Legendary Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda is no stranger to worldwide baseball.
Always a patriot, he coached the 2000 Olympic team to a gold-medal win in Sydney and has been a longstanding global ambassador for the sport.
So what does he think of the 2013 World Baseball Classic?
For the past week-and-a-half, I've been representing the US of A. in the famed MLB Fan Cave located in the heart of New York City watching every single game of the tournament with 15 other fans, one from each country involved. Yesterday, I had the honor of sitting down with Lasorda to chat about the WBC, Team USA, and the MLB Fan Cave.
Can you tell me a little bit about your role as an ambassador and what the WBC means to you?
Well, being labeled an ambassador means that no matter where you go, you talk about the Dodgers or you talk about baseball. So I always said being an ambassador for the game is a privilege and an honor.
So why do you think it's important to promote baseball worldwide?
Because you have to promote what you love. I promote marriage. I've been married 63 years. I tell people I love my wife, and I love what I do. So that's what it's all about: love, enjoyment, and being tactful, and being energetic and doing the things that you love to do.
Team USA gets started soon. How do you think they're going to do in the WBC?
Well, I don't predict. Only gypsies predict. But I hope they win. I'm sick and tired of them letting other teams beat them. I'm sick and tired of the Dodgers not being in the World Series for the last 25 years. All I want to see before the big Dodger in the sky calls me is to see the Dodgers win a championship. And I hope it's this year.
Now, you're here at the MLB Fan Cave with myself and the other WBC Fan Cave dwellers. And we're watching every single game of the WBC—even the games in the middle of the night. What do you think of that?
I've seen them myself at night! Two, three o'clock in the morning...because I love to watch them. And I can't be there, so I'm there watching it as it's being played. And I think it's great. I think that this World Baseball Classic is something that the commissioner thought we needed because they booted us out of the Olympics.
They kicked out baseball and girls softball, and those are two of the worst mistakes they could ever make. And it's wrong because baseball is a great sport. When I coached the Olympic team in 1970, I saw when we played teams, we packed the house. Why? Why would they take two sports out that are prevalent, and two sports that are strong and competitive? They made a big mistake, and they better realize it so that they're not not satisfying the Olympics in the right way.
Well, hopefully the WBC will show them that.
Let's hope they wake up!
You can watch Team USA take on Team Mexico Friday night at 9 pm EST on MLB Network!
For more information on the MLB Fan Cave, head to mlbfancave.com.