Thursday, February 16, 2006

Is anyone excited about the World Baseball Classic? Does anyone care? I'm not losing any sleep over it, but fan interest seems to be virtually nonexistent. At least in the States. But what's more disgraceful is that players don't want to represent America. I keep seeing guys pull out of the WBC because they want to be ready for Spring Training. They signed a big contract, and they want to honor it. They want to make sure they're completely healthy. What a load of crap. I can understand pitchers who've undergone surgery, but come on! Grow a pair. I think starting pitchers will only throw three or four games anyway. As for the hitters, there's no excuse not to get out there and play your heart out for your country. That's what all the other countries are going to do.

What's really going to bug me is when we lose to Belize or Ecuador or the one-man team that is The Netherlands, everyone will get all pissed off about it. Of course we're going to lose. But only when we do will people whine about not playing. This could be the best baseball gig in decades, but the players are making it the worst.

Meanwhile, the Astros still face a rotation conundrum. As in, who starts after Oswalt, Pettitte and Backe. We got Wandy and Zeke, our (Ha!) experienced pitchers; Hirsh and Buchholz, our true rookies; and Carlos Hernandez, our ace-in-the-hole finally back from injury. We ought to give Carlos as much of a chance as everyone else. I'm sure we will. I've heard he's back up to the low-90s on his fastball. This guy was pretty good way back when in '02 and '03. It's taken him a lot longer than normal to recover, but he might be the guy that steps up and performs.


Jason said...

I do not understand how baseball fans are not excited about the WBC. It's competitive BASEBALL!! There are some good teams playing, and they will give us some good baseball. True, not every "team" is a team in the sense that they have spent month or years together, but I don't think that matters much. There will be real competition among good teams, and I do not expect the US to run away with it. Japan, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, in addition to the US should all be competitive and put on a pretty good show.

For a baseball fan, what reason would you possibly have NOT to be excited about it? It's good, competitive baseball! The soccer world goes nuts for the FIFA World Cup every four years. There's no reason why baseball fans can't join in the international fun.

Jason said...

I forgot to mention my thoughts on the Astros rotation.

I am not worried about the pitching staff at all. It will be fine. The top three spots and the bullpen are set. Sure, we don't know about #4 and #5, but there is still plenty of time and plenty of options for it to work out. Even if it isn't settled adequately as the season gets started, there's always the option of a trade (although that's unlikely), the emergence of a youngster (much more likely), and the real possibility of Clemens returning in May or June (I think fairly likely).

Altogether, it's not a bad situation to be in. I'm sure they'll give everyone enough of a chance in ST and April/May to fill those rotation spots By the end of the season, we will not look back at the decisions made regarding #4 or #5 as making or breaking the team.

Let play some ball, already! I'm needing a baseball fix!