Rising Sun

No one who witnessed a sold-out crowd at Dodger Stadium last night can doubt the WBC anymore.  Japan won a dramatic game in 10 innings, with Ichiro playing the hero.  If the estadounidenses (that’s Americans for you non-Spanish speakers) would get on board, the tournament would immediately turn into one of the crown jewels of the international sporting world.  Most of the objections to the tournament center on one of the following issues:

1.  It’s a made up event-as if there is some event out there that no one made up.  The Masters is a made-up event too.  No one complains about that.

2.  The timing is bad-No question, but it’s a necessary evil for now.  Eventually, this will take place in the summer, putting MLB on hold.  It’s just a matter of convincing the owners it’s profitable.  It not only would make money in the summer, it would immediately launch itself into such a stratosphere that people would wonder why they ever hesitated.

3.
  The regular MLB season is put in jeopardy- So what?  There’s a regular season every year.  Again, owners shouldn’t complain about short term injury risks to their ‘investments’.  The long term financial gains dwarf any risk to any specific player. 

4The USA doesn’t try-That’s their own damn fault.  If the USA shows up determined to win next time, the results in terms of quality of play and intensity will be stunning to watch.

5. The format is weak-There is still tweaking to be done.  The seeding games are a waste of time.  The format can be compressed some (which again, speaks to holding it in the regular season).  None of these problems are insurmountable with a little thought and creativity.

6.  Japan wins all the time-Then let’s go out and honestly try to kick their ass.

Finally, a little mailbag entry to show you all how much this means in Japan…or how weird the Japaneese are…I’m not sure which:

Derek in Japan writes:
I hope I can be the first to break this to you, and hope that this is as delightfully funny to you as it is to me.  My wife, who is native Nihon-jin (Japanese) was watching the end of the WBC today (I am in Japan so it was daytime for me) and watched the post game interview with Ichiro.  Something that he said was so vulgar and hilarious and honest.  When the interviewer asked him how he felt walking the bases with the team after the win.  According to my wife, he responded saying that It felt so good he almost came.  My wife doesn’t make s*** up and of course I am not quoting exactly.  She does not embellish or make s*** up though.  My wife and I have been unable to google successfully for a replay or printed version of the interview containing this part.  Just wanted to share and maybe put you on the trail of something funny.

Thanks man, that’s sufficiently weird.  Maybe I need to change my official motto from “Brazilians are weird” to “Japanese are weird”.  All I can say in response is that Ichiro may be creepy, but he sure knows how to play baseball

Links:
Don Banks paints a terrifying picture.

Kuharsky shows just what a big deal compensatory picks have been for the Colts.  Session and Bethea are gold.

The clock is ticking on Moore and Mudd.  Scary, but we all know it’s coming.  They are both getting up there.

Demond Sanders:  Here is a juicy story about how the Pacers choose to spend their money.  Oddly enough this story did not get reported by the Indianapolis Star.  Look, I generally believe the government should stay out of private enterprise, but it’s a two way street.  The Pacers deserve some AIG-esque scrutiny if they have the guts to ask for their own bail-out.

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