Tuesday, March 7, 2006

I'm getting into the WBC

Now that it's finally underway, I'm really getting into the WBC. I suppose I'm supposed to be all about Team USA, but I'm really just excited about watching some great baseball players -- even if the overall quality of play isn't great.

I thought that XM's radio coverage was interesting. While I don't know if it was intentional or not, the crowd noise during both games I listened to (the US - Mexico and the Dominican Republic - Venezuela) was loud. When you consider the relatively small size of the crowds, it was even louder than that. Maybe the XM folks were trying to drown out the volume on their announcers. That wasn't necessary, although that's what often happened. XM's play-by-play coverage generally consists of their hosts from 175 for these WBC games. The play-by-play calls are good, but not the professional voices that you're used to. Still, it was nice for me, as a regular XM 175 listener to hear some of the voices that I've become so familiar with over the past year or so.

Random: Of all the things that people are complaining about with this tournament, why isn't anyone talking about the fact that minor league umpires are being used? I mean, this is a "world championship" and it's being officiated by minor leaguers. Something's wrong with that. Maybe it will be more of an issue after Miguel Cabrera's disputed home run/double today (even though it ultimately didn't affect the outcome of the game).

Oh yeah, and the Yankees are complaining. Surprise, surprise. It seems that fans aren't turning out in Tampa because some of the star power is missing. I thought the Yanks were supposed to have great, loyal fans. Apparently their fans are loyal so long as their are superstars to watch... early in spring training.

Willie Mays said something rather profound the other day. He was wishing that the WBC had been around in his day, as he said he would have liked to have represented the USA. What came next was the interesting part: Mays said that he wasn't sure if he'd have started on the team back in his day. On the surface, that's rather tough to believe (Mays was third all-time in home runs until recently; he was a great defender and was speedy on the base paths), but it's possibly true. You'd almost have to grant that the corner outfield spots would be manned by Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson. Those two are two of the all-time greats of all the all-time greats. That leaves only one outfield spot (and keep in mind, we're talking about the days before the DH); Mays wasn't sure if he'd have started ahead of Mickey Mantle. I'm not sure who I would have picked. That's a tough call. Those are the types of calls (ok, maybe we'll never see something like a Mays/Mantle issue ever again) that the WBC was built to create. Maybe we'll see more of them the next time around (in 2009) if everyone starts buying into this tournament. If they play it in November next time, I think we will.

5 comments:

fishfan24 said...

At lest Mike is here!

wiggins said...

We can't kill Mike completely!

Nice post. I agree - I just wish I could watch more of the games. I suppose as the tournament progresses more will be available and at better times, no?

Mike said...

I don't know - I hope the games are on in prime time later. I was disappointed that there wasn't anything on TV last night.

Does anyone get ESPN Deportes? I don't think I can even get that with the sports package on DirecTV.

Mike said...

So, Mantle or Mays in center?

I think I'm going with Mays. But you can't go wrong.

wiggins said...

That would be tough. I'd probably have to go with Mays, too, though. He's the man. I never got the whole Mantle-worship thing...

Not that I think he sucks or anything... I just don't think he's god. Of course - I wasn't a Yankees fans in the fifties...