World Baseball Classic Update (9-30-16)

It’s time for a WBC Update!

First off, as you probably saw, Israel won it’s qualifying pool and is headed to the main WBC tournament.

Secondly, White Sox instructor Luis Sierra, who was a first-base coach for Colombia in the WBC Qualifiers, will again coach for Colombia in the main tournament next year.

Adam Jones says he will play for Team USA again if asked. Also in Team USA news, they are said to be looking at Brian Dozier of the Twins as a possible member.

The Seattle Times ran an article on Mariners who may be playing in the WBC. Robinson Cano is all-in for the Dominican, of course, and so is Nelson Cruz. Dae-Ho Lee says he’ll play for Korea is he’s asked, and Felix Hernandez wants to play for Venezuela again (he wasn’t able to in 2013 due to contract stuff). Reliever Edwin Diaz wants to play for his native Puerto Rico. As for Americans, Kyle Seager said he’d love to play, although he admits the depth of American baseball means he could end up staying in Spring Training or sitting on the bench.

While not “news”, per se, you should still read Lindsey Adler’s awesome article on Pakistani baseball.

Until next time, this has been Dan Glickman with your WBC update.

 

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Breaking OOTP, Episode 3: The Seattle MARIOners

BreakingOOTPlogo

In BREAKING OOTP, I push Out Of The Park Baseball to its limits in various scenarios. Some will answer questions, some will settle scores, and some will push Out Of The Park Baseball to its very limits, to see if I can literally cause the game engine to beg for mercy.

The Seattle Mariners are owned by Nintendo. This is well known. The Seattle Mariners are also coming off a very disappointing season. This is also well known.

But what if the Mariners had had Nintendo’s own playing for them?

MarinersMarioWONDER NO MORE!

(AND GO BELOW THE JUMP TO SEE THE ARTICLE, AND CLICK PICTURES TO MAKE THEM BIGGER)

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MVPs of the Weekend (April 24, 25 and 26, 2015): Felix Hernandez, Rubby De La Rosa, Alex Gordon

Friday’s MVP was Felix Hernandez, who had a complete game shutout against the Twins giving up five hits and striking out nine.

Saturday’s MVP was Rubby De La Rosa, who struck out 8 and gave up just 4 hits in 7 innings of work for Arizona. He ended up with a no-decision.

Sunday’s MVP was Alex Gordon. While he had an alright day at the plate, going 2-4 with a HR and 2 RBIs, the main reason he is MVP is this:

 

I mean, are you going to argue with that?

Thought not. Standings after the jump:

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MVP of Yesterday (July 26, 2013): Felix Hernandez

Felix Hernandez was awesome yesterday, striking out the Twins 11 times and giving up only five hits! Problem is, the one run he gave up was enough to tie the game and force it into extras, leaving Felix with a no-decision and the Mariners with a loss.

Standings, as always, after the jump:

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World Baseball Classic update: In which Felix Hernandez drops out and Venezuela doesn’t take it well

Not wanting any type of freak injury or something mess up his mega-contract negotiations, Felix Hernandez has dropped out of the World Baseball Classic.

Venezuela, which takes the WBC very seriously, is not happy. At all. How not happy are they?

Well, here’s an image of what a sports newspaper in Venezuela looks like today. According to Google Translate, that headline basically says that Felix has devalued Venezuela, or no longer appreciates Venezuela, or something like that. The news also is on the front page of the two Venezuelan newspapers on the Newseum website, and Venezuelan journalist Efrain Ruiz Pantin tweeted that for many Venezuelans it was a bigger deal than that country’s recent currency devaluation. Another Venezuelan journalist reported that the chairman of the Venezuelan Baseball Federation wants to veto/ban any teams from signing Venezuelans if they won’t collaborate with international competitions. It is presumably only a matter of time before Hugo Chavez himself comments on the situation, assuming that he isn’t in the hospital again.

And this is what leads to a tough situation for Latino players in the WBC: they have left their homelands, where they often lived in poverty, for riches in America. They are literally playing for a way to have their families have a better way of life. So they cannot be blamed for passing on the WBC when it could possibly endanger the riches that could keep help their family for generations. This is (more or less) what Felix Hernandez himself tweeted out shortly after the news came out: the financial security of his family was what was coming first.

But, on the other hand, the WBC is a big deal in the Caribbean, and if a player backs out, they appear ungrateful to the nation that had been supporting them and has been holding the player as a national hero. You could not blame a player for risking a big contract to play for such passionate fans.

And so, players like King Felix are in a no-win situation. Don’t play in the WBC, and an entire nation questions his patriotism (or worse). Play in the WBC, and you could run a risk- however small- of ruining the chance to have yourself and your family being set for life.

Felix made his choice. It will be interesting to see what follows.