Tag Archives: WBC

On Team Canada’s pitching

scott richmond team canada

While some members of the media seem all too happy to blame manager Ernie Whitt’s pitching rotation for Canada’s early exit from the WBC, it should be noted that Whitt basically used the best plan that was available to him.

With people like Erik Bedard, Ryan Dempster, Rich Harden and Jeff Francis unable (or, in Dempster’s case, unwilling) to participate and fireballer Phillipe Aumont being limited by the Mariners to one-inning stints, Whitt didn’t have much to work with.

Given the circumstances, it makes sense to hold back your best pitchers for the more important elimination games. Thus we end up with Scott Richmond not throwing a pitch in the tournament. But you can’t blame Whitt for Richmond’s lack of playing time. With the mashing potential in Canada’s lineup, there’s no way we should have lost to the Italians. But our bats failed and we did lose.

(And yes, the bats failed, but it’s interesting that the umps were giving Italian pitchers a MUCH more favourable strikezone than the Canuck pitchers were getting…)

The only slight criticism I can offer of Whitt in terms of managing the pitchers is that maybe he should have had Vince Perkins start against the States and let Mike Johnson pitch against Italy. I’m definitely offering this with the benefit of hindsight, Johnson seems like a much better pitcher than Perkins and, following the logic that had Richmond penned in to start against the Venezuelans, Johnson should have started the elimination game against Italy.

I am curious now though to see how all of this affects Richmond’s chances at cracking the Jays’ rotation. Taking time off from trying a spot to pitch for your country — and then not pitching — is not likely to be something that J.P. is going to think too highly of, especially considering his very pro-club stance in the club vs. country debate.

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Filed under Baseball Canada

Oh, Canada

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Baseball returns to our television sets tomorrow, and the matchup — for an early pre-season contest anyway — is one I couldn’t be looking forward to more.

Your Toronto Blue Jays playing host to Team Canada.

And starting for Canada? Scott Richmond. If you’re a pitching with a shot at making your team’s starting rotation, what better case can you make for yourself than shutting down the team you’re trying to make?

It’s not easy for me to cheer against the Jays, but when it’s club vs. country, there’s no question which side I fall on. I mean, just look at this logo and tell me you wouldn’t cheer for this squad:

baseball-canada

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Wells to sit out WBC

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Were you hoping to go to the World Baseball Classic and boo Vernon Wells without feeling bad about it? Too bad, the chance has slipped through your fingers.

Wells won’t be joining Team USA because he’s had too many injury problems lately and, although he’s apparently in great shape now, the insurance to cover him during the tournament was too much for the U.S. to justify.

Go Canada!

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Filed under General baseball, Toronto Blue Jays