Sunday, March 15, 2009
Last night I went to the WBC game between the USA and Puerto Rico at Dolphin Stadium. It certainly was a unique experience and despite the horrific performance by the American team it was an enjoyable and memorable night. Here are some observations:
- Any Marlins fan would have known that having Adam Dunn play the cavernous outfield of Dolphin Stadium would be a huge mistake, and it was. There were two plays I can recall that a regular outfielder should have made. Early in the game, someone laced a liner to his left (towards the line) and he wasn't able to cut it off. This allowed an extra base hit instead of a single, and I believe there were runners on that scored as well. The other play was the sinking liner that he wasn't able to catch and more importantly didn't stay in front of. The USA must go with Shane Victorino in right field and play Curtis Granderson in center for the elimation game against the Netherlands, which figures to be a low-scoring affair. Dunn can DH if they like.
- Chipper Jones needs to be sat. His plate appearances looked terrible and he still has a .000 BA through ten at-bats. I'm sure he will be hitting .330 by April but for now he needs to be out of the lineup.
- I haven't been a fan of the Derek Jeter/Jimmy Rollins platoon. Just play one with the intent of going the whole game and pinch-hit the other late in the game if the match-up is right. I'd vote for Rollins to start, by the way.
- Shortly before the game started, I asked my friend Alex if he knew who the "home" team was. We found out it was Puerto Rico, and it ended up being very appropriate. The crowd was about 60% Puerto Rican but they accounted for about 95% of the noise.