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The World Baseball Classic and the Arrogance of American Sports March 22, 2009

Posted by Matt Brown in Sports.
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Tonight I heard quite possibly the stupidest thing I have heard in a very long time.  I was watching the World Baseball Classic, an international tournament compromising the best players in the world playing for their national teams.  Think of it as the World Cup, thought not nearly as popular, for baseball.  Tonight the USA was playing Japan in the semifinals.  The thing that pissed me off was something one of the commentators said.  They were discussing some questionable moves made by the American coach, keeping a player in when they should have been pulled, and one of them made the point that to a large degree his hands had been tied by the managers of the Major League teams.  The managers wanted to make sure their players got in enough playing time to be ready for the regular season, so rather than simply playing to win the coach also had to make sure he kept players healthy and ready for the regular season.  The stupid thing is not that but what one of the commentators said in defending it, that the managers were right to do that because the regular season was what really mattered in the end and that the players weren’t too worried with this tournament.  According to him they were more concerned with, and now I’m quoting, “winning a world championship.” (i.e. World Series)

I wanted to yell at the screen, THIS IS THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP YOU IDIOT!  The real world championship!  Teams from countries around the world playing not for money, not for themselves, but for the pride of their nations.  That is something worth playing for and it pisses me off that people can ignore that so easily.  But I can’t be too angry at him, because that’s how Americans view international tournaments.  Sure we all pretend to give a damn about the Olympics when it rolls around but when you get right down to it we just don’t care.  We’re the last superpower.  If we win that just proves how great we are.  If we lose, eh, we weren’t really trying anyway.  We have to worry about the “world championship.”

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