The second World Baseball Classic is in progress and once again, I just cannot get into it. The idea is great; as a baseball fan, any way to promote baseball around the world is fine by me. But until I looked up the wikipedia entry, I couldn’t remember who won the last one. Off the top of my head, I can’t name more than three members of the Canadian team (Jason Bay and Justin Morneau because they’re awesome and Stubby Clapp because I can’t imagine anyone willingly going by the name “Stubby”).
I did watch a bit of a game earlier today while folding laundry, but I didn’t finish watching it, and did not later feel compelled to find out the final score like I did watching women’s softball during the Olympics. Now maybe that’s because the game I happened to be watching was the Cubans wiping out the South Africans 7-0 in the 5th; if the game had been close, I might have been more interested. Canada plays Italy tomorrow night with the winner advancing to the next round and the loser going home, so I may check that game out, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if it slips my mind.
It would be different if this was a competition featuring the best baseball players in the world, but it’s not. It’s a competition featuring the best baseball players in the world who aren’t injured, weren’t injured last year, didn’t have off-season surgery, whose teams allowed them to play, and who give a damn about this tournament. When players like Halladay, Pujols, Beltre, Santana, Papelbon, Lincecum, and Dempster are all skipping it so that they don’t miss spring training, you can tell the level of interest in this tournament. I don’t remember many American basketball players or Canadian hockey players who have passed on the Olympics for any reason other than they were physically unable to play.
It’s pretty simple, really — if the best players in the game don’t care about the tournament, why should I?
Next morning update: I totally forgot about this game last night. Turns out that this might have been a good idea since Canada lost.