One of the only baseball blogs (to my knowledge) in the blogosphere that focuses on the Montreal Expos. Okay, mostly baseball in general, however with Montreal Expos references to be found within!

Friday, March 27, 2009

More World Baseball Classic (Asian work ethic)

With the World Baseball Classic now over, and Japan having defended their inaugural WBC championship, I thought I'd revisit it, and add some personal pics.

So I watched the end of the first semifinal game, Korea beating Venezuela 10-2. Also I watched most of Japan beating the US 9-4. The commentators for MLB International, what I watched here in Canada, Gary Thorne and Rick Sutcliffe brought up the point about the Korean work ethic during their semifinal game. I believe I heard the same in regards to the Japanese squad too earlier on at some point.

They said how they Koreans were playing balls off the outfield walls, to see how the ball caroms. Also how they stress the importance of drills, such as practising the 6-4 and 4-6 toss to initiate a DP. They also on numerous occasions note how the Asians play very sound fundamental ball. I admit to not being a big fan of Asian baseball prior to this years WBC, as I am North American, grew up with MLB, and so on, with that said, my appreciation for Asian baseball has grown.

Prior to this, I have heard that the Japanese box score is much more detailed than ours, and also that they have two batting cages going simultaneously for batting practise. With all this in mind one can easily see how the level of baseball in Japan is very high, not to mention Asia in general.

On paper, Venezuela should have been the team to handle Korea, as Korea had just one MLB player on their roster. The same applies to the Japan USA game, although not quite as much, as we know Japan is a strong baseball nation. Japan only had 5 MLB players on their roster.

For those that play baseball, as I do, we can learn a lot from the Asian work ethic. I predict plenty more Asian MLB imports in the near future, including, but definitely not limited to Yu Darvish.

Of note in the final, as the above commentators said, you'd never see a MLB manager leaving a relief pitcher in after allowing the tying run, and then to start the next inning too. Therefore he was credited with the blown save, and a save!

That reminds me how the commentators also said how during any stoppage in play, tv commercials, etc, the Asian teams, I imagine Japan, and Korea at least, the players would get on the field (just off the bench, in foul territory) to warm up, or stay warm. Once that was disallowed, the players would use the dugout to toss the ball. Most players being against the dugout fencing, thus leaving a decent space to stay warm and toss the ball.

So this post ended up being a little longer than I expected, so I'll write a final WBC post that includes a couple pics.

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