Pitch counts aren't a hindrance to WBC

March, 18, 2009
03/18/09
12:38
PM ET
ShysterBall on WBC pitch limits:

    This is an odd story. A bad English-Spanish translation cost the Cuban team the use of two of its relievers for its elimination game with Mexico on Sunday. They won though, so no harm no foul. And, as the article notes, it may even work to their advantage tonight as the two pitchers are once again eligible and better rested.

    Of greater interest to me is the fact that, in addition to a mercy rule, the WBC has enforced pitch counts. Essentially, this is a little league tournament then, right? And I'm still supposed to take it seriously?

Well, I don't know. Are we supposed to take September seriously, when every major league club can add 15 players to the roster and run spare relievers and pinch runners out there until the cows come home? Are we supposed to take October seriously, when fifth starters suddenly, utterly disappear from the sport?

I'm on Craig's side. I'd like to see every baseball game played in its purest form. But we make allowances. In September, we mostly forget about the distortion of the expanded roster because we've got pennant races to obsess about. In October, we mostly forget about the distortion of the extra days off because the drama becomes overwhelming. And in March, we -- some of us, anyway -- mostly forget about these pitch counts because watching the world's best players -- some of them, anyway -- really trying to win is a great deal more interesting than spring training.

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