Monday, April 13, 2009

The Classic still doesn't get any love

I finally have definitive proof that not a single person in the main stream media in the United States actually paid attention to the World Baseball Classic. Sure, they talked a good game, but they weren't watching. How do I know? Thanks to that pesky save rule thing, the most unusual save of all time occured in one of the games:

Cuban reliever Yolexis Ulacia tonight achieved one of the most usual (and perhaps even entirely unprecedented) statistical oddities during Cuba's 16-4 "mercy rule" demolishing of Mexico in World Baseball Classic Pool B play. Ulacia relieved with two outs and two aboard in the top of the seventh, with his team leading only 7-4. Batter Jorge Vázquez therefore represented the game's tying run. Ulacia promptly struck out Vázquez (looking) to end the inning and the Mexican threat.

In the bottom of that same frame the Cuban juggernaut exploded for 9 tallies, the final three coming on Freddie Cepeda's walk-off three-run blast over the center field fence. Cepeda's homer stretched the margin to 12 runs and the game thus immediately ended due to international baseball's ten-run mercy rule (the game ends once there is a ten-run margin at any time after the home seventh).

The result of these events was that Yolexis Ulacia was credited with a game "save" despite the fact that his team triumphed by a 12-run margin. I doubt this has ever happened before, certainly not at the higher levels of organized baseball. It is a circumstance that seemingly could only occur under the conditions of international baseball's special 10-run "knockout" regulation.
Yep, a 1/3 inning save for the reliever when his team won by 12 runs. And none of the guys from any of the alphabet sports outlets said a word about this? Unbelievable?

The same guys who jam it down our throats at every chance that a guy is a great reliever because of the number of saves he gets, then turn around and ridicule the save rule, missed this. Why?

Because they weren't actually watching. Is it any wonder the Classic isn't popular in the states?

And do we need any more proof that the save rule needs to be severely overhauled.

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