David Wright Walks America Off
I’m not a huge fan of the World Baseball Classic, and it’s mainly because of its proximity to the Major League Baseball season. I love the idea of it, but if they intend to have dozens of Major League players filling up rosters, the timing of it is just awful. Every professional player is preparing for the beginning of the season, so the intensity level clearly isn’t there in March. But since the WBC is held then, it has to be there for the players participating. It certainly was not there for the Dominicans, who fell to the Netherlands twice in the opening round.
Team USA, however, has reinvigorated my interest and caused me to second-guess my notion about the pros’ dedication to the tournament. They got demoralized by way of the mercy rule at the hands of Puerto Rico 11-1 in their first meeting of the second round- and could have laid down again yesterday and packed their bags for Florida and Arizona- but last night’s game was quite different. Down three runs in the bottom of the ninth, they rallied with key hits and a Kevin Youkilis based-loaded walk, capped with the game-winning two run single by David Wright. I wish I was a bigger fan of the WBC, because this moment has all the makings of a classic in American sports history.
Until they change the timing of the WBC, it will always seem like an exhibition to me, no matter how the players treat it. But if Team USA overcomes everything they’ve gone through thus far and defeats the likes of Venezuela, Korea and Japan to win it all, I may become a real fan and not just a fair-weather.