With today’s declaration of war between Canada and Mexico, won by the Canadian side (who has already apologized numerous times for Bryan Adams), Team Italy has advanced to the second round of the World Baseball Classic. Here’s a summary of the skirmishes from World War Que/Eh:
The HBT team made a good observation, illustrating one of the inherent flaws of the WBC pool ranking system:
As a side note, the use of run differential in the tie-breaker means that Mexico has no “unwritten rules” ground upon which to stand after taking offense to Robinson’s ninth-inning bunt.
Probably doesn’t look too good for the WBC, and especially not if they want to eventually get baseball back into the rotation in the Olympics. But let’s not quibble over this, although it is quite a black mark against an otherwise intriguing event full of exciting games so far. Part of the excitement comes direct from Team Italy, and involves some heroics from one Anthony Rizzo.
In their opening game, the Italians were trailing Team Mexico when Rizzo launched a deep shot that was misplayed for a gift “double” (thanks official scorer!), allowing Team Italy to move to 1-0. Subsequently, Italy destroyed Team Canada via mercy rule and pretty much put the pressure on everyone else in the group. Thanks to the Canadians all but eliminating the Mexicans, Team Italy is now in the second round, which cost manager Dale Sveum and other Cubs some dough for Rizzo’s charity.
So not only is Rizzo representing his motherland superbly and getting his work in, he’s also pissing off the other countries and costing people money (but for a good cause). All in a day’s work.
Can’t wait to get him back though, as the Cubs kind of suck in Cactus League play now. But if the Italians keep it up, they might find themselves playing in San Francisco after all.