You probably already know my thoughts on this since I’ve opined on the World Baseball Classic before. Still, let’s present the facts of the case first. Over the weekend around 11,000 fans showed up to watch the U.S. play Netherlands at Dolphin Stadium in South Florida (still about 10,000 more than show up for Marlins games). For the game against Puerto Rico, the attendance was around 30,000, about half of whom were fans of the island team (you can see how many people were there on Tuesday in the picture at right). Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis who’s been carrying the U.S. offensively in the WBC isn’t too happy about all this:
“I don’t think we have enough pride in this. It’s kind of a sad day – and I know it’s a tough time (economically) to buy tickets – when you see that. I don’t think there’s as much pride in the USA as there is for these other countries. There was a whole section of Dominican fans (Sunday) night just here to watch baseball. I think we’re losing a little bit of pride for, quote, ‘America’s national pastime.’ ”
“It definitely hurts a little bit to know that you’re always the away team in your own country,” he said. “There are some good people out there, but it would be nice to have a lot more of those people chanting ‘USA,’ holding up American flags. That’s the one thing we didn’t see much of the other night – there were more Puerto Rican flags than American (flags).”
You want to know why, Mr. Youkilis? It’s because this isn’t a real event. Just be happy that your Red Sox games always sell out and that you have a packed house with rabid fans who live and die by each at-bat you take. What do you really expect from the fans, to go head-over-heels for a fake, made-for-TV event? Fans are already committed to their teams, isn’t that enough? You’ll also notice that the U.S. isn’t getting too patriotic because the whole world already acknowledges the best baseball is already played here. What is there for us to prove, that we shared a popular game with the rest of the world? Fantastic, let’s all celebrate! The day this event goes away wouldn’t be soon enough for me.
(via Ben Maller)Google+