Tag Archives: World Baseball Classic

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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Honest Abe: Shinnosuke Hits Two Homers, Doesn’t Lie About It

Shinnosuke Abe, depicted in the tradition Japanese style of “extremely weird.”

Final Score: Japan 10, Netherlands 6

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: Japan’s revocation of exclusive trading rights with the Dutch in 1858

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Once upon a time, there was a period of several centuries when the only white people in the world that Japan was okay with were Dutch people. Japan kicked out all other Western suitors for their trade, but the Dutch East India Company was invited in and told to make themselves comfortable. They certainly did, enjoying exclusive Japanese hospitality for about two and a half centuries.

But Japan eventually got bored with its trade monogamy, and fell victim to the seductive wiles of voluptuous young Americans like Commodore Matthew Perry. The Convention of Kanagawa affirmed Japan’s infidelity, leaving the Dutch well and truly cuckolded. The divorce didn’t go well for the Netherlands, as Japan ended up taking all their stuff and enslaving them.

Now, Japan is just being a dick to their ex for the fun of it. They’ve beaten the Dutch twice in this WBC, by a combined score of 26-10. Why must Japan be so cruel? The Dutch were a perfectly good partner in the 17th-19th centuries. They don’t deserve this.

I can only hope that if Japan ends up playing the Netherlands in the finals, they will show some mercy out of remembrance for the love the two nations once shared.

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Double Dutch: Netherlands Leap Over Cuba For Second Time

An increasingly tubby Andruw Jones goes out for a morning stroll.

An increasingly tubby Andruw Jones goes out for a morning stroll.

Final Score: Netherlands 7, Cuba 6

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: The Dutch role in preventing the Cuban Missile Crisis

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This, ladmen and gentleladies, is why the World Baseball Classic is wonderful. A baseball powerhouse against a baseball upstart; the New World against the Old and the Old Baseball World against the New. Someone named Kalian Sams hitting a walk-off sac fly.

If you have been an assiduous follower of The Zimmerman(n) Telegram’s WBC coverage (FOR SHAME if you have not), you’ll clearly remember my comrade’s coverage of the last CUB-NED game, which was an obvious metaphor for Dutch adventures in 17th century Spanish Cuba. For this post, the foreign power the Dutch are dealing with in Cuba will be not the Spanish, but the Soviet Union. We’re later in the World Baseball Classic, so the metaphor is later in time. Obviously. Continue reading

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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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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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A Ray of Hope/Chang They Can Believe In

Of the 1.34 billion Chinese people, the one who's best at baseball had an OPS of .574 in AAA last year.

Of the 1.34 billion Chinese people, the one who’s best at baseball had an OPS of .574 in AAA last year.

Final Score: China 5, Brazil 2

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: Brazil’s frustration with Chinese trading practices in the 21st century

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Brazil and China, two of the world’s emergingest powers, do a whole lot of trading with each other. But China’s not always very nice about it. They like to inundate Brazilian markets with cheap Chinese goods while restricting Brazilian non-commodity imports to China.

Sounds like the 8th inning of this morning’s China-Brazil WBC game, am I right?

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To Each According to His Ability: Cuba Refuses to Share With China in Shutout

Fidel Castro comes out of retirement and near-death to lead the Cuban squad to victory.

Fidel Castro comes out of retirement and near-death to lead the Cuban squad to victory

Final Score: Cuba 12, China 0

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: The diplomatic feud between Castro and Mao in 1965-66

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You would think that Cuba and China would be the best of friends. They’re both Communist. They’re both, uh…well okay, that’s their only similarity. But still, it’s a pretty big one.

Well, you would think wrong. Sure, they got along well enough at first, after the Cuban revolution in 1959. But the commu-honeymoon didn’t last for long. Fidel Castro started trying to reconcile the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union after Nikita Kruschev was deposed, but China was having none of it. After a few failed attempts at diplomacy in Beijing, Castro started calling China some mean names and accusing China of spreading some mean anti-Cuba propaganda. Relations grew increasingly frigid, culminating in the collapse of economic negotiations in 1966.

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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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Japan Successfully Invades China, With Less Rape This Time

Someone farted. Or, is trying to be sexy. Or, the lights are too bright. Or, something I don't know what but it's a great picture.

Someone farted. Or, is trying to be sexy. Or, the lights are too bright. Or, something I don’t know what but it’s a great picture.

Final Score: Japan 5, China 2

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: The Nanking Massacre

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First Japan nationalizes the Senkakus, and now they easily beat China 5-2 in a World Baseball Classic pool game. When will this saber-rattling warmongery end?

In a game strongly reminiscent of the 1937 Japanese invasion the Chinese mainland, China quickly capitulated to strong offensive and pitching performances from Japan. Kenta Maeda held the Chinese side scoreless through five innings, and a four-run Japan fifth inning kept China on the retreat.

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