Questions–Practical and Rhetorical
Will ESPN announcer Gary Thorne ever pronounce Juan Encarnacion’s name correctly? There are some foreign names that a native speaker of English will never pronounce correctly, but Spanish names are typically not among them. Encarnacion is really not that hard, Gary. Have you tried getting some help from your Spanish-speaking broadcast partner, Jose Mota? Or is driving not the only arena of activity in which a "real man" doesn’t ask for directions?
Shouldn’t the WBC use international umpires as well as Americans? (Did they in the Asian Pool?) Shouldn’t the American major league umpires be involved?
Will people ever learn to keep politics separate from baseball? WBC games are not enhanced by a plane flying over the stadium with an anti-Castro message, or people in the stands wearing anti-Castro messages or carrying anti-Castro signs. Can’t people come to terms with the fact that some players are happy living and playing baseball in Cuba and don’t want to defect? How would US players feel if Venezuelan fans came to the park with anti-Bush signs? Why is it OK to criticize Cuba, when China, that bastion of human rights, was invited to play in the WBC without incident? Might part of the reason be that China was playing half a world away and everyone knew the Chinese team wouldn’t not get out of Round 1? Or is it that the US covets Cuban players like Yulieski Gourriel and wants to emphasize why they can’t get him?
The Korean team is doing better than expected for a country that hasn’t been playing baseball all that long. They have beaten both Japan and the USA. Might they have a point about their ability to gel quickly as a team–five of their players went to the same high school–or is it as my father used to say about MLB All-Star teams, they can play together because they all know how to play fundamentals? Or is it a little of both?
Into what should the WBC evolve: A substitute for the Olympics or a true World’s Championship?
Eric Byrnes hit an RBI single and scored a run yesterday in the D’Backs’ split-squad 10-7 loss to the Rockies. (The Snakes beat the Giants 7-4 in the other game). Byrnesie left no one on base, but he struck out once and did not walk. The 1-4 left his batting average at .250. Byrnesie, it was a productive single, but when will we see a multi-hit game from you? You will end up batting 8th, not leadoff or 2nd, if you hit .250.
Of course, .250 would be lofty for Marland Williams, the guy Melvin puts in CF after he’s figured Byrnes has played enough for the day. Williams went 0-2 with 2 K’s and has yet to get a hit. Will he break his 0-for-Spring Training streak?
At last, the AZ Diamondbacks show up on MLB.TV again, (and again courtesy of the White Sox), but it is a day game after a night game, and so Snakes manager Bob Melvin is again resting the fragile, elderly (yeah, right!) Eric Byrnes. Backup outfielder Luis Terrero is getting the start in 71 degree, sunny Tucson, while I am sitting in 54 degree, rainy Oakland, wanting March to be over. Even though, as T.S. Eliot wrote, "April is the cruelest month", a cold, rainy no-Byrnes-on-TV-March is not much better. <sigh> Why me?
How it is that a team like Hofstra (24-6) gets left out, while Monmouth (18-14) and Hampton (16-15) get to play in?
Life in general:
Is it ever going to stop being windy and rainy in Oakland?