World Baseball Challenge

No doubt inspired by the upcoming World Baseball Classic and his new MLB.com gig, JoePos threw down a couple pretty interesting challenges for his readers the other day:

Challenge One:

Try to beat my lineup and starting pitcher — with this caveat. Every player in the lineup and the pitcher must be active and born in a different country. So you have 10 players — 9 in the lineup (including DH) and starting pitcher.

Bonus point: Add a closer from a different country.

Challenge Two:

Come up with a 25-man roster that beats mine where all 25 players are born in different countries. This one you don’t have to just use active players, you can go back as far back in history as you like.

Bonus point: Get a manager who is from a different country.

Hint: All territories count as separate countries … Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, etc.

JoePos hasn't posted his lineup or roster yet, nor has he detailed his criteria for "best." He did add a few provisos: Only a player's MLB time counts, and a player "must be viable at the position you put him at, including the specific three outfield spots." As I put my submission together I realized how tricky it was to get all the right pieces for a 25-man roster. It certainly forces some hard choices, which I think say a lot about your philosophy & approach to building a roster.

I'll spoiler my roster and observations below, but feel free to post your own active lineup or full roster. This seemed like a fun way to limber up for some quadrennial international baseball.

'My 25-Man/Country Roster' SelectShow
'Things I Learned' SelectShow

39 thoughts on “World Baseball Challenge”

  1. 'Your Omission' SelectShow

    I'll be chewing on this a bit. Probably won't put a full 25 together, but this is an awesome post. Thanks CH.

    1. I truly feel bad about omitting him. My perception might be skewed, but I have this sense that he's one of the least discussed/analyzed/examined inner circle HoFers (in terms of his on-field performance).

  2. Ok, here goes...

    'Spoiler' SelectShow

    Now, let's see who my glaring omissions were.

      1. Hey, if Puerto Rico counts, then I'm absolutely going to mostly apply FIFA's weird rules.

    1. I'm nodding my head at a good many of these, Pirate.

      'Specifically' SelectShow
      1. 'Spoiler' SelectShow
  3. It seems odd that a supposed shortstop factory like the Dominican can't seem to get anyone to put a Dominican at shortstop. (Not that I'm arguing that anyone should have.)

  4. I kinda cheated using CH's method of pre-statehood territories and using UK consitutent countries

    'Spoiler' SelectShow
    1. I think a few the territorial claims are rough.

      Spoilers, I guess SelectShow
      1. Other places...

        'Spoiler' SelectShow
      2. My intent was to interpret the vaguely-worded rules JoePos provided to my advantage. I learned a fair amount about what constitutes a "territory" in the ways you're getting at, but I kept coming back to the problem that the challenge was laid out without sufficient detail, and that if I don't interpret the parameters in this way, I'm potentially ceding an advantage to the person making them, whose full intent is only known to himself.

        'U.K. as Precedent' SelectShow
        'PCZ' SelectShow
        1. if I don't interpret the parameters in this way, I'm potentially ceding an advantage to the person making them, whose full intent is only known to himself.

          I'll give you that, as a competition. I'm more concerned about the way it should be done.

          UK vs Incorporated Territory SelectShow

          Curious how you would treat a player born in Vichy France, or East Germany. Or how would you treat two players born in Prague, an older one born in Czechoslovakia, and the younger one born in the Czech Republic.

          1. Still Spoilering I guess SelectShow
  5. The Hardball Times published a piece by Adam Dorhauer this morning detailing the starting lineup for his all-world baseball team. Dorhauer's criteria are slightly different than JoePos' – players who never appeared in MLB are eligible and in his lineup. (I won't spoil who they are, but they're very strong choices.) What I particularly appreciated about his piece, however, was how he combined his examination of positional depth with a discussion of eligible representatives of various nations, and how making strategic choices in certain places affects the selectee's compatriots. If you've enjoyed these threads in this piece, then you'll probably enjoy reading Dorhauer's analysis.

    Edit: Part 1, detailing Dorhauer's pitching staff & bench, is here.

    1. Haven't read the piece yet, but...

      'Spoiler' SelectShow

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