Team USA, playing in Pool D, is off to a disappointing start in the World Baseball Classic. Starter R.A. Dickey led off the game allowing a single to Eduardo Arrendondo and a double to Ramiro Pena. Both would quickly score on a Luis Cruz sacrifice fly and Adrian Gonzalez ground out. In the third, Arrendondo led off with a single again and was plated when Adrian Gonzalez homered to center field. Dickey’s night ended after the fourth inning with a total of 38 pitches.
USA got on the board in the bottom of the fourth when Jimmy Rollins led off with a single, advanced to second on a one-out walk by Ryan Braun (chasing Mexico starter Yovani Gallardo in the process), and scored on a David Wright single to right.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.