The World Baseball Classic has been much maligned here in the United States, perhaps rightfully so. The U.S. sent a contingent of players which wouldn't exactly be considered the top representatives available. This holds true for other countries as well but naturally the media doesn't point that out.
The big trouble, it seems, is that each country has its own idea of how important the World Baseball Classic is and of the countries involved in the tournament, it would appear that the United States has the least amount of interest/pride in the outcome. Some would argue it is because Major League Baseball is the pinnacle of baseball competition in the world. There's also the timing of the event, occurring right before the baseball season for many countries, when players are easing into playing shape.
I love it. Not because of the misguided patriotism that tends to arise from competitions such as this and the Olympics. I like the opportunity to see players I wouldn't normally see compete. I like seeing how other countries approach the game of baseball. I like my own misguided non-patriotism of rooting for the Netherlands. I've enjoyed following the Classic.
I'll enjoy it even more this weekend as I will be going out to Los Angeles for the semi-finals and final. I'd love to see an Asia/Latin American final. Well, I'd really love to see a Korea/Netherlands final but that ain't going to happen. I'm writing this Sunday night before the Netherlands will likely be knocked out by the United States. Then again, the Dutch have played some tough games and won ones that they really had no business winning. So we will see.
If you haven't yet, tune in to a game and watch some of the top players from around the world play.