5) Dominican Republic
9) Puerto Rico
12) Chinese Taipei
15) South Africa
USA, although not the strongest team, has superior coaching by far with a very experienced manager and 3 HOF players as coaches.
Japan by far has the most raw talent in the entire tournament. Look For
them to dominate in the Asia pool…yes that means they will beat Korea.
Cuba will finish strong after their 2nd place finish in 2006, but the
problem with Castro’s ruling is that many of the players defect at
tournaments to escape the country. They have lost their 2 biggest bats
and star pitcher in the last 3 months.
Korea will do well, and easily take 2nd in the Asia pool. Although not
as strong as in ’06, their power and consistency at the plate will make
them a tough opponent in the 2nd round and in the Semi Finals for the
The Dominican Republic boasts a loaded lineup, but with the A-Rod
controversy and the Yankees begging him not to play, the distractions
will be too difficult to overcome. Don’t be surprised if they make the
Semis by upsetting Cuba or the US…but they don’t have the pitching to
make the finals.
Canada has to be the most underrated team in the entire tournament.
With stars such as Jason Bay and Russel Martin, they could prove to be
a challenge for the American team and should be able to beat out the
highly over favored Venezuelan team
Puerto Rico should have a good tournament after a disappointing one in
2006. But the other talent will prove too much. They won’t get out of
the 2nd round, that is if they make it.
Mexico will round up the teams that make the 2nd round. Although not
highly talented, they are in a fairly easy pool and playing at home in
Mexico city. They will creep into the 2nd round, but not win any games
Venezuela is still a possibility to upset any team in this tournament.
They may even win the Toronto pool if their offense can support their
As for the other teams, don’t plan on seeing them in the 2nd round
Should be an interesting tournament. Starts tonight at 1:30 AM
Ok guys, so here is a quick reflection on the tournament from Pools A, B, C, D and 1 and 2.
So first of all…story of the tournament…NETHERLANDS! To upset the
Dominican Republic not once, but twice?!? AMAZING! But really, some
good upsets in the tournament. Australia over Mexico. Italy over
Canada. China over Chinese Taipei. and NETHERLANDS OVER DOMINICAN! 🙂
So let’s reflect on the pre-tournament ranking
1) USA- Still there. Made the Semis! Injuries have hurt, but with Evan
Longoria added to the line up, it should be more balanced. Reached LA
which was the initial goal. Let’s hope for the best. Go USA!
2) Japan- Had a pretty strong tournament especially beating Cuba in the
elimination game. SO far split the games with Korea 2-2 (An all Asian
final? It could happened)
3) Cuba- Over all, I am very disappointed. I knew they weren’t going to
win, but this ends like 20 some tournaments in which they made the
4) Korea- So far, I am very impressed, I should have given them more
credit after the olympics. Didn’t win Pool 1, but still a great
performance in the tournament. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in
5) Dominican Republic- Really? Netherlands? So hard work, determination, and pride can beat steroids and money?
6) Canada- Bad performance in Pool C, pretty disappointed.
7) Venezuela- Somewhat surprised with the success that they’ve had. I
don’t know if it is enough to keep Korea out of the Finals though.
8) Mexico- Really poor performance in Pool 1. They were in the easiest
opening pool with home field advantage. They didn’t deserve to get to
9) Puerto Rico- Good tournament. So close to semi-finals, but the US just had to win…it was destiny
10) Italy- Ok performance, beat Canada but didn’t get out of Toronto. Just don’t have the talent.
11) Panama- Ranked wayy too high. They belonged at the bottom.
12) Chinese Taipei- Lost to China. They don’t play baseball in China. Once again, ranked way to high.
13) Netherlands- WOW! This team did some amazing things. Even going 2
and out in Pool 2, was the highlight of the tournament for me until the
USA walk off
14) Australia- Beat Mexico, but nothing impressive. Maybe ranked a little too low.
15) South Africa – Ranked just about right. One of those teams that has no business playing baseball
16) China- Ranked a little too low. Beat Chinese Taipei not much of an accomplishment, but still pretty cool.
SEMI FINAL AND FINAL PREDICTIONS:
SEMI FINAL 1: KOREA VS. VENEZUELA
This is going to be one of the most interesting games that I will ever
see. Too very different styles of baseball will clash. I think Korea
has an overall stronger offense, but Venezuela has pitched well lately.
After some days off, I think the break might actually hurt the
Venezuelan pitchers. WARREN’S PICK: KOREA
SEMI FINAL 2: USA VS JAPAN
This is extremely hard to predict. With Daiskue and Oswalt pitching,
you never know what will happen. They are among the top ten pitchers in
the world, but they have both been known to be wild. Tight defense is a
must and if either team makes errors, they are done. I feel like the
’06 loss to Japan and the determination after the Puerto Rico will
still propel the USA team. My mine concern for them is the injuries.
Youkalis and Jones are gone, and Longoria is joining the squad. I don’t
know what is happening at first base. Either way, it should be a well
fought game which will be lost, not won. WARREN’S PICK: USA
FINAL: KOREA VS. USA
(I WILL COME BACK AND WRITE A PREDICTION AFTER WE SEE WHAT HAPPENS IN THE SEMIS.)
So Korea won as expected, but USA lost to Japan. As I said, the game would be lost, not one, and the US played poorly.
FINALS PREDICTIONS: JAPAN