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Friday, March 17, 2006 - Tom Verducci: World Baseball Classic is a smash hit

I ran across this really good editorial on the WBC over at I'm in complete agreement; it has been a great event, and I'm really looking forward to seeing the finals on Saturday and next Monday.

I watched the end of the USA/Mexico game last night. It was amazing, though also very frustrating to watch the USA hitters being dominated by the likes of Villareal et al. I still thought we were going to win it in the bottom of the 9th, though, and that's all you can ever really ask. I'm still bothered by Buck Martinez's approach to managing this team -- treating it in some ways as a spring training or all-star game, making sure everyone gets appearances and gets their work in, etc -- but it's time to move on from that. Hopefully, the USA's early departure this year will make them far more determined to win come '09.

I'm going to post a modest review of the Classic here next week once everything wraps up. It'll include some statistical recaps (fun with small sample sizes), as well as more general impressions of the event. I'm also going to make some suggestions for improvement of the tournament. -j