Thursday, March 16, 2006

Did I Mention That The World Baseball Classic Is Awesome?

Break up Korea, baby!

After beating Japan last night 2-1 in front of nearly 40,000 people in Anaheim, the Koreans are a perfect 6-0 in the WBC and moving onto the semifinals. For all the talk of North Korean wackjob Kim Jong-Il's penchant for the nuclear bomb, it seems his peeps are a peaceful lot. Having been told before the tourney started that a trip to the semis would waive their mandatory three-year stint in the armed forces, the Korean players have responded by easily handling the U.S. and winning three one-run games, including two with Japan. Hey, anything to avoid the military. I guess winning a few ballgames is easier than pretending to be insane or gay.

The U.S. moves on to the semis with a win over Mexico today in what could be Roger Clemens' last-ever appearance on the mound, though my guess is he'll get bored sometime around June and miss throwing at opponents' skulls and turn up on somebody's roster as the media ejaculates all over itself.

Now, I'm torn here. Part of me feels patriotic and wants to avoid the embarrassment of us Yanks being ousted on home soil (even though Mexico will probably have more fans in Mexico City North, i.e., Los Angeles), but part of me wants Clemens to go out knowing he lost to friggin' Mexico with the world watching and elimination on the line. That could be hysterical. I mean, I don't necessarily dislike Clemens...OK, who am I kidding? I dislike Clemens. His ego is bloated enough that seeing Jorge Cantu take him yard as a bunch of somber American fans weep and the ESPN announcers go into sentimental overload about Clemens' impending retirement could be great fun for all.

Oliver Perez goes for Mexico and if he's healthy and back to his 2004 form, things could get very dicey for the Americans.

Meanwhile, Cuba downed Puerto Rico 4-3 to advance to the semis as well. Fidel's boys are now due to arrive on American soil, meaning all sorts of hilarity could ensue. White Sox fans will be happy to know that the newly-acquired Alex Cintron batted .333 (8-for-24) in the WBC for Puerto Rico. And I had no idea that Bernie Williams was Puerto Rican. Really? No wonder he's been so popular in New York.

I think I'm secretly rooting for a Cuba vs. Korea championship game, which could provide all kinds of political comedy.


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