Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pool A predictions for the WBC - update 4

Okay, so South Korea is the winner of a double-elimination pool, in which they didn't eliminate the second place team.

So, I'm trying to figure this out in my mind. No one liked the round robin, system, in which every team played every other team, and the top two advanced. They felt it might come down to run differential, which I'm against, and no one liked. So, in trying to actually fix the problem from last time, they've made it worse. Unbelievable, but I've found I believe in Bud. To screw the fan at every opportunity.

So, lets recap the Pool A double-elimination round. Chinese Taipei only gets to play two games, while South Korea plays four. Japan and China, meanwhile, play three games each. After two games, Chinese Taipei goes home, while the others play on. That really plays well in Taiwan, where the fans didn't even get to watch thier teaam play Japan.

Then South Korea, which lost to Japan, plays China, to see which one is eliminated, because it's a double-elimination tournament. After South Korea wins, China goes home, leaving two teams, Japan and South Korea, who will both advance without playing another game.

But in order to crown a winner of the Pool, in order to determine matchups in the next round, Japan (who has already beaten South Korea and qualified for the second round) now has to play South Korea (who has already lost to Japan and qualified for the second round) to see which will eliminate the other and win the pool.

So South Korea wins, giving each team 1 loss and a split between the two, thereby forcing another game, with the winner being declared the winner and advancing to the next round (even though they already are) and the loser being eliminated (while advancing to the next round, which they already are).

But no, the last game isn't played. South Korea is declared the winner of the Pool, because they beat Japan in the rematch. So even they they split their two games, and Japan actually has a better record (2-1 vs 3-1), South Korea is declared the winner of the Pool, and Japan is second. Even though they had already qualified before they lost the game.

Is everyone following this? Between this kind of idiocy and the extra-innings rule, this is exactly why the WBC will fade into irrelevance in the States. Americans don't care about this Pool, because its all Asian teams. But if the U.S. loses it last game in its pool, and is not declared the winner, people will stop watching.

How can we take this Classic seriously, if it won't take itself seriously?

So, the end of Pool A. South Korea beats Japan 1-0, and they both advance.

South Korea is first, and Japan is second. I had it the other way around. I look at matchups when all the Pools are finished.

Actual record: 11 - 3

Predicted record: 10 - 3 - 1

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