Friday, March 6, 2009
The "Classic" That No One Cares About.......
The World Baseball Classic has been dubbed by some as "The True World Series Of Baseball," but in all honesty does the talent on the field really match the hype of the event? It's interesting how the US baseball fan views this differently than the Panama baseball fan. The US fan for the most part doesn't care about the event because it's not the World Series that "American Fan" has grown accustomed to. The "Dominican Fan" however is treating this like the grand spectacle that MLB wants the WBC to be.
I think a big reason why the "American Fan" doesn't get the same chub the "Dominican Fan" does over this is talent on the rosters. For example...let's run off some names:
"Derek Jeter/Ryan Braun/Jimmy Rollins/David Wright/Roy Oswalt"
TEAM DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
"Hanley Ramirez/Jose Reyes/David Ortiz/Alex Rodriguez (ir)/Miguel Tejada"
TEAM JAPAN (DEFENDING CHAMPS...in case you didn't know)
"Dice-K/Ichiro/Fukudome/and a bunch of names I can't pronounce let alone spell."
There are teams from South Africa, Italy and the Netherlands.....and can someone please tell me where Chinese Taipei is?
Originally there were 720 players named to the provisional rosters of the World Baseball Classic and each team had to nail their team down to a 28 man roster from 45 names. If you look at the pool of names that didn't want to participate in the World Baseball Classic for the US.....the list includes:
John Danks (CWS), Brian Fuentes (LAD), Scott Kazmir (TB), Joe Nathan (MIN), Justin Verlander (DET), A.J. Pierzynski (CWS), Derrek Lee (CHC), Evan Longoria (TB), Brian Roberts (BAL), Grady Sizemore (CLE), Vernon Wells (TOR)
With those big names off the roster, you're looking at an outfield of Ryan Braun, Curtis Granderson, and Adam Dunn. Doesn't that just scream GO USA!!!!?? Where's the big boys like Ryan Howard or C.C. Sabathia?? Where's Albert Pujols?? He was the MVP last year right?? How about the young kid from SF Tim Lincecum? Wasn't he a Cy Young Award winner last year??
Seriously, if you look at the pool of 16 teams...only a few stand out. The Dominican team is strong along with Puerto Rico. Japan is the defending champ and strong as well to go along with Venezuela....THAT'S ABOUT IT. I don't see the US team sneaking in the later rounds of "OUR GAME" as Tommy LaSorda calls it.
This whole tournament is just a sham and boring and takes away from the whole essence of spring training. They had to lengthen spring training this year by a week which means anywhere from 5-8 extra games on the schedule for teams this month. We don't need more games in March because there are too many already and the only reason MLB is doing it is cause they wanna promote their game using the whole national pride angle? Hey Bud......this isn't the Olympics!!! The Olympics got rid of baseball in their games.....I don't hear anyone crying about how the US can't showcase their game/national pastime. DO YOU??
The whole thing is a joke. It's pointless and serves no purpose and only holds back MLB teams from getting their players ready for the regular season. Most of the bigger names of "our game" turned down offers to even participate for their national pride. When the players don't wanna play the games....doesn't that send a signal to ya Bud?
People remember when the US beat Russia at Lake Placid. People remember when Michael Phelps dominated the pool. NO ONE REMEMBERS JAPAN WINNING THE INAUGURAL WBC....AND NO ONE WILL REMEMBER THE WINNER OF THIS ONE EITHER!!
I'm not circling the calender on March 21st when the WBC finals begin at Dodger Stadium....get me to opening day!!!
Get rid of this!!! The sooner the better!!
p.s. - Hey Bud...good luck selling out Dolphin Stadium when Italy plays Panama!!