A few things for team USA to think about before the next World Baseball Classic:
1.) Re-learn the fundamentals:
After watching teams like Japan and Korea play in the WBC it seems pretty clear that Team USA needs to get better at the fundamentals. Things like sacrifice bunting, hitting behind the runner, baserunning and defense seem to have fallen by the wayside when it comes to American style baseball. We have become too reliant on the longball and that style of baseball can't be successful against teams like Japan and Korea.
2.) Leave the one-dimensional players at home:
One-dimensional players like Adam Dunn definitely have their place in baseball, but not in a tournament like the WBC. They are much better suited playing for non-competitive teams in non-critical situations when nobody is paying any attention. Watching Dunn play right field in Team USA's semifinal game loss to Japan was like watching a trainwreck. He was constantly out of position, he misjudged balls, was slow getting to balls and in the eighth inning when we still had a chance to win the game he completely gave up on one ball which ended up costing us an important run. Let's just leave these type players at home next time.
3.) Find a manager who's decisions aren't swayed by major league baseball:
If we ever want to win this tournament the manager is going to have to forget about what's best for the players and their MLB teams, and focus on trying to win these games. On many occasions in this tournament I heard the broadcasters talking about how the manager was getting a pitcher his "innings in" or getting a guy his "at bats." I understand that these guys have to get ready for the MLB season but in critical situations that could determine if you win or lose a game maybe they should be more concerned with actually trying to win the game.
4.) Care more:
Throughout the WBC I heard numerous players talk about how much pride it gave them to wear the team USA jersey. I couldn't help but laugh when I heard this. Where is the pride in a team ERA of 5.99, or giving up against Team Puerto Rico and getting mercy ruled in 7 innings. The truth is that these players could really care less about winning this tournament for their country. They make millions and millions of dollars for playing this game, and when their contract is up they move on to the highest bidder. There is no pride in American baseball anymore, it went away a long time ago.