Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Go Canada!
2006-01-16 19:50
by Mark T.R. Donohue

It appears as if there will be more of a Rockies presence on the Canadian team for the World Baseball "Classic" than on the team representing the good ol' US of A. Jeff Francis will start, eh, and Larry Walker will be the hitting coach. As for the Americans, the only Colorado player on the "initial roster" is Brian Fuentes. It's probably for the best that Todd Helton will be easing himself into the 2006 baseball season, and neither Fuentes nor Francis is a particularly strong candidate for catastrophic injury. Of course, there's a very good chance that the "Classic" won't take place at all.

Frankly, baseball could have picked a better year for the debut of its new international dog and pony show. The WB"C" is rather uncomfortably sandwiched between two worldwide team sports competitions that carry with them piles of history, considerable national pride on the line, and a high level of intensity of play -- the Olympic hockey tournament and soccer's World Cup. Those tourneys have athletes at the top of their game laying it all on the line for their countries of origin. The "C" seems destined, if it takes place at all, to closely resemble the second week of the Grapefruit League with guys on pitch counts throwing batting practice fastballs for three innings at a time to hitters who will jog out fly balls if they bother to run at all. But at least there's pointless merchandise to be bought.

2006-01-17 12:12:06
1.   Bob Timmermann
Canada's team is surprisingly strong. It probably won't have enough pitching depth, but you never know.
2006-01-17 15:53:47
2.   Drew Bienhoff
Don't forget about the Rockies influence on Team Korea with both Kim and Kim anchoring their starting rotation. While I think the WBC will be better than your Grapefruit League analogy, I don't have all that high of hopes for it either.

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