Tuesday, March 21, 2006

the real world series

Japan beat Cuba in the World Baseball Classic. Overheard on the talk sports radio show the other night, "the Japanese fans are celebrating like it's the World Series." Um, cuz our World Series was never a world series and this World Baseball Classic as much as the American team floundered in it (saying well, it's spring training, we're not in our prime yet), is functionally as close to a World Series as you're going to get.

Just because we invented it doesn't mean we are still the best at this sport. And maybe we have the best players in the world, but we certainly didn't put together the best team in the world. As the news focuses on multi-million dollar star player saleries and we can't wait to hear who did what drugs, in terms of alot of American sports we have forgotten what team really means. The other teams in the World Baseball Classic probably have played with each other for several months already. There's a nuanced energy, a special magic that comes with a team that you will never get from an all star roster based on stats alone. Though there are stars that make the team better, for the most part its the team that makes the star better with its collection of trainers, coaches, support staff.

The best team won. A team with only one name recognized in America, Ichiro, a team whose players may never make it to the tongues of America's fans, because it's not about the names, it never was. It's all about the game.

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