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The World Baseball Classic Might Be More Interesting Than Dodgers Spring Training Right Now

Urias and Maeda

I hate to admit this, but spring training is kind of boring. Don’t get me wrong, I am so glad Dodger baseball is back and I can’t wait for the 2017 season to start. I just wish we could skip ahead to opening day. If I could have a magical remote control and press fast forward through the next couple of weeks I most certainly would.

The Dodgers spring training is business as usual in Glendale, Arizona. Exhibition games are in full swing. Right now the Dodgers are playing the Cleveland Indians at Goodyear Stadium. Brandon McCarthy is on the rubber and some of the regulars are in the starting lineup. Andre Ethier has a sore back, and Corey Seager is still out with his oblique injury. Otherwise there is not a whole lot to talk about. Rich Hill is working on his off-speed pitches, and McCarthy is babbling on about cupcakes. Oh and Julio Urias has strep throat. Why is it every spring at least one or two Dodgers come down with strep?

The World Baseball Classic is probably more interesting than spring training right now. The championship round starts tonight at Dodger Stadium. The final three games will be played at Chavez Ravine, with the championship game slated for Wednesday night. The first game will see Team Netherlands taking on Puerto Rico at 6PM PST tonight. The second game will see Team USA battling Japan on Tuesday night. The winners of those games will face each other in the final game for the title. Our own Kenley Jansen will be pitching for Team Netherlands.

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Team USA had a thrilling victory over the Dominicans to advance to the championship round for the first time since 2009. I wrote a neat little recap of that game as a guest writer over at Check it out if you have a few minutes. I think people are finally starting to pay attention to the international tournament. That could be because Team USA has a chance to win it all for the first time ever. They’ll have to get past Japan first, which will be a tough test for them.

It’s hard to believe that the Americans have never won the tournament. This is just the second time ever that they’ve reached the championship round. I do think that there needs to be some adjustments to the format and rules for the WBC, but overall it’s pretty neat to watch. It would be super cool to see the United States finally win it. Seeing them do it at Dodger Stadium would be even better. It’s definitely more interesting right now than anything going on at Glendale.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

69 thoughts on “The World Baseball Classic Might Be More Interesting Than Dodgers Spring Training Right Now

  1. I would prefer that Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Curacao, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Puerto Rico and Cuba are all celebrating in November because the LA Dodgers have just won the World Series. Now that would be a worthy celebration!

  2. The WBC seems to be a hit with the fans in the stands, which is good.

    Stinks for Japan to have to fly across the pacific for at a minimum one game. Maybe it’s worse for Cuba.

  3. “Adrian knows how to handle his body, and we’re not too concerned about it” – Roberts.

    Not “too” concerned. What does that mean? Well, too concerned suggests excessive, unnecessary concern, so he’s not that. He didn’t say he wasn’t concerned at all. So he must be at the proper level of concerned. That’s where I am. In fact I’m there on most issues – properly concerned.

    I hope Ethier can play at least half a year. We may need his offense.

  4. I’m totally uninterested in the WBC. Most of the teams are populated by ringers from the US, and most of the US’ best players don’t play. It’s played during Spring Training so most of the teams are reluctant to let their players play (pace Sergio Romo) due to concerns re: injury.

    It seems to be a made up thing, in short.

    I want the real thing and good thing too because opening day is 4/2!

    1. It did not say in the box score. Calhoun hit an inconsequential homer in the 9th. Off old friend Carlos Frias. Davis made 2 errors not 3. He is no Adrian over there and is not making the team so no biggy. Joc hit his 5th homer of the spring. I dislike the WBC, never have thought of it as anything except an opportunity for MLB to sell more stuff. They must really like Sweeney because he replaced Joc in CF. That’s like the 4th different position he has played this spring….and you know how they like versatility

  5. 14-5 ass whipping administered by the AL Champs. 5 dingers off the Dodgers pitchers. 2 given up by Spitzbarth. Geltz gave up 1 and so did Liberatore.

    1. This spring training seems long now.

      I can’t wait until opening day, when we will have a lot more to talk about.

      I hope for Ethier’s sake it is nothing serious.

      Puig is out for calf tightness too.

      I hope he heals a lot faster then Howie did.

      Puig’s younger and thinner, so he will hopefully heal quickly.

  6. The WBC is about as exciting as watching a casket warp…if you are into that kind of thing.

    1. I disagree. The WBC has been entertaining baseball this year. The catch by Jones the other night was amazing. Molina has picked two runners off of base tonight.

      1. Hawkeye

        I have occasional flipped back and forth, catching games here, and there.

        And I missed that ninth inning, when Mexico lost there big lead.

        And I just caught the end of the conversation of what Yadi did.

        It is weird to see Dodger stadium that way.

        How was your time in Arizona?

        I hope you are enjoyed your time there!

        Did you catch UCLA last night?

        1. I’m still here. I either got food poisoning last night or dehydration from sitting in the sun too long. I was up all night sick. I’m trying to get myself together for tomorrow’s game. I want to watch Ryu.

          I caught the end of UCLA game. As a kid they were probably my second favorite team. I have a hard time rooting for Alford though. He’s a grade A jerk. I’ve been trying to watch just to look at Ball. If the Lakers can get him I would move Russell to shooting guard.

          1. Hawkeye

            I’m sorry to hear you got sick.

            That isn’t fair your on a vacation!

            But I hope you feel better soon.

            I like to hear what you think of Ryu, up close.

            I don’t think Alford is a very good coach.

            In fact, I think UCLA would be even better, if they had a better coach.

            But the PAC 12 made a good showing in the tournament this year, and that is good to see.

  7. We all have differing views on the WBC, as I have stated I dislike it and do not watch. It may have even cost Kike Hernandez what little chance he had to make the team. That aside, to some it is exciting, to me it is another boring day of exhibition games. It helps the MLB make more money. How much you think those jerseys sell for? Kipnis is injured and out for at least a month. I do not know who Encarnarion is, but I think you are referring to Edward Encarnation. 2 more pitchers sent to the minor league camp. Younginer, and Schuster. 4 sent down yesterday. So they are down to 51. Only 26 to go..that’s not to hard.

    1. The WBC has come a long way it seems like. I hardly looked at it in the past. Puerto Rico and the Netherlands just played an entertaining game. I think more Americans will play next time. I get why they don’t though. Kenley was lights out. I think the WBC is good for the game. Much more than all these stupid rule changes or having the DH in the NL.

      1. I disagree totally. I do not like the stupid rule of putting two guys on base in extra innings. Play real baseball. I do not like that it takes players away from their teams and coaches, and to me it is nothing more than another money making ploy by the MLB. It serves no purpose at all and some of the players that play for some of these country’s have iffy connections to that nation anyway, Rob Segedin playing for Italy? Please. I do dislike the new intentional walk rule, but I am now for the DH in the NL, if for no other reason than to protect these high paid pitchers, and generate some offense, which makes the game more fun. We shall agree to disagree there Hawkeye.

        1. I’m with you on the starting runners on base. I think that’s dumb. It’s fine for the WBC I guess. It seems like every time someone gets injured we have to look to compromise the game. The turn at second, the play at the plate. How many pitchers get hurt hitting? Just becaus Wainwright ruptured an Achilles? Who’s to say he wouldn’t have ruptured the thing the next inning covering 1st base. He didn’t do it swinging. He did it trying to run.

          I’ve become less and less interested in football because of all the penalties and the way they baby the QB.

          Anyways, Puerto Rico has 27 ball players in the MLB. The WBC will help grow that number.

          1. More pitchers get hurt just pitching, then anything else.

            All of the stress on the wrist the elbow, and the shoulder.

            Bottom line, pitching is not a natural thing to do on your arm, and all the muscles and joints.

            Softball pitchers don’t get hurt as often, because they are doing a natural motion that your shoulder and arm is meant to do.

            But it is so odd that woman use a bigger ball, but I don’t know the history behind that, but it is probably because they thought women couldn’t hit a smaller ball, or wouldn’t get hurt as easily, with the bigger softer ball, I guess.

    2. Michael

      I didn’t know about Kipnis, but you are right it Edward Carnarion.

      He played first base for the Bluejay’s for a long time, and he has been one of the best RBI guys in all of baseball, for the last few years.

      He is going to make the Indians even better this year, if he produces like he has.

      He is a big name guy in baseball.

  8. If they want to shorten the game, they should not only put runners on, but also have outs already booked.

    10th inning, start with man on first, no one out.

    11th inning, men on first and second, already 1 out.

    12th inning and later, men on first and second, already 2 outs.

    I think this would lead to more tension and less relief pitcher changes in the middle of an inning.

    But overall I’m still against putting guys on first.

    1. YF

      I don’t think they should change the game, because these things, are what makes baseball different from other sports.

      Really it is the time of the year that they have the WBC that makes it bad, for American players.

  9. I think the WBC tournament is more for other countries to enjoy. We have a long MLB season played here (and a few games outside here) where the best baseball on the planet is played. I don’t like the timing of this World Tournament, but can’t offer a better schedule. Are MLB players ready to play at that level that early? I don’t know. But when players get hurt we all cringe.

    In running softball tournaments for years I found ways to speed up the game to stay on schedule. Teams run on and off the field. Move it people. 1 pitch warmup. Batter up. Always, batter up. Baseball? You don’t need 7 pitches warm up between innings. Coming in from the bullpen you should not need 7 pitches. There should be a clock on pitchers. 12 seconds. Batter up. Let’s go people.

    But MLB cannot, or will not, do anything to speed the game up because all the timeouts are used for commercials. It’s tv revenue that drives the economics of this game. Heck, an argument could be made that tv revenue runs the US economy. It’s all about ratings. The only way that changes is if studies show that after, say, 3 hours of a baseball game viewership drops. If people stop watching in the 9th then baseball has a dollar problem. I don’t believe that happens. I think time of the game is far less important than the level and intensity of competition. You have close games people won’t leave their seats, at the park or at home. Parity. All other sports have recognized that problem and addressed it with a hard salary cap. That’s a topic for another thread but clearly the rich teams in MLB laugh at the luxury tax idea.

    Frankly I don’t see that longer games mean less money for MLB. Until it does, nothing of note will be done.

    1. When I hear the commissioner of baseball and other baseball people, talk about the WBC, they say they like it, because they want to get more kids, and the rest of the world, involved in baseball more.

      They are afraid that this generation of young people really are not into baseball, because it is to slow.

      That is why they are making changes to speed the game up.

      But the intentional walk is not going to speed the game up.

      How often is anyone even intentional walked?

      I don’t think they need to speed the game up, because most young people are almost always on there phones, anyways.

      You even see them on there phones, at baseball games.

      What makes most games slow, is all the pitching changes.

      1. If the object is to market baseball across the globe to the young generation, I think they are doing a good job. These games have had fireworks, chest bumping, nail biting, and bang bang plays. There’s a lot of enthusiasm on the field and that goes a long ways towards selling the game to the current generation.

        I’ve been in on Team Puerto Rico from the get-go. Correa, Lindor, Baez…

        …infield of dreams.

          1. Reymund Fuentes hasn’t been much with the bat in CF – the bar wasn’t too high Hernandez to clear there.

            I do like what Rosario brings in RF – amazing arm. Looks like a very strong defender, but also light with the bat. Big sac fly though. Play winning baseball.

  10. The Dodgers really are high on White and Buehler. Throw Urias in with that group and we have some fine pitches on the way. I just hope our position players will be that good.

  11. I am more concerned and interested in today’s starting pitcher, Ryu. I only wish this tussle was on TV. He has looked pretty sharp his last two outings and if he makes the starting 5 it will go a long way in making me forget Kazmir. If your first 4 are Kersh, Maeda, Hill and Ryu, that is pretty solid although I do not expect Hill to last the entire season. But Ryu is a solid 4 and a better 3. With Wood as long man and spot starter because you know they are going to give that 5 spot to McCarthy if Ryu shows them he is ready.

  12. The fun part of the WBC is the celebration in the stands: flags, music, dancing! How about those chants of USA, USA!

    Great stuff

    1. Artieboy

      Most Americans should watch at least one game, to see how the rest of the world, celebrates baseball.

      There is actually pretty good baseball players, on team USA this year.

      They could use more pitching, but I understand why pitchers don’t want to pitch, and there teams don’t want them to pitch in the WBC, because pitchers get injured it seems, easier then position players.

    2. I can get that from the Olympics. Which are far more legitimate than the WBC. And far more corrupt. I frankly do not care how they celebrate the game in other countries, nor do I want Dodger players involved. I simply do not like the WBC, and I think it is a total waste of time….that is my opinion only. I do not expect everyone to agree. I also dislike Joe Davis as the Dodgers main voice on TV. The guy is not entertaining at all. He is boring and drones on like a worker bee. I will be listening to the radio feed while I watch the games this year. I can do that because my computer is in the living room and I can stream the game on the computer and my TV at the same time. Charlie and Rick Monday are far better and more entertaining than Joe Davis and a band of dancing monkeys.

        1. I agree, they go with the guys with proven chops, not a rookie. Bellinger with a full season of AAA ball behind him will be far more ready than the kid is now. He definitely has some work to do. My dark horse candidate to make the roster………Darnel Sweeney. Has showed pop in his bat and versatility. The teams September call-ups should be interesting.

          1. Ethier has a mild heriation in his back, he will be out seven to ten days.

            That isn’t good.

            I wonder if his back is bothering him, at home?

          2. Herniation in any form is not good and it also means I would think that Andre does not open the season on the roster. Unless he gets a bunch of AB’s in 2 freeway series games. Maybe he stays in Az for 2 weeks to get some work in.

          3. Even if Bellinger tears it up the rest of the way, they have service time/arb clock considerations. I fully expect he’ll get a call up and provide a boost sometime this season. And if the FAZ GM team makes calls for starting pitching, other team will ask for Bellinger.

    1. Rye

      I saw that about that pitcher with the Rays, but I don’t see why we would trade for that particular pitcher, because he wouldn’t be a good enough pitcher, to help us in the post season, so why trade for him, if we have plenty of young pitchers in the minors?

      Have the Dodgers really worried about the arbitation time clock, on any of our players coming up from the minors?

      1. A lot of teams do worry about that additional year of control. They are certainly in position to wait with Bellinger – but if they need him, they can go for it.

        If the Dodgers were talking trade with Rays for a pitcher and Bellinger was involved, it had better be for Archer. But don’t sleep on Alex Cobb. Dodgers may have a plan to monitor him while they assess their own options.

      1. Bluto

        Why do you think they might be bringing Buehler up to pitch in the freeway, series?

        They didn’t even have him up, with the major league team.

        Why the freeway series?

        1. I dunno really.

          I did read that Keith Law thought he (Buehler) should be fast tracked.

          So, I’m down to two reasons:
          1. He’s pitching for the fans.
          2. The front office wants to see how he performs in such a situation.

          What do you think?

          1. Bluto

            I really don’t know.

            I think what you said might be right, especially your second thought.

            But it seems a little weird, because he hasn’t pitched that many innings, has he?

  13. Yes I agree with Michael and Badger, Bellinger needs to face a season of AAA pitchers first, to see where he is at.

  14. MJ, FAZ will continue to pull the rabbit out the same way. I anticipate at the least a deadline deal for an arm, and at the most a veteran pick-up right away. None of us know what is being said behind the doors but I would think somebody in the room is looking at this staff and thinking the same thing I am – Starting pitching ….. Plans B through H. 7 moves ahead. Few can do that. We have the FAZ Masters. Boris FAZzky. FAZnstein They’ve got charts, with lots of columns. Columns filled with names.

    Well, looks like Ethier won’t be getting the at bats I think he needs to earn his $20 million. Of course he could put up his 2.5 WAR, earning his contract, in 200 at bats, as somebody here pointed out (Bluto?) but I wouldn’t count on it. I’m hoping if he is careful, stays fit and frosty but doesn’t overwork it, he will be available down the stretch.

    Bluto, point made, but JeMarcus Russell made out ok. Matt Flynn has earned about $20 million. I’m thinking the $5 million Lee got was damn cool at the time, and if invested could have doubled since 2010, but he missed out on the BMOC experience at a damn cool school, and might have had opportunities to go pro in two sports. I think he might have regrets.

    1. Badger

      I bet Ethier is pretty frustrated, after the last couple of years.

      You know he really wanted to play on this team this year, after he told the front office, not to bother on trying to trade him, because he isn’t going to ok a trade.


      1. He’s 35 and its basically a contract year. If he could put up some career avg numbers – .285/.359/.463 – he could land a hitting contract somewhere. And you know he likes the playoffs. In 7 Division Series .271/.407/.521. That’s a .928 OPS

        1. Why ignore the NLCS?

          In ALL of the postseason, Ethier’s numbers are .239/.338/.416. That’s a pedestrian OPS of .754 and that’s factoring in his 16% walk ratio ( 9% throughout his career) in the post season which tells me teams put him on base in certain situations…. inflating a players OPS.

      2. If I might interject…..Ethier should be wanting to play ‘anywhere’, in fact wherever he was going to get the most AB’s…….He just knows that he gets his millions whether he plays, sits, or is on the DL. He apparently does not have an issue with sitting or being on the DL and what better place to do so than LA. That is why he would have told the FO not to bother trying to trade him.

        Sure he would like to be healthy and perform well with LA but he knows his body and knew that there is/was a good chance of not being 100% and would rather hang out in LA than anywhere else.

        Ethier will be around but will he be healthy enough to take a playoff roster spot from someone come the post season.

        1. You are assuming facts not in evidence.

          He’s earned the right to play in LA if that’s what he wants. He’s been there a very long time. They’re a good team, so why not LA if that’s home?

          1. And as I stated due to his no trade clause he has a right to ‘play’ wherever he wants this final year. Not sure he’s going to maximize AB’s this season staying in LA but I understand for ‘off the field’ reasons why he would want to stay in LA.

        2. Chili

          Ethier earned that no trade deal, in his contract.

          How could he know, that he would have a problem, with his back this year?

          And he got hit by a pitch off his bat last year in spring training, and that was a freak accident.

          That wasn’t a typical break.

          He isn’t a malingerer.

          1. He does not have a no-trade clause in his contract. He is a 10-5 player. 10 year vet with more than 5 years with the same team so he can block a trade if he so desires. And he has told the FO that he would block any trade.

  15. Ryu 4 scoreless….then Avilan gets lit up for 4. Turner 2nd homer of spring and Ryu drives in the 2nd run….

    1. Thanks Michael!

      I wish we could have watched Ryu pitch!

      If he is able to pitch that would make a big difference, in the rotation.

      Will he have to be on an inning limit, if he is able to pitch in the rotation, because he is coming back from an injury?

  16. We all look forward to reading about the departure of Chris Hatcher from Dodger blue, and I hope it happens soon….stunk the place up again today………

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