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The musings of a Detroit-area sportswriter in the digital age.

Monday, March 23, 2009

What Baseball Classic?

It's unfortunate, but I see the WBC headed the way of World Cup soccer. Well, on second thought, maybe it's not quite that drastic. But even if the United States had been able to hang on to an early lead, defeat the Japanese and earn a berth in tonight's WBC final, who would be watching?
I would tune in ... but I have to. How many casual viewers would pick a WBC final, United States vs. Korea, over say the men's NIT, women's NCAA tournament, or even a late Red Wings game (both are a 9:30 start)?
Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda said the following before the tournament began:
(excerpted from an story dated March 5)
"We cannot allow those clubs to beat us. It's our game," the former Los Angeles Dodgers manager said Thursday. "Remember one thing: In your hearts, you better pull for the USA or you may not get into heaven."
Sorry pal, but it may have started here, but other people are beating us at "our own game." Is that really a bad thing? Others have adopted a game that began here. It seems fit for a compliment to me.
Back to the original problem, baseball's just not as popular as other sports anymore, leaving the second installment of a preseason tournament, one where the U.S. falls to the middle of the pack, out in the cold.


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