Monday, March 13, 2006

Bay Back from WBC

He talks here about the emotion of playing for your country.

I admit that I didn't pay much attention to this, other than wanting Mexico to lose so Perez could get back to camp. Then I was channel surfing before bed last night and watched a few minutes of Korea playing against Mexico. There was something unusual and compelling about two enthnically uniform teams, with their fans waving their respective flags in the stands, competing against each other. It was fundamentally different from baseball as we know it, and it struck me that it could really ignite peoples' passions as the competition improves over the years. Not just the fans, the players too. I'd imagine that, after what he went through in L.A. last year, Hee Sop Choi might feel greater passion and loyalty toward the Korean national team than toward the L.A. Dodgers, despite the salary they are paying him.

I've always been bemused by the rioting that soccer instigates in Europe. I could actually imagine something similar happening someday with the WBC. An ump blows a critical call in the bottom of the ninth and touches off an international incident. Stranger things have happened.

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