|US should be embarrassed with performance|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on March 22, 2009
And the embarrassment begins anew.
Team USA was eliminated by Japan 9-4 from the WBC on Sunday. The blame rests on multiple shoulders.
Jake Peavy and Roy Oswalt, the U.S.'s supposed two-headed monster, fizzled out. They didn't have the arm strength to dominate. Peavy looked like he was suffering through a bit of dead arm in his second start, while Oswalt was gassed after three innings against Japan.
If these pitchers want to dominate -- and why bother showing up if they didn't want to -- they needed to start throwing earlier so they would be in shape for this. The same goes for the multitude of hitters who were injured. Start taking swings earlier.
The players who declined to participate should be held accountable, too. Few major league stars skipped for other countries. Why did it take, according to some sources, about 70 phone calls to fill the U.S. team out? Where were CC Sabathia, Tim Lincecum and Roy Halladay? Where were Mark Teixeira, Josh Hamilton and Ryan Howard? The list of missing superstars continues.
Fans, where were you? Attendance at these games was sparse, even though the U.S. got to hold the event. Several U.S. players complained they hadn't played a home game through the second round. Fans were showing up for meaningless spring training games in Mesa, Ariz., but not meaningful games in Los Angeles or Miami. The U.S. fans were outdone by fans cheering for their opponents.
There really is no reason for the U.S. to have lost so many times, so badly. The U.S. hosts the last two rounds of the event and has the weakest first-round pool play. Let's just hope the U.S. is ready to avoid another embarrassment in 2013.