Thursday, March 09, 2006

WBC - Wednesday

There's been a lot in the American press about how Americans just aren't embracing the World Baseball Classic. (By contrast, there seems to be a huge amount of interest in the Latin American countries.) This photo above of some of the crowd at the US-Canada game about sums it up.

But I think probably part of the problem is that the MEDIA hasn't really embraced it. Yesterday's game is the perfect example. Team Canada pulled off a huge upset of the US team, beating them 8-6 is an electrifying game. Sox reserve outfielder Adam Stern was the big hero - three huge hits including an inside-the-park homer. Several fantastic defensive plays in center field, too (or should I say, centre field?) I turn on ESPN this morning to see the recap - and it's buried in their broadcast, highlights not coming until after the first commercial break. My local newspaper had it on page five, next to trivial notes from the Braves ST camp.

Why? I know there's a real danger of the US being embarrassed. Being beaten by the Canadians yesterday was a shocker for some of them. Manager Buck Martinez talked about how quiet the locker room was after the game. By contrast, the Canadians apparently cued up a tape of Stern's home run and kept it running in a loop. It's interesting that the entire Canadian team - which is made up mostly of minor leaguers - earns a combined salary of $6.6 million. Compare that to the USA's Ken Griffey Jr, who this year will earn $12 million.

In the meantime, I hope Francona is watching our boy Stern in action. I think this could be our fourth outfielder - if he can stay healthy this year. Looks like he has definite "dirt dog" potential!


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