Monday, March 06, 2006

World Baseball Classic: Group A

Korea wins the group! I only got to watch the second game of each day (the three Japan games) live, but I've watched the two Korea games I missed on tape, and they are both good, solid fundamental baseball teams.

Both are a bit short on power - lots of homers in the group, but the Tokyo Dome has a pretty short porch. I didn't see one that wouldn't have died on the warning track in Petco Park (where the final will be played). I think they might have trouble a bit in Petco, but their second-phase groups is in Angel Stadium, Anaheim, which is only a marginal pitchers' park (and even less so for homers - does it have above-average foul territory, or something?) and shouldn't screw them up completely.

But they play lovely fundamental baseball: hitting the cut-off man, throwing to the right base, turning a nice double-play. For all that I know that small-ball is not as effective a tactic as the MSM think it is, it's still nice to see a well-executed sacrifice bunt, or a hit-and-run.

I think they're going to melt a few hearts in SoCal - they certainly do play pretty ball.


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