Yeah, Yu Darvish was incredible, but China made it a game.
(image via web.worldbaseballclassic.com)
(For those that missed it, Japan beat China 4-0 in the Tokyo Dome this morning.)
I don't know about you guys, but I'm psyched about the World Baseball Classic (WBC). I love to see all the international talent and passion for the sport. Since the 2006 WBC, I have kept my eye on the Chinese team, partly because I visited China around that time and partly because I really want to see the sport flourish in a nation of 1.3 billion potential, um, middle infielders… (Just joking, haha; there are some genuinely tall people in China.) Interestingly, China did not even have a national team before that year (2003). They participated in the WBC in order to prepare for the impending Beijing Olympics.
So, like you guys, I’m sure, I got up at 4:25 this morning to watch as much of the first game of the WBC – before I had to go to rowing practice at 5:45. Anyway, I was simply proud of the Chinese team. These guys really only play a handful of games in their professional leagues, outside of four guys who play outside of China – three in the American minors, and one pitcher who plays in Japan. Only one guy, Ray Chang (who’s in the Pirate’s minor league system), is over 200 lbs.
Anyway, these guys were way overmatched, but – even though they looked absolutely terrified in each close-up – they played quality baseball against a heavy favorite – a team that mercy-ruled them three years ago – and kept the game competitive. Best of all: they did it with pitching and speed (their defense could have been better, and I expect it will do better in its next game). They played a good game against the sport’s most exciting youngster, Yu Darvish, and that’s all that we could ask of them.
Anyway, how about three cheers for the China team?