...Ichiro Suzuki's comments after the game:
"I was already down before I missed the bunt and then things got worse. It felt as if I was wearing a Cuban uniform. ... I really killed the momentum. And so when my teammates came through for me after that, I felt so grateful to them. It's amazing what they did."
...Tatsunori Hara's comments on Ichiro's day:
"He's really a legend in the baseball world. I always thought that he had a toughness no other player has. But then I saw how happy he was today and that's when I realized, Ichiro is human too."
...Daisuke Matsuzaka's comments on today's victory:
"I already knew I'd have another chance to start. At this point, I don't really care who I have to pitch against."
...Norichika Aoki's comments after the game:
"All I wanted to do was win at any cost; I'm glad I was able to get the results I did. There wasn't really any skill involved -- it was all feeling and emotion. I was filled with the desire to make something happen."
...TV ratings for the third Japan / Korea game came in at 21.2%. This is actually sounds a bit low in comparison to the other games.
- Japan / Cuba (5am hour) - 11.6% (6am on) - 24.6%
- Japan / Korea (2nd match-up) - 33.6%
- Japan / Korea (1st match-up) - 37.8%
- Japan / China - 28.2%
...A NY Times article mentions that a handful of scouts where at the Japan / Korea game the other day. Here's snippet:
"The Japanese, they are far superior fundamentally," said Ducey, the Blue Jays' coordinator of Pacific Rim operations. "They take thousands of ground balls a week, not just the young guys, all of them. The Japanese run hard down the line all the time. Koreans, it's a little haphazard at times. And Koreans are generally more physical, more aggressive at the plate. They're more suited for our game."
...There's growing tension between Kenji Johjima and Katsuya Nomura. The two sides have been trading barbs ever since the WBC player selection process started and it has cultiminated in the following comments:
"He (Johjima) needs to work on his character a little more. If he's going to represent Japan he needs to show a little more personality and dignity. A misunderstanding? I have no desire to fight with a person like that."