be complaining about not sending the best pitchers over if the US won? Like, can't we just enjoy it for what it was? The talent for the position players on the US was undeniable...so even the US didn't have the best pitchers pitching, the fact is that this offense only managed 2 runs.
I do wish I had seen some of the earlier games live instead of just highlights, but I got chills for Japan watching the final at-bat against Trout, even knowing what the outcome was. Two thumbs up for me for more WBC in the future.
 

Ed Hillel

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Can't imagine who else it would be if it's the NLCS. I'm pretty sure there are only two NLCS Game 7s that have ended on strikeouts this century - the Waino curveball to strike out Beltran in 2006 and a Clayton Kershaw fastball to strike out Moustakas in 2018.
Yeah, I’m thinking it might have been Game 5 of a Divisional now. I need to find this…
 

ngruz25

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Yeah, I’m thinking it might have been Game 5 of a Divisional now. I need to find this…
I feel like you're thinking of Brad Lidge for some reason. I seem to recall him ending a series or maybe a game on a nasty yakker. This was probably the pre-Albert Pujols soul crushing bomb.

He did strike out Eric Hinske (!) to clinch the World Series for the Phillies over the Rays in 2008.
 

InsideTheParker

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Baseball is more of a series sport, not a one game take all.
Japan was the only team that was undefeated in the WBC.
I was rooting for them all the way. Their style of play, of fabulous, cagey pitching and fluid, easy fielding is what I like in baseball. Home runs are nice, but they are just a part of the game, one that is exaggerated now in the states while other talents seem relatively neglected.
 

trekfan55

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There was some NLCS Game 7, 3-2 count, bases loaded in the 9th of a one run game and the closer threw the nastiest curve ever to ice the series. Maybe 10 years ago?
Lots of replies to this but the right answer is Keith Fpoulke, game 6 of the 2004 ALCS.

Most of us have yet to get our sanity back from that AB.
 

Jimbodandy

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Lots of replies to this but the right answer is Keith Fpoulke, game 6 of the 2004 ALCS.

Most of us have yet to get our sanity back from that AB.
That at bat was like what Quint described as the Indianapolis sailors were waiting for their turned to be rescued from the water. You get over it, but you'll never forget it.
 

Tokyo Sox

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Japan was the only team that was undefeated in the WBC.
I was rooting for them all the way. Their style of play, of fabulous, cagey pitching and fluid, easy fielding is what I like in baseball. Home runs are nice, but they are just a part of the game, one that is exaggerated now in the states while other talents seem relatively neglected.
Some of this echoes where I am on my baseball fandom journey. These days, in any given baseball game, if it's anyone other than a Yankees player doing something cool, I love it. Period. I love the sport. I love the globalization of it. I loved Arozarena robbing Okamoto and then striking a pose. I loved watching the Czech electricians and school teachers here in Tokyo. And to be honest, Ohtani vs Trout in the 9th inning with everything on the line in my mind supports the "we live in a simulation" theory of the universe, because I don't understand how it could otherwise have worked out so perfectly. Lattes on me for the entire writers room.

I'm going to watch these last two games on a loop, until the 2026 Red Sox World Series.
 

kazuneko

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Honest to God guys I just figured being so popular here and spending so much time here he'd have learned. What in the flying hell is everybody so freaking accusatory for? Man this is about the first time I post anything on the WBC threads because it's only the third or so game I've gotten to watch a game. It was just an observation. I really do think I could learn some of the language if I worked there. My niece did and she was there a couple years. She's not going to do any public speaking but enough to converse and communicate in day to day activities. I just enjoyed the game and saw the interview. Not trying to piss anybody off.
Have you learned a second language as an adult?
I speak and understand Japanese fine (as does Ohtani with English apparently), but no way in hell would I want to give an emotional interview to a worldwide audience in Japanese - especially after the biggest moment in my professional life. When you learn a second language - especially a language as different from English as Japanese, and particularly if you’ve learned it as an adult- it’s a nice communication tool but in no way is it the same as speaking in your native tongue.
Ohtani actually stands out among Japanese players for how good his English is as it’s reported he’s put a lot of effort into learning the language.
I think your comment also misses the point of the WBC. This tournament is about national pride. Why the hell should a guy who just represented his country -outplaying the world’s best- not feel empowered to speak his nation’s language in the victory interview following the big win?
 

Blizzard of 1978

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He already had that, at least. The Dodgers just sat out the whole winter without spending money in order to better break the bank for him next year.

On a related note, Sox or Yankee fans or anyone else dreaming of Ohtani or Soto, I will personally be stunned if either of them end up anywhere but LAD/NYM/SDP.
I am dreaming of Ohtani on the Red Sox, but like you said it be stunning if he if ending up here or with the Yankees.
 

Kliq

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I personally would not be stunned if the hottest free agent in baseball history ended up signing with the Yankees.
 

Tokyo Sox

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Ohtani with a stemwinder of a pregame speech:

“Let’s stop admiring them. … If you admire them, you can’t surpass them. We came here to surpass them, to reach the top. For one day, let’s throw away our admiration for them and just think about winning.”

View: https://twitter.com/dylanohernandez/status/1638327098938134529?s=20
Just some specifics in that speech people here might appreciate - the above is the gist, but a few players are mentioned by name: "Look, just one thing...lets stop admiring them. Goldschmidt is at first...if you look in center there's Mike Trout...Mookie Betts is in the outfield...if you play baseball at all you've heard of these guys. But just for today, for one day..." etc etc and the rest of it.