Saturday, March 16, 2013

Team USA's Classic exit disappointing

I have to admit that I have only watched one 2013 World Baseball Classic game so far and it was between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic so I was not at all invested in Team USA’s short-lived run. But I find the news that the USA has once again been bounced from the Classic in the second round disappointing and perplexing.

I really don’t understand why the USA doesn’t perform better in this tournament. I know that Major League Baseball teams resist the idea of having their players participate, which has kept many good American players out of the tournament. Andy Pettitte chose to forgo the WBC even though he clearly wanted to play for Team USA because of the concerns expressed by the New York Yankees. But other WBC teams face the same problem so that’s not much of an excuse. Yu Darvish declined to pitch for Team Japan out of loyalty to the Texas Rangers.

I don’t think USA players are any less patriotic than players on the other teams. Derek Jeter took great pride in representing the USA during previous WBC tournaments. But there doesn’t seem to be the same passion out of the US, both by the players and the fans, as there is from the other WBC participants. The joyful celebrations by teams moving on in the tournament clearly shows that victory in the WBC means a lot to both their players and their people.

So while I do find Team USA’s relatively early WBC exit disappointing, I’ll get over it pretty quickly. I have a lot of Syracuse Orange basketball to keep me busy and entertained. Good luck to my Orange in the Big East tournament final tonight after vanquishing the hated Georgetown Hoyas.

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