weighing in on the WBC

I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but if you’re not watching the World Baseball Classic, you should be.

Earlier this week, the Netherlands gave us the greatest upset in the history of international baseball.  The Dominicans get their rematch tonight.  i got a feeling this one won’t be pretty, but the Netherlands team has already shocked me once this week…

It was nice to see China get their first win and continue to embrace the game.  With population of over 1 billion, there have to be some great ballplayers out there, statistically speaking.  It will only be a matter of time before they are a world powerhouse on the diamond too.

Can ANYONE recall seeing Pudge Rodriguez playing with so much intensity?  Maybe the Tigers should throw him a one-year, league minimum, incentive-laden contract?  He’d probably still want to play everyday – which is the problem the Tigers had in the first place…

Where else but in the WBC do we as Americans get to see the Cuban national team (now that Olympic baseball is history)?  Or even the Japanese team for that matter?  Sure we see Ichiro, Iwamura et al all season long, but there’s so much that  we, as American fans, donlt know about Japanese ball.

I’ve noticed how intense the fans in other countries are about their sports.  The crowd at the Japan – Korea game reminded me of a European football/soccer crowd: rowdy, intense, passionate – they were making noise, lots of noise, for the ENTIRE GAME. The last time I recall hearing anything near that noise level in an MLB game was the Metrodome duing the 1991 World Series.

If you love great competition, you need to be watching – especially as the tournament rolls on and the weaker teams are eliminated.  What else are you going to do during Spring Training – wait for Manny to suit up?  Sit at A-Rod’s bedside while he recuperates.


Of course, if you’re planning to catch a game in Florida or Arizona, that’s good to spend your winter too…

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