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Wow, A LOT Has Happened [Wednesday Morning Quarterback]
Jan 6th, 2010 by Dan

I’m pretty sure that I haven’t mentioned anything about the NFL this year, which I find hilarious, considering that I use a modified football saying as my sports category. Now’s as good a time as any to talk about it, I guess, since the regular season is over. As far as the playoffs go, I’d like to see the Ravens advance to the Super Bowl, but that’s just because they’re the local team. If we’re lucky, we’ll also get to see Brett Favre face-off against the Green Bay Packers (and hopefully knock them out) too in this postseason. Beyond that, I haven’t paid enough attention to the NFL this year to really care one way or another.

While I’m talking about football, I also haven’t talked too much about the Gators, who handily won their bowl game 51-24. It was Tim Tebow’s final game for UF and I’m excited to see where he ends up in this year’s draft class.

Again, let’s keep the subject on football, only to mention that I’m actually glad that the USA is in the same pool as England for the World Cup. One victory against the Queen’s team would be enough for me to make fun of Phil for the rest of my life. If Team USA can knock them out of the World Cup, I’d die a happy man, even if they were to lose every match afterward.

Beyond that, I’ve mostly been focusing on baseball (no surprise there!) in both the USA and Japan. A lot of huge moves have gone on so far, most notable among them Matsui leaving the Yankees for the Angels, but the other big move (to me) was the whole Cliff Lee/Roy Halladay trade involving Philadelphia and Seattle (and Toronto and Oakland (I think)). After seeing Cliff Lee absolutely dominate the Yankees in the World Series, it makes nearly zero sense to see the Phillies trade him away, but Halladay should be a fully adequate (and scary) replacement for the team that will most likely top the NL East yet again. Seattle also gets their hands on one of the finest pitchers in the league which should allow Wakamatsu to make a real move against the Angels who lost a lot of pitching and some offense this off-season.

In Japanese baseball news, the Seibu Lions drafted the best pitching prospect, Yusei Kikuchi, who should be ready to start tossing for the team as early as next year. Whether or not he appears in relief in 2010 is an interesting question.

My team, the Carp, avoided picking Kikuchi to go mostly for pitching, getting some of the best talent left in the pool. Their season was looking up until they lost one of their aces, Colby Lewis, to family issues stateside. It will be interesting to see if they can actually finish this season in the top three this year as they haven’t reached a Japan Series since 1991. They’re the team most removed from their last league championship and last Japan Series victory, so they’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

Man, I miss baseball season. Hurry up April!

World Baseball Classic [Wednesday Morning Quarterback]
Mar 11th, 2009 by Dan

You’ve probably heard the saying that hindsight is 20/20 on Monday morning, so just imagine how well I can call ’em two days later on Wednesday. That’s right, it’s time for Wednesday Morning Quarterback, your weekly sports round-up.

Spring approaches; the season of life, new beginnings, flowers, and, most importantly, baseball! After three years the World Baseball Classic returns to centerstage to attempt to create an event as important to the world as the World Cup. This year’s tournament does not disappoint so far.

Pool A

Strangely, the only pool to complete its games, the Asian Pool A finds itself already decided by today. Last Classic champion Japan and Olympic champion Korea make up the finalists progressing to Round 2 with China and Chinese Taipei falling to the wayside in blowouts. Meanwhile, Japan and Korea split their series, but Japan’s run differential of 14-2 gave them higher seeding in Round 2.

Pool B

A strangely composed pool, B consists of Cuba, Australia, Mexico, and South Africa. Who even knew that Australia and South Africa played baseball? The only dominant force so far is the Cuban team, which placed a dark horse second in the last WBC and has yet to lose either of their games so far. Their final opponent of the pool will be either Mexico or Australia, depending on who wins. Cuba edged a win over Australia already, 5-4, but Mexico’s chances look grim since Australia smashed them 17-7 in Game 2 of the pool.

Pool C

The most important pool’s final game will be played tonight at 1830 as a rematch of sorts between Venezuela and the USA. The last game was won by a margin of 8 in Team USA’s favor, so let’s hope America keeps the dream alive of redeeming themselves after last year’s embarrassing loss to Canada. I wouldn’t quite call them the Redeem Team just yet, but let’s hope they at least make it to the finals.

Pool D

The last pool’s seeding will be decided today strangely between Puerto Rico (not strange yet) and the Netherlands. Puerto Rico makes sense and everyone can accept that, but the Netherlands? Fueled by two bizzarely close victories over the Dominican Republic, the Dutch just can’t be ruled out as contenders. No one could have guessed that this bracket would have turned out this way.

Excitement awaits us all when Round 2 starts this Sunday!

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