(it might look like fun, but I saw a guy try this at a Bad Brains gig and he messed up his collarbone when there was no one to catch him)
Had pitchers Ormani Romero and Vicyohandry Odelin not saddled their Cuba teammates with a 4-run deficit in the top of the first, last night’s WBC championship might’ve been the finale we were waiting for. Still, it was compelling enough action, so much so that perhaps the next time the competition takes place, ESPN might consider moving the end of an NIT game to a split screen rather than missing the first pitch.
Newsday’s Jon Heyman can’t resist a parting shot or two at Team USA and the tourney’s other underachieving zillionaires.
Your defeat wasn’t a fluke. Nor were the teams who got here lucky. They also aren’t the beneficiaries of big breaks, good timing or the dumb-as-hell tiebreaker system.
They were here because they can play. And also because they are prepared, team-oriented, multi-dimensional and efficient. The South Korean team, eliminated Friday night, made zero errors in seven games. Which is a lot more than we can say for the USA-based umpiring crew.
By all accounts, the ones who came had a blast.
Ichiro Suzuki might have originally signed up just to get away from the Mariners. But while he was here, he re-established that he’s one of the best players on the planet. He previously was portrayed in some circles as selfish, but his popularity is soaring in Japan now.
Meanwhile, Hideki, your name might as well be Mud-sui in your homeland after you chose to stay with the rest of the grapefruits in Florida. So you scored a few brownie points with Steinbrenner. Hope you’re happy.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (above), who started last night’s finale, tried to jump to the big leagues last year but was prevented by the troubled ownership of the Seibu Lions. You fellows caught a glimpse of him a few days ago, when he shut you out for four innings, putting him in large company.
Anyway, scouts say this kid, only 25, is ready to be an ace in the States. He hit 96 on the gun last night. Plus, he has all he needs: his trick pitch, the rapt attention of the Yankees, and agent Scott Boras to handle his very American goal.