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"Lou is not talking about mechanics when he goes out to the mound,"
~Chicago Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Note to USA Baseball: Wake Up

Well, as Cuba and Japan has just shown the United States (and the World), baseball is a World Wide sport. It also helps when you take it seriously. We are told, here in America, that we care about winning and we have the winning attitude and it's America's Sport so as long as the American team shows up, it's a done deal. Yeah right.

This wasn't supposed to happen. The US was supposed to show everyone how the game is really played, not roll over like the #6 seed (which it was) with the ugliest uniforms on the field (seriously, who designed those things?). Instead, teams (and cultures) that actually DO take things seriously and DO actually WORK HARD got it done on the field and got to the final game. The American team didn't even deserve to serve beer at the final game. Maybe hot dogs, but definitely not the cold ones. Once there, the Japanese team simply played their game well, and held off an impressive run by the Cubans to win the first WBC trophy.

Let's hope that in three years, in Japan (fittingly enough), the US team takes the responsibility like adults representing their nation and actually gives it a 100% effort (all due respect to Derrek Lee). I mean, Chipper Jones, Dontrelle Willis, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez... These are not wimps out there. They should have been ready to play. I know, I know, it's Spring Training for us here in the States, and no one wants to see anyone get hurt. But, after I have had time to look at it, wouldn't it be much more appropriate and refreshing to see people going all out for their country instead of a wad of cash? What's more American, loving your country or loving your paycheck? I think the team answered that for us (for those who didn't know already).

Next time around, I would like to see them get the team together earlier and have some time together before heading to Japan for the 2nd WBC. Get used to each other in the field. Play some games against some college teams, like the Trojans, Cardinal or Longhorns, and get ready to represent your nation with pride. I'm not saying you have to win, for it truly is an international game now (as we just witnessed), but at least give it your best shot. If you think Americans are the type to give it their all and show the world what their made of, then show it. If you think Americans are lazy, rich and pampered, and worry more about their job than their country, then do what you just did. You showed us that just fine.

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