Tag Archives: War

Nats Catch Tigers By Toe, Don’t Let Go When They Holler

Game 1:

Denard Span makes the mistake of looking into the fiery pools of unbridled hatred that are Adam LaRoche's eyes. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Denard Span makes the mistake of looking into the fiery pools of unbridled hatred that are Adam LaRoche’s eyes. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Nationals 3, Tigers 1

This game marked a historic moment: the three billlionth anniversary of the day that Davey Johnson first clawed his way out of the primordial soup.

It was also less notable as being the first time that the Nationals have ever beaten the Tigers in a real live major league baseball game. It’s another relic of the Nationals’ embarrassing past shed, like when your mom finally incinerates your collection of Magic: The Gathering cards or when a really ugly person that you hooked up with once finally dies.

This is a new, more mature and discerning age of Nationals baseball. We can do things like beat the Tigers and have people like Jordan Zimmermann on our team, now, and people won’t think we’re getting too high above our station. We no longer have to be ashamed to exist. That’s the mark of a great baseball franchise.
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Once, Twice, Three Times a Loser: Puerto Rico Cedes WBC to Dominicans, Surprising Nobody

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It turned out to be far too late to get out of the way of the seagull poop.

Final Score: Dominican Republic 3, Puerto Rico 0.

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: The 2013 World Baseball Classic.

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There are two types of people who don’t like the World Baseball Classic. People who don’t smile, and comedy blog writers who are creating posts that parallel historic events between nations. We fall more into the latter, although I’ve had trouble raising the corners of my mouth since Game 5.

The WBC Final was a matchup between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, two teams who had already met twice before in this tournament. We had already run thin on metaphors given the surprisingly limited series of conflicts between the two nearby islands, exaggerating some unwanted immigration for the first matchup and then basically fabricating a battle over tourism for the 2nd DR-PR meeting. So for the third and final all-Caribbean faceoff we had to think outside the box. And we thought so outside the box that we came all the way back inside the box.

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It’s Seppuku Time: Japan Disembowled By Puerto Rico in Semifinal

Matsui did it partly because he made the last out in the loss, but mostly because he remembered that he used to be on the Mets.

Matsui did it partly because he made the last out in the loss, but mostly because he remembered that he used to be on the Mets.

Final Score: Puerto Rico 3, Japan 1

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: The U.S. dropping an atomic bomb on Japan

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They will go down as perhaps the two most difficult decisions in history. Decisions of unparalleled consequence. Decisions that altered the course of humanity. Decisions that strike to the very core of the human condition. Decisions that haunted and will forever haunt the sleepless nights of their makers.

The first: United States President Harry S. Truman’s decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilian lives weighed on the most terrible scale against the similar thousands of American soldiers whose lives would have inevitably been lost in a ground invasion of Japan. The unleashing of the most devastating weapon ever devised to end the deadliest conflict the world had yet experienced.

The second: Puerto Rico Manager Edwin Rodriguez’s decision to bring in J.C. Romero into a 3-1 game in the bottom of the 9th of a 2013 World Baseball Classic semifinal. The possibility that J.C. Romero would get some outs weighed against the likelihood the he would give up some baserunners. The unleashing of a pretty terrible pitcher in an effort to end a baseball game that would send Puerto Rico to the WBC finals. Continue reading

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All Akimbrel: U.S. Left With Hands on Hips After Tough Loss

Joe Torre trudges away after failing his country, like he always does.

Joe Torre trudges away after failing his country, like he always does.

Final Score: Dominican Republic 3, United States 1

World Baseball Conflict of the Game:: The American occupation of the Dominican Republic in 1965-66

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I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “How could the U.S. occupation of the Dominican Republic, which lead to an American-favored ruler being installed as President who would rule for two decades, be considered a metaphor for a game in which American was defeated?”

I’ll tell you how, you heartless bastard. No military intervention in another country’s domestic affairs can EVER be considered a victory, because foreign occupations for the sake of American strategic gain are MORALLY REPUGNANT. Even when the other country is in the midst of a civil war, as the DR was in 1965, military action cannot be justified. WHO ARE WE to decide the fate of the Dominican people? WHO ARE WE to decide that they would be better off if they “didn’t have a civil war?”

Lyndon Johnson may have thought he won this war, but his soul was defeated. The ethics of U.S. foreign policy suffered a loss in the Dominican Republic comparable to Craig Kimbrel giving up a go-ahead single to Eric Aybar in the 9th inning last night.

And the United States never recovered from its moral failing. Vietnam, Iraq, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq again, Libya. Not coming back against Fernando Rodney in the bottom of the 9th. Look how far America has fallen from its righteous beginnings.

True victories are not measured in battles won, casualties sustained, or economic and political benefits attained. They are measured by whether we have abided by our moral principles.

And also, runs scored.

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Maple Leafs Ragged: USA Tops Neighbor to North Which is Ironic Because of Geography

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I’m unsure if this is the same animal that the U.S. and Canada fought over, or John Lackey.

Final Score: USA 9, Canada 4.

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: The Pig War.

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Pigs. No matter if you’re a normal guy just eating them, or if you’re mark Mark Teixeira and they’re throwing at you high and inside, pigs have a great impact on our lives. So great that the United States and Canada thought they should fight a war because of one. Ok, well maybe it was actually a conflict over disputed islands that was set off because of the death of a pig. But I think it’s a lot less embarrassing to say you were fighting over a pig, because bacon tastes delicious and islands do not.

In 1859, a Northwestern American farmer named Lyman Cutlar found a pig in the garden, eating his tubers. If this doesn’t sound like the start of a softcore porn movie, I don’t know what does. So Cutlar killed the pig. Turns out the pig was owned by an Irishman located in Canadian lands just across the border, who was quite upset. Cutlar offered him $10 to replace the pig, the Irishman demanded $100, and the United States and British-controlled Canada went to war. You know, the traditional way things go when a pig is killed.

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When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do: Lose

I think that guy on the right with the long hair and the grim face is Silvio Berlusconi in disguise.

I think that guy on the right with the long hair, the evil mustache and the grim face is Silvio Berlusconi in disguise.

Final Score: United States 6, Italy 2

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: An oldie but a goodie: World War II

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Hey, remember that time Italians were fascists?

Heh. Silly Italians.

Now, I know I’ve already covered the Italian Campaign in pointing out Canada’s lackluster role in the whole affair. But I do think it’s worth stressing the extent to which Italy got absolutely clobbered in this war, then slathered onto a tank sandwich between two slices of the U.S. and Nazi Germany.

The big blow in the campaign was undoubtedly the American-led capture of the island of Sicily. That event also happens to be recalled by a similar occurrence in Saturday’s U.S.-Italy WBC game: David Wright’s fifth inning grand slam off hopeless Tampa Bay Rays reliever Matt Torres. In 1943, the U.S. had its Mediterranean bases filled with ground, air, and naval forces. The invasion of Sicily, like Wright’s home run, cleared those bases and would eventually lead to a decisive American victory.

Big shout out here to our very own Ross Detwiler, whose 4 shutout innings made him the Dwight Eisenhower of this game. I hope to see Ross taking many trips around the warning track this season in the jumbo Ike costume we’re sending him as a reward.

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A Spainful Defeat: Another Colony Gets Revenge on the Motherland

Puerto Rico got a little help from @Teddy26Nats

Final Score: Puerto Rico 3, Spain 0

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: The Spanish-American War

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Puerto Rico was one of the last Caribbean colonies that Spain was able to clutch on to with its siesta-taking tentacles. The Puerto Rican independence movement started hitting the big time in 1868, when the island first revolted against Spanish rule. And then immediately lost against some lackluster Spanish militia. Poor Puerto Rico.

Fortunately for the rich port-ers, they got some help from a friendly neighbor in 1898 in the form of the United Fucking States. While the U.S. didn’t decisively take Puerto Rico militarily, Spain did cede the island in the 1898 Treaty of Paris, in which the Spanish admitted to having lost the war pretty badly.

Puerto Rico was free! By which I mean they were American, not independent. But aside from the freedom, the best part about being American was that Puerto Rico could start learning new things at which to beat the Spanish. Continue reading

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Oh…Canada…: Canadians Are Too Embarrassed to Finish Game

Final Score: Italy 14, Canada 4 (8 innings)

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: The Canadian capture of Rome during the Italian campaign of World War II

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To say that “Canadians are known for their martial prowess” is a little like saying “Italians are known for never accepting bribes.” But Canada has done a little fighting in its day. In World War II, for instance, Canadian troops were at the forefront of the Allied assault on the Italian peninsula. It was overall a successful campaign, one that Canadians actually seem to be pretty proud of, in that adorably Canadian way.

Canadians led the attack on Rome, and they suffered disproportionate casualties compared to British and American forces. Now that might have been because German resistance was stronger on the Canadian front, or it might have been because Canadians just sucked at fighting. For the purposes of this metaphor, I’ll assume the latter.

Canada also failed at actually taking Rome. They were supposed to arrive first in the city like conquering heroes, but U.S. general Mark Clark decided to do it instead just to be obnoxious. No glory for Canada, then or ever.

Which brings us to the Canada-Italy WBC game, in which Canada won the opposite of glory: utter shame. They sucked at baseball like they sucked at war. Worse, actually.

Of course, in WWII it was the Italians who got “mercied”–the Italian government had signed an armistice with the Allies long before the Canadians got to Rome, leaving their country to be defended by Nazis.

The moral of the story is that both sides of this game should generally be very embarrassed.

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Cuba Lib-hooray: Cubans Can Have A-Pool Party After Win

As per tradition, representatives from each team thumb-wrestle to decide who gets home field advantage.

As per tradition, representatives from each team thumb-wrestle to decide who gets home field advantage.

Final Score: Cuba 6, Japan 3

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: A hypothetical future war to the death between Cuba and Japan

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The vast majority of MLB.com’s game summary headlines are pretty dumb, especially compared to The Zimmerman(n) Telegram’s headlines, which never fail to reach the pinnacle of cleverness (like the one on this very post). Sometimes MLB.com’s are pretty unintentionally funny, though. Take the headline for this game: “Opening Statement: Cuba Sinks Japan to End First Round.”

The first half of the headline is, as usual, a useless semi-applicable figure of speech. But the second half, taken literally, is amazing.

Picture it: the year is 2113. Japan and Cuba are locked in a deadly conflict that has so offended both sides’ honor that everyone knows the only way for the war to end is for one nation to be completely annihilated. Neither state has nuclear weapons, but they are locked in an arms race to develop a weapon even more powerful…the Island-Sinker. Continue reading

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Chinese Taipeiback: Dutch Colonists, Pitches are Overthrown

Throwback uniform day was met with mixed reactions from the players.

Throwback uniform day was met with mixed reactions from the players.

Final Score: Chinese Taipei 8, Netherlands 3

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: The Sino-Dutch War of 1661

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Once upon a time, the Kingdom of the Netherlands was one of the most powerful nations in the world. Their small size belied their prodigious talents, and they were able to build an empire on the backs of many non-European peoples.

I am, of course, referring to the Dutch team in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, when the men of Orange twice defeated the Dominican Republic in dramatic fashion to win their pool and advance to the round of eight. Oh, and also the golden age of Dutch naval and mercantile power in the 17th century.

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