Thursday, March 16, 2006

WBC Tiebreakers

The World Baseball Classic has been a great tournament so far. Now if only ESPN2 had decided that showing the games live in English (you can see them live in Spanish on ESPNDeportes) was a higher priority than a women's softball game, then it might have been an even bigger success.

The Korea-Mexico game I attended on Sunday was fantastic, with an excellent ballgame played in front of a packed stadium of very enthusiastic fans, with lots of flags and constant cheering. The Korean fans were very appreciative of their team, but the Mexican fans were another thing altogether, with giant sombreros, luchador masks, etc. I liked the guys wearing jackets from various Mexican League teams; they were hardcore.


The WBC's official website explains the tiebreaker scenarios for this afternoon's USA-Mexico game:

U.S. advances to semifinals with:
  • A win over Mexico
  • A tie with Mexico
  • A 1-0 loss to Mexico
  • A 2-0 or 2-1 loss to Mexico, with the United States having played 8 2/3 innings or more on defense
  • A 3-1 or 3-2 loss to Mexico, with the United States having played 12 1/3 innings or more on defense

Japan advances to semifinals with:
  • A Mexico win over the United States by a score of 2-0 or 2-1, at any point before a second out is recorded in the bottom of the ninth inning
  • A Mexico win over the United States, in which Mexico scores three or more runs in a game ending at any point before a third out is recorded in the bottom of the 12th inning
  • A Mexico win over the United States, in which Mexico scores three or more runs and the United States scores one or more runs in a game ending at any point before an out is recorded in the bottom of the 13th inning
  • A Mexico win over the United States, in which Mexico scores 4 or more runs and the United States scores 1 or more runs in a game ending at any point

Mexico advances to semifinals with:
  • A 3-0 or 4-0 win over the United States, with Mexico having played 13 innings or more on defense



So, that clears things up, right?

3 Comments:

At Thursday, March 16, 2006 at 8:37:00 PM PST, Anonymous Joshua said...

When the tiebreaker scenarios look like this, you know something is wrong. What was the Mexican manager supposed to tell his players: "Okay, guys, nobody had better score any runs until the 13th inning, or we'll be eliminated. The only exception is if the Americans score any runs, in which case you can play normally because we'll already have been eliminated."

 
At Thursday, March 16, 2006 at 10:40:00 PM PST, Blogger Steve Berg said...

What a shame that we can't go out there and beat the Mexican Team....nothing against them, but the USA bats were definately disappointing in the WBC tournament (with the exception of the South African game).

 
At Friday, March 17, 2006 at 10:40:00 AM PST, Blogger Adam Villani said...

Yeah, I think tying the tiebreakers to the number of innings played is a recipe for bizarre gameplay and shenanigans. It's akin to anticompetitive situations like a batting champ sitting out the last game of the season to preserve his average. The simplest thing to do is to peg it to run differential. Either way, ties can still happen, though.

I'm sure the idea would never fly, but it would be possible to play a baseball game with three teams rotating between batting, defending, and sitting on the bench. It might be interesting to see something like that as an experiment.

 

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