I am sorely disappointed in the way the WBC Semifinals were conducted. Not behaviorally but systemically. And I certainly have no issue with who won or lost, but I think it’s a shame that the teams in the two "leagues" represented here never had the opportunity to test their skills against one another. Who’s to say that the top two teams in the world aren’t Korea and Japan? Or Republica Dominicana and Cuba? But, because the advancing teams from each league were forced to take each other out in the Semis, we’ll never know.
It seems to me, the better set up would have been to pit the No.1 seed from Pool 1 against the No.2 seed from Pool 2 in one game and vice versa in the second game. As it stood, the final two teams never had to face the teams of two of the original four pools in order to advance. That just doesn’t seem like a very conclusive measuring stick to decide which team will be deemed the best in the world.
Utilizing my suggested scenario, the Semifinals would pose the opportunity to face a third talent pool and force the final two teams to overcome the best of that additional "league" in order to have a shot at the title. Additionally, it allows for the possibility that the top two teams in the world might come from the same region.
Alas, because of the way it was set up this time around, Korea– who went undefeated the entire tournament– got eliminated by Japan, a team that not only lost lost three times during the elimination rounds, but lost twice to Korea. Seems a little sketchy, yeah? However, if things had been conducted my way (As you can see, I’m riding an awfully high horse right now…), if these two teams were to have met a third time, it would have been in the Championships.
I can see that along with my letter about holding the WBC during an expanded Al-Star break, I’m going to have to include a few notes on how to run the Semis. Who’s got the address to the WBC front office? (haha)
P.S. As an aside… Can you believe that between the two teams in the first ever World Baseball Classic finals, Cuba and Japan, there is only one Major Leaguer between them? (I just learned that from Joe and Jon on ESPN.)