World Baseball Classic gets better and better

I was glad to see Eric Neels’ piece on ESPN.com about the momentum the WBC seems to be gaining.
I agree.  It is hard not to get sucked in if you are a baseball fan.
Right now Puerto Rico is ahead of the Dominican Republic 7-1 in the
8th.  Cuba beat Venezuela today 7-1.  The US beat Japan 4-3
in the bottom in the ninth with a disputed call.
This is good stuff.
The only problem is the disconnect between how seriously the non-US
public takes this kind of tournament versus fans in the US.  For a
country where baseball is supposedly up there with apple pie and
motherhood, and a great baseball showdown has been teed up for the US
public to see every day for a couple of weeks, it is amazing how few
people I seem to talk to, who on any other normal baseball season day
would get rabid about the umpire’s call on a sixth pitch in the 3rd
inning on a minor league game, are not paying attention to the WBC.
I hope that there are indeed US fans somewhere who watching this first
WBC.  Because what they will see is that there are a number of
places in the world where baseball, and national pride, are taken very
seriously.

But if not, baseball will still live on, and very strongly, in the
northern Latin American countries and Eastern Asia.  It is ironic
that a tournament organized by a US-based sports league might end up
doing a better job stoking the fire of fans in Korea, Puerto Rico,
Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Venezuela and Cuba than in its
own country.

Which is certainly good for baseball globally.  But as in all
things global these days, there is a strange, glassy eyed,
non-interactive and pathetic glaze to the average US citizen’s view of
the world.  Apathy is too much in vogue these days, and there is
certainly a chasm between what people think and what people do. 
There are too many parallels between the extent to which US citizens
oppose the Iraq war and do not say anything, and how much they love
baseball, yet are not interested in how their baseball squad does on
the world stage.

I said this in an earlier post, but kudos to Bud Selig to have pulled
the World Baseball Classic off.  This has the potential to be a
great tradition for years to come.

It would be nice if the US public came along for the ride, and really got into it.

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