WBC Eve …

We’ve heard all the complaints about the number of dropouts and no-shows for this year’s World Baseball Classic. But you know what? It doesn’t matter anymore. In less than 24 hours, Team Canada will take the field at Rogers Centre in front of 40,000+, and get the opportunity to defeat the U.S. on Canadian soil.

It’s been three years since the Canadians hung on for an 8-6 win over the U.S. in the first round at the inaugural WBC event. Adam Loewen got the start in 2006. This year that job will go to Mike Johnson —  a right-hander who hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2001. No matter. If 2006 taught us anything, it’s that anything can happen.

Team Canada manager Ernie Whitt knows what his team is up against. But he also knows they’re capable of winning.

“There are a lot of teams that — on paper — are better than us,” Whitt said in a recent MLB.com interview. But more importantly, said Whitt, “every player in there, every person on the coaching staff, we feel we can beat the U.S. on Saturday.”

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2 Responses to “WBC Eve …”

  1. Jay B Says:

    that’s the beautiful thing about baseball…you can put the celtics up against the kings, and 19 times out of 20, the celtics win it…in baseball, even the best of the best only take 2 of 3, or 3 of 4 from the worst of the worst, so in a one game showdown, there’s no such thing as an easy game in, i think…

    you think if canada was able to put together it’s desired staff of bedard, francis, harden, dempster, gagne etc. they’d have problems selling out the dome for this game? i’d say harden is their best pitcher, so he wouldn’t be pitching this game, but dempster or bedard (along with our pretty competant offense) vs the american team would be a real fun matchup to watch…

    thoughts?

  2. TD Says:

    Oh, absolutely. It’s a shame that we don’t get to see our best pitchers. And I think we would ‘surprise’ even more teams in the tournament with those arms.

    As for the attendance, honestly, I think it would have only made a bit of a difference. Baseball is a tough sell in this country in March. And I’ve been unpleasantly surprised by the lack of promotion the tournament has received over the last several weeks. Sure, the major papers have a nice breakdown of the teams in today’s edition. But why haven’t we been building this thing up since last season? It’s not the Olympics, but it’s the best we have so far of pitting the nations best against each other in the sport.

    What’s your prediction for tomorrow?

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