3.15.2006

world baseball classic update

team USA is on the brink of elimination in the world baseball classic.

as it stands right now, if japan beats south korea in 9 innings and scores less than 7 runs, then the US goes home early. if that's not the most stupid tiebreaker system, then i don't know what it. if south korea beats japan, then the US has to beat mexico to advance (which it did handily in its first game). they've gotten to this point by losing to canada, a team that's not better than they are, pasting south africa who only got invited because we needed one more team to round out the bracket, beating japan on a blown call that was so obviously made to keep the US in contention. they then got beat by south korea. 2-2 from a team that has a-rod, derek lee, roger clemens, and johnny damon.

of course, we know that i'm rooting against, but now that the team has struggled, the important thing that i mentioned earlier is the reaction from the media and fans. there are some people that are calling the team out for underperforming. however, if you notice the language of this column, there is nothing to the effect that these players are lazy or selfish, unlike when the US basketball team struggled in the world championship and in the olympics. furthermore you get columns like this from page 2's worst writer, jim caple, which actually beseeches you, joe fan, to rally and start supporting your country by rooting for the team.
I tell you, seeing the U.S. team celebrating and congratulating A-Rod made you want to tie yellow ribbons around old oak trees, kiss nurses in Times Square and phone in your vote to "American Idol."
obviously, jim cample is a jackass, and this is an extreme opinion. however, again, i'll point out that there was no such call to rally the troops when the basketball team failed.

there's plenty of studies done on how sports is used to reinforce national identities but in the case of the US, it seems that only works when the sports are played by mostly white players.

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