World Baseball Classic 2009
The second World Baseball Classic opened last week, and in Pool A (playing in Tokyo), Japan and (South) Korea are advancing to the next round, whereas the two slots from Pool B (playing in Mexico City) are still up for grabs. In Pool C (playing in Toronto), the United States and Venezuela are guaranteed berths in the next round, and will play tomorrow night to decide which team is higher seeded. I happened to be watching the game on Saturday when Adam Dunn hit a home run that just cleared the fence in left-center field; he made it look easy. (I can't wait to watch him play in Washington this year!)
In Pool D (playing in San Juan, Puerto Rico), the home team already earned a berth, while the Netherlands just beat the Dominican Republic 2-1 to qualify. After ten scoreless innings, the Dominicans scored a run on an error in the top of the 11th, and the Dutchmen (!??) scored the winning run in the bottom of the inning on an error by first baseman Willy Aybar. See MLB.com. What a heartbreaker; the guys in Santo Domingo must be crying in their cerveza tonight...
The first WBC was held three years ago, to mixed reviews in the United States. The Major League bosses fear that their star players may get injured before the regular season even begins. On ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike" show this morning, Jayson Stark complained about how the WBC is messing up spring training, robbing fans in Florida (and Arizona) of the opportunity to see their heroes play in practice games. He noted in particular that none of the Red Sox position players yesterday had ever spent a full year with the team. In his mind, charging regular ticket prices to see a bunch of second-stringers play is a form of "consumer fraud."
Tokyo Dome quick fix
The World Baseball Classic has been a good occasion for doing some quick touchups to the diagrams for the stadiums in which it is being played. Accordingly, the Tokyo Dome page is now updated with a few minor corrections to that diagram. Stay tuned for more WBC venue updates...
A-Rod gets hip surgery
Not long after admitting that he used steroids several years ago, Alex Rodriguez learned that he needed surgery to repair the labrum in his right hip. Yesterday he went under the scalpel, successfully, but the time required for rehabilitation means that he will be out for the next six to nine weeks. He'll probably miss about a month or so from the regular season. He will need further surgery to correct a second type of joint impingement after this season; that procedure will require a few months of rehabilitation, which is why they postponed it. A-Rod will be replaced at third base by Cody Ransom, most likely. See MLB.com.
No surgery for me
Meanwhile, today was my last day of physical therapy, after two full months, and I'm happy to report that of my arm function is nearly back to normal. (The original injury was last July 3, when I threw out the first pitch at a local game.) Sometimes my shoulder is sore, and it remains a little stiff, but at least I'm able to use my right hand to control the mouse once again! Like A-Rod, I have a slightly torn labrum, though in the right shoulder, and I'm told that I'll be able to live with it without ($$$) surgery. Golf yes, playing softball maybe. In any case, you can look forward to more frequent diagram revisions in the weeks and months to come...