Thursday, March 09, 2006

World Baseball Classic

Does anyone beside MLB commish Bud Selig care?

It doesn't do it for me. I don't think Bud realizes that an artificially created tournament, with no natural animosity between nations/teams cannot succeed. All major international oriented sporting events that pit one nation against another benefit from the centuries of conflict these nations have endured. The reason England likes to beat France and Germany in the World Cup is because those three nations have spent decades at war with each other. Brazil hates to lose to Argentina for the same reason.

To some extent international sports were developed to prove national worth outside of the battlefield. Think of the Joe Louis/Max Schmelling fights of the 1930s or Jesse Owens performance at the Berlin Olympics. In both cases Hitler was attempting to showcase Aryan superiority to the world and in both cases he failed as a foreigner, a black one no less, defeated his supermen. To bad Joe and Jesse were not Jewish too, that would have been wonderful.

The reason the 1980 US Olympic hockey victory was so sweet was because of the Cold War. Was anyone crushed by the US' early elimination from the medal round last month? Nope, because nothing larger was at stake.

The WBC has none of this tension. Even Cuba/Venezuela with their anti-American positions can generate any emotion from the average American. There is no true threat from a couple of third world nations that are quickly going nowhere under their respective dictator and wannabe president for life.

The US players saying all the right, nationalistic things when it comes to the WBC, but I believe they really don't care. How else can a 8-6 loss to Canada be explained away. That team should not lose to anyone, much less to our northern neighbor.

I hope Bud gets this WBC thing out of his system after this year and decides to never hold it again. It would be better for him to drop it before a superstar blows out his knee or elbow thus costing his real team a chance to get into a tournament that actually matters, like the World Series.


Post a Comment

<< Home