World Baseball Classic


World Baseball Classic

By: Austin Alexander

March 16, 2006


After hearing skeptics ridicule the World Baseball Classic and watching player after player drop out in the weeks preceding the event, most people were uncertain what to expect. As we near the end of the second round, what is your opinion?


I’ll offer you mine.


If you know me at all you’ve got a good feel for the passion I have for baseball. Not just the present but it’s storied past as well.


Stay with me for just a second.


Years ago, I chose not to educate myself on the daily reports of the Pete Rose scandal. To me, Rose was a hard-nosed player who had more hits in history than anyone else—that’s all I cared to know.


When labor disputes have halted play and a strike cancelled the World Series, I could not have cared less about the mechanics of the ordeal—I just pulled for both sides to figure it out and cheered the game when they finally did.


As steroid talk has become more and more prevalent, I’ve decided I’ve heard enough. Idle conversation is unproductive. The finger pointing and “tell all” books have run its course with me.


You see, I prefer to keep my head in the sand and not contribute to talk that is detrimental to the game of baseball. I opt, instead, to focus on what is good about the national pastime. The game itself…and the World Baseball Classic.


Much has been made of how it interrupts Spring Training, the risk of injury to superstars and time of the telecasts, among other things…


Have you watched any of The Classic?


It’s been very good. The unbridled passion of Latin American fans has been refreshing throughout the tournament. Then you have a Cuban team that uses baseball to get them off a communist island for a brief period. And, of course, a United States team of professionals that have been reminded why they play the game. You need star power? Got it. Most of the foreign teams also have Major League names you know.


Tonight, Team USA squares off against Mexico at 7:30. If we win we advance, if we lose we are eliminated. And to top it off, Roger Clemens could be making the final start of his legendary career! I don’t know about you but that’s pretty intriguing baseball for March!


Though much of America has chosen to treat The World Baseball Classic like the World Cup, this thing is quality baseball played during a time of year when true baseball fans are yearning for the season to roll around.


Tonight I will sit down with my family and root for my country and watch real good pre-season hardball! Maybe you will too.