Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels …….Bang You’re Dead !

 
 

Lock  Stock And  Two  Smoking  Barrels ……. Bang  You’re  Dead  !

 

 

 

Not  wanting  to  assail  Major  League  Baseball (MLB)    for   wanting   a  good  thing.  But  I’d   now  like to  know what   was  the  whole   premise   behind   entering  a   team    into  the  World  Baseball   Classic   if  not  to  win  it  ? 

 

Derek  Jeter  far  right  seated   in  the  dugout  knowing  that the  inevitable  is  about to  happen.  The  US  team  would   go  on  to  lose  in the  semi  finals  of  the  World  Baseball  Classic  to  Japan  (9-4) .
Derek Jeter and teammates are seated on the bench in the dugout knowing that the inevitable is about to happen. The US team would go on to lose to Japan (9-4) in a lopsided game. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Stephen Dunn ................

 

 

 

 

To  suffer  the   slings and   arrows   of  outrageous  fortune  or   in  this case misfortune  is  one  thing.    But  in  this  case   the  showing   of  the  team   most   certainly   hasn’t   met  the  expectations  of  the  game’s  hierarchy   domestically.  It  doesn’t   matter  what   they  might   say   publicly.  In   reality   however   it’s   suddenly  beginning  to  sink  in  that   they’re  going  to  have  to   rethink  their    whole  preparation for  a   team  and  the  assembling   of a   roster   for   international  competition. The    event  will   no  doubt  make  a  significant   amount    of  money    for  the parties  concerned.   But  if  anything    it’ll  perpetuate  the  notion    that the  long  held   belief  that   US  baseball  at  the  international   level   if  anything isn’t   as  superior  as the  fans  or   players   may  well  believe.  

 

Japanese   pitcher  Yu  Darvish   celebrates  after  striking   out  Adam  Dunn  of  team  USA  in  the semi   finals   game  of  the  Worl  Baseball  Classic.
Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish celebrates after striking out Adam Dunn of team USA during their semi finals game. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Kevork Djansezian ........

 

 

 

 

If anything   has  been  indicative   of  this,  it   has  been  the   failure   of    team  USA  to  advance   to  the  Finals  of  the  competition.  In   2006  they  were an  abysmal    failure   falling   at the  quarter  finals’ stage.    And    now   in   2009  in  the  semi-finals   they  succumb   to  a   Japanese   team  that   was   very   much  their  superior   in  every facet   of  the  game   right  from the  start.  If  the  final  score  of   9-4  wasn’t  a   reflection  of  that.  Then   those   who  felt   the   opposite    may   well  have  been   watching   through   rose   colored   glasses.

 

 

Japan's   Ichiro  Suzuki   in the  dugout   prior  to the  semi  final   game played   against  the  USA.
Japan's Ichiro Suzuki in the dugout prior to the semi final game played against team USA at Chavez Ravine Stadium , Los Angeles , California . picture appearas courtesy of getty images/ Stephen Dunn .................

 

 

 

All  the  excuses   in  the  world   cannot   make  up   for  this.  And that’s   most  likely  what  we’ll   hear  over  the  ensuing   days   if  not   weeks.  One   can  be  sure   that   not  all  of  the  game’s  fans    domestically   were   enamored   with  the  competition  to  begin  with.   If  anything   it  was   thought   of  as  an   intrusion   in   their    rite   of  passage  as   far  as   Spring   Training  was   concerned.    And  the   fact     that   they’d  be   denied  to  see   many  of  their   idols   play   for  their    professional   teams    at the  start  of  the  Grapefruit  and  Cactus   League’s  season  was   tantamount  to  all    but  abandoning  the  season  itself.  OK  so   they’d   get  to   see   some  of the  younger  players   from  a  team’s   Triple  A affiliate.   But   the  majority  of  the  time  that’s   not   what  the   fans  are  there  to  see.   But   that’s   what   tends  to  happen  when  the   whole   thought    process   and   timing  of  the  event    is  ill  conceived.    But   far  be  it   for  anyone  to   suggest that   the  MLB hierarchy  and     the  game’s   international   governing   body    doesn’t   indeed   know   what   it’s   doing . 

 

 

Evan  Longoria   strikes  out  in  the  ninth   inning  of  the  game  against  Japan  in the  semi  finals  of  the  World Baseball   Classic.
Evan Longoria of team USA having just struck out in the ninth inning of the semi final's game against Japan makes his way back to the dugout. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Stephen Dunn ..................

 

 

 

 

For   Japan   they’ll   now   meet   their  Asian    counterparts  and   rivals    Korea   in  the  Finals.   And with   Korea   themselves    being   the reigning   Olympic    champions.   This   game   will   certainly   not   be   a  foregone   conclusion   in  terms   of   Japan   being   considered  an  overwhelming   favorite.    Korea    has  surprised    everyone   in  this  competition  with  the  level    of  their  play  and   sound   fundamentals.    They   do  almost   everything  with   effortless   ease.   And   if  anything  the   US  team    could  learn    something    from    how  the  Korean  players   apply  themselves  to   the  task  at  hand.    Suffice   to   say  it’s   easy  to    make  the  claim   that  the   players  on  the US  team   were  playing    with  a  great    deal   of  pride   but   the  reality    of  it  all  is  that    pride     wasn’t   borne   out    in  the  level   of  their   overall  play    throughout   the  competition.  If  anything  there   was   a  cockiness  and    over  confidence  that   spelt    disaster   at  some   point.    In  many   ways   it  was  somewhat   reminiscent   of  what   we’d   often  witnessed    from  their   counterparts  in the NBA .  If  anything  the   belief   was  all  that  they    had to   do  was   to  just   turn   and   an  opponent   would   quake   in   their   boots   and   surrender  to  their   will.   The  competition   has  proved   however  that    sum  of  the  parts    doesn’t   equal   the  whole   when   it  came   to   team   USA.    They  labored   under  the  assumption  that  a    roster   filled  with  All  Stars  and  they’d    prevail. 

 

 

 

Roy  Oswalt  the  starting   pitcher  for  team  USA  sits  in the  dugout  watching  the  game's  progression.  Oswalt   had  one  of those   games  that  even  he  would  no  doubt  rather  forget  .
Roy Oswalt the starting pitcher for team USA sits in the dugout and watches the game unfold. Oswalt had a game that even he would rather forget. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Kevork Djansezian ....................

 

 

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Kenji  Johima  of  Japan  hits  a  sacrifice  fly  to  score   Atsunori  Inaba   during  the  game.
Kenji Johima of Japan hits a sacrifice fly to score Atsunori Inaba during the game. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Kevork Djansezian ...........

 

 

 

If  there  was  any  indication  as  to   how   rough  the   going   was   to  be    for  the  US  team.  Then   consider  this    Japan’s  Daisuke  Matsuzaka (3-0)  came   in  the  game   unbeaten  in   the  Classic  with  a 2.45 ERA .  And   from  the   start   there   had  to  be  a  sense   of  foreboding   for   this   team.   The   game   basically    became   irretrievable    for  the  US  team  when  Japan   scored   5  unanswered  runs   in  the   fourth  inning  to  open  the   game   up  and   then  to   coast   on  to   victory.     From   thereon  in   it   just   became   a  matter   of  time   to  see  whether   or   not  the   team   would   gut   it   out and  try   to   make   a  fight  of   it .  Or    just    lay  down  and   die.     Off course   we  know   the   answer   to    that   by  the  end   result .    Somehow this   wasn’t   meant  to  the   US  team’s   day     nor   was  it   meant    to  theirs   from   the  advent   of  this   competition   at  the  start.  If   nothing   else   it’s   one  to   think   that     they   were   far  superior  to    anyone  else.   But   the   fact of  the  matter  was  they    even   failed  to   prove   that   they  had   the   potential   to  begin   with    to    show  that   they  were   good   enough. 

 

 

Adam Dunn of  team  USA  reacts   after  hitting  a fly  ball out  against   Japan  in their   semi final  game.
Adam Dunn of team USA reacts after hitting a fly ball out against Japan in their semi final's match up. The support for both teams at Chavez Ravine Stadium in Los Angeles was very vociferous and vocal through much of the game until the waning moments. By then much of the support was for team Japan. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Stephen Dunn ...................

 

 

 

 

 

If  the   USA  is   to  succeed   in  this   competition  as  is  their   want .  Then   they’re   going  to   have  to  seek  a  long  term  commitment   from  a  core   group  of players.  Much   like   the   commitment   that   was  sought  by    Jerry  Colangelo  Executive  Director   of  USA  Basketball.  When   he  assembled   the  men’s   national   basketball  team   for  the  Olympics.  That   was    a   three  year   commitment    where  the   players   got   together,  trained  together  and   even  played   against    MLB   teams  as  well  as   international    competition  on  a  scheduled   basis  leading   up   to  the  Olympics.   Nothing   like   that   obviously     was  considered   here  when   it   came   to  the  assembling   of  this  team.   So  it’s    understandable  that   nothing   but  abject   failure   would  follow.   The   team   by   the  sum  of  its   parts   was   greater than  the  whole.   And   if   nothing   else  there   was   never   any  leadership   or   cohesiveness   from  the   get   go.   And    in   terms   of   coaching   it  was   very    much   self   evident   that   whatever    was   exhibited   in  terms   of  that  was   poorly   executed   to begin  with.

 

 

Ichiro  Suzuki  and  Norichika  Aoki of  Japan  celebrate  having   just  defeated the  United  States   9-4  in the  semi  finals  of  the  World Baseball  Classic .
Norichika Aoki and temmate Ichiro Suzuki celebrate having just defeated the USA 9-4 in the semi finals of the World Baseball Classic. Japan will now go on to face Korea in the Final. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Stephen Dunn ..................

 

 

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Takahiro  Mahara  of  Japan  pitches  in  relief .
Takahiro Mahara (14) pitches in relief for Japan on their way to an imposing victory 9-4 over the United States. Japan will now face Korea in the final of the World Baseball Classic. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Stephen Dunn ...............
 

 

 

 

They  were    dead   on   arrival    even   before   they   faced  the  Japanese   in  the   semi  finals.  A    fact  that   was   borne   by   the  end    result.   Lock   stock  and   two    smoking   barrels   and   the  US  team   was  smack   bang  dead   on  arrival in  the  waning  moments  of  the  semi  final game  against  Japan.  As   succinct  an   epitaph    to  this    competition  as   they    could’ve   sought.

Author: tophatal ...........

An avid sports' fans that's all !!!!!

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