One of the pleasures of being a recognized-by but not affiliated-with blog of the Dodgers, is that you get emails for each of the Dodgers' press releases. And there has been nothing like the cavalcade of emails shooting from the computer of Dodger PR representative Amy Summers, who has overloaded our mailbox with emails about this weekend's games. Someone, please take the Red Bull away from Amy. And no sudden movements.
But in all seriousness, here's a top-line on WBC info the Dodgers have shoved down our gullet like a foie gras hors d'ouevres preparation:
- Winner of tonight's USA/Japan game plays tomorrow night against Korea for the WBC Championship. No pressure.
- The US starts Roy Oswalt, and Japan starts Daisuke Matsuzaka.
- The last time these two teams met, in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the US won 8-4 to claim the bronze medal. The US has beat Japan in its most recent four meetings, dating back to 2006.
- A slate of six ESPN "experts" pick Japan to win it all, but it's a little unclear if the methodology was sound as the accompanying flags make it look like the respondents just filled in their scantron sheets with red marker. Special thanks to Peter Gammons for his one-sentence, 14-word insightful analysis of the competition. Yet another salty Boston Red Sox fan, lamenting Dustin Pedroia's WBC injury (Pedroia's replacement, Brian Roberts, went 3-for-3 in the US' 9-3 victory over the Netherlands).
- Jonathan Broxton is the only Los Angeles Dodger on the squad, wearing his Dodger #51. Seven teams are tied with the most number of players on the USA WBC roster, with two. The Giants have none.
- Evan Longoria has replaced the injured Chipper Jones on the USA roster.
- David Wright took the bat he used to clinch victory over Puerto Rico in the USA's dramatic three-run bottom-of-the-ninth comeback in the second round, and donated that bat to Cooperstown. Way to go, David, whom SoSG already likes for being a shrewd VitaminWater mogul.
- Yes, the "backwards-facing" USA flag on the jerseys is correct, and authorized by the US Department of Defense. The star is allowed to "face forward" to make the flag appear as if it is flying in the breeze as the wearer moves forward.
- Tommy Lasorda and Fernando Valenzuela will throw out the first pitch tonight.
- Earlier this afternoon, Frank McCourt gave interested media a tour of a hill near Dodger Stadium Parking Lot 6, where the Dodgers have unceremoniously dumped a commemorative stone lantern that was given to the Dodgers by Sotaro Suzuki, a Japanese sportswriter, in 1962. If this doesn't sound like the lamest "WBC-related event" ever, just think how ridiculous it was to type this press release in the first place.
Let's play ball! Go USA! (For comments in a GameThread, go here.)