Sure, it's only the second go-around of this tournament, yet it is fair to say the World Baseball Classic is an after-thought in the United States.
In 2006, I too thought the WBC was a waste of time and a danger to the major league stars who participated.
This time however, I see things a bit differently.
I consider myself a baseball purist. It's a game I've loved my whole life and regardless of who is playing, I love good baseball.
For those of you who haven't been tuning in, the World Baseball Classic is spectacular baseball.
All of the nations participating, even the ones who have already been eliminated, have rosters filled with major-league talent. It amazes me to see the fans of team Puerto Rico or the fans of the Dominican Republic team go as crazy as they do for these games. The players play with pride, the fans support them raucously. The atmosphere at a game that pits Team Puerto Rico and Team Venezuela is crazy and devoted. Watching these games reminds me just what I love about baseball.
And then we see the United States play the Netherlands. The only team in the tournament with an all major-league roster and the host of the event could barely get 10,000 people to show up at their second round game. For all the passion and craziness that was at that Puerto Rico- Venezuela game, the U.S. match-up was the polar opposite.
It's a shameful sight to see. Team USA, a team filled with star-power and the country with the richest baseball history, couldn't fill up a quarter of Dolphin Stadium; a park located within it's own boarders. Two days later, fans from both Puerto Rico and Venezuela traveled hundreds of miles, filled up that same stadium and turned it into a war-zone.
How often are we asked to tune in and support our country? Even more so, it's not Olympic swimming, it's for America's past-time. What kind of message does it send when the same amount of people go to a WBC game that go to a New England Revolution soccer game?
The World Baseball Classic is a spectacle that has caught the attention of the world, but has avoided the country who created it. I know that here, it's all about major-league baseball. But I know there are plenty of people who, like me, just love good baseball.
This is good baseball...
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