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Home » Around BaseballMarch 2006 » World Baseball Carnage

World Baseball Carnage

In revenge for M*A*S*H episodes beyond season four (after Colonel Henry Blake died and beyond the admittedly disputed end of the war), Korea beat the United States last night 7-3 in the World Baseball Classic to remain the only undefeated team in the tournament. It would have been a much worse defeat had the Korean short track speedskaters not triumphed in Torino. Recall that the South Korean soccer team recreated the 2002 Olympics controversy between Apolo Anton Ohno and Dong-Sung Kim at the World Cup later that year after scoring a goal in a match against the United States. I enjoy that other countries take sports on the international stage so earnestly.

Former Red Sox closer Byung-Hyun Kim made a one-inning appearance with a line of 2 hits, no runs, 1 walk, and 3 strikeouts, including a key whiff of Vernon Wells with the bases loaded and two out to end the fourth inning. Key to the US’s loss was the 11 left stranded on the bags, some of which can be attributed to Jason Varitek, who struck out swinging with the bases loaded in the first inning. Mike Timlin pitched the sixth inning and had a similar line to Kim’s except he allowed an earned run with 2 hits, 1 walk, and 2 strikeouts. Finally, another Red Sox organization member has been seen hanging around in Korea’s dugout: Chang-Ho Lee, the assistant trainer.

The spirit of competition the WBC is invigorating, but could do without the jingoistic and yet impassive American fans. Judging by sight, the folks sporting the “F*CK CASTRO” t-shirts were your typical ugly Americans with an axe to grind. The reaction of these types if the US loses to Mexico on March 16th will be like the fox in Aesop’s fable of the grapes. But if the US wins, suddenly patriotism will abound. Since Japan has two more games to play, the Pool 2 prospects are murky.

In Pool 2, the picture is clearer. Every team is knotted at 1-1 records. Therefore, the winners of the Venezuela-Dominican Republican and Cuba-Puerto Rico games will advance.

In other news, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has contacted David Ortiz because he is so exemplary at getting things into orbit.


Hey Empy,

I know it was late and it certainly felt as bad 7-1 but it actually ended 7-3, painful none the less I know. The truly sad part was that it looked like we were in school and Korea was teaching. Well, at least Ortiz had a good night. Thanks for the posts.

Oops, wrong single digit prime number. I fixed it.

The US offense was ineffectual as a lame duck president. Quite disappointing.

The spirit of competition the WBC is invigorating, but could do without the jingoistic and yet impassive American fans.

I made it to two games -- US-Japan and Mexico-Korea, and while I missed last night's game (in which it seemed the American fans were pretty terrible), the US fans at the Japan game were far less nationalistic, and more into actual baseball, than either group of fans at the Mexico-Korea game. That second game actually got sort of ugly. While my Spanish is terrible, and my Korean nonexistent, I heard some pretty nasty stuff that evening. So it's not just the Team USA fans.

Thanks for the first-hand comments on fan behavior, Earl. I was hoping that someone who actually went to a game to chime in. You can read about the game at Earl's blog, The GYS Network. Have the games been fun, otherwise?

My comment was based more on the anti-Castro signs and t-shirts. I realize they aren't all US citizens, but the group with the t-shirts looked like it to me.

I think there's a way to be patriotic and enthusiastic without being a jerk. It's just so rarely accomplished in sports venues.

Yeah, I missed the anti-Castro stuff. I think one could make a legitimate protest about WBC's policy on no political signs (especially since there were definitely some political - pro-Bush, to be specific - signs in Houston during the 2004 playoffs). But these people were probably, like you said, jingoistic Americans.

But yes, going to the games was incredibly fun. I'm bummed I'm not going to be able to make the others. Luckily it's been enough of a success so far (knock on wood) that it's likely to continue in 2010.

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