Why am I so exciting about the WBC?!? I actually watched about three innings of a replay of Chinese Taipei vs. Korea this afternoon. How can I be interested in any of this?!? I think I may need counseling, because I am actually ashamed of admitting to watching part of that game.
How bad is the WBC? Let's take a look at the WBC rosters vs the 2008 MLB All-Stars.
On the American League side, there were 33 MLB All-Stars and only 9, that is not a typo, nine of them are playing in the World Baseball Classic. For those of us that aren't math majors that is 27% of the AL All-Stars that are playing in the Classic. A sampling of those AL players who decided to hang out in the beautiful 70 degree sun of Arizona or Florida include:
Joe Mauer, Alex Rodriguez (I know he got hurt, but he probably just made it up to get out of the thing), Josh Hamilton, Manny Ramirez, Roy Halladay, Scott Kazmir, Mariano Rivera, Jonathan Papelbon, Jason Varitek, Ian Kinsler, J.D. Drew, and Michael Young.
And how can you blame them? Team USA opens up play in Toronto tomorrow, where the weather forecast is a balmy 43 degrees high and beautiful pouring rain.
What about the NL All-Stars? Did any of them bother to show up for the WBC? Out of 34 NL All-Stars 12 of them decided to play. Again, for those of us that skipped algebra class every Friday because we had "better things to do", these numbers come out to 31% of MLB All-Stars are participating in this year's World Baseball Classic.
How can ESPN promote this event as having the "world's best" baseball players? Give me a roster of players that skipped the event, I will show up in Los Angeles for the Championship, and smoke the winning country like my team was a bunch of Danny Almontes playing in the Little League World Series.
Yet somehow, this stupid thing is going to get me to watch more of it than I want to admit to. It is like a fight happening across the street that you can't take your eyes off of. What if something crazy happens? What if I am the one person who doesn't see it? I would never forgive myself if I missed the Chinese Taipei manager go on a rampage like this guy:
There is also another factor at work forcing me to watch this glorified spring training tournament. There is a Team USA. I can't help but root for Team USA. It is like a bad addiction that I have. Usually it only comes around during the Olympics. But whenever there is a competition that involves an American player or team, I have to watch and root hard for the Americans. If I come across women's figure skating during the Olympics, I all of a sudden become a skating judge dismissing the Russian for bad technique on her triple lutz jump.
So as much as I think that the WBC is just an exhibition tournament blown out of proportion. I will be sitting on my couch agonizing over every at-bat as Team USA tries to bring home the...............uhhhhh...................gold, championship, trophy-thingy?
USA! USA! USA!
Let me know what you think............