Another cog in the wheel known as the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to combat the Extreme Left-Wing Media.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Spring Training and the World Baseball Classic

Yesterday, the Indians won their first meaningless Spring training game 5 to 2 with assistance from the Astro's defense. Also the first games in the World Baseball Classic were played overnight. Japan crushed China 18-2 and South Korea beat Taiwan 2-0. I was able to watch the last couple innings of the Japan/China game this morning and was really struck by the difference between the two teams. The all-star team from Japan could be very competitive in the major leagues while the Chinese team looked like it would struggle against average college teams.

It will be interesting to see how much the WBC affects major league teams in preparing for the regular season. Like most teams, the Indians will lose several players who will go play for their home country. I'd be more concerned about starting pitchers than position players since pitchers need a set routine to build up their arm strength. So I'm glad none of the Indians starters are participating. One positive from position players taking off for the WBC is back-up players and minor leaguers invited to Spring training will get more at bats than normal. In the Indians case our starting shortstop, second baseman and catcher are all playing in the WBC. Their absence will give Ramon Vazquez, Brandon Phillips and Lou Merloni more at bats in their fight over the utility infielder job. For Phillips this could be his last chance to prove he can live up to the hype.

Hopefully the lesson learned from this inaugural WBC is to hold the tournament after the season instead of during Spring training.

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