I like team sports quite a bit but I really have a hard time caring whether most teams win or lose, especially professional clubs. I can no longer wrap my head around why I should like a professional sports team just because it happens to be based in the municipality or region in which I live. The players and coaches aren’t from that same region. They don’t represent me in any way. That’s why I have much more interest in national team sports. Most of the sports that are popular in the USA are not national-team oriented, meaning I don’t frequently have much interest in their activities. However, right now baseball is enjoying the second World Baseball Classic.
The World Baseball Classic is Major League Baseball’s attempt to organize a baseball equivalent to soccer’s World Cup. There are 16 teams involved, representing each of the populated continents:
North America: Canada, USA, Mexico, Panama, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico
South America: Venezuela
Europe: Netherlands, Italy
Africa: South Africa
Asia: Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan
note: the Netherlands team includes Dutch possessions in the Caribbean
Most of these selections make some degree of sense as these countries have pro or semi-pro leagues. Baseball isn’t exactly popular in Australia but they still have several athletes that play in the American major and minor leagues. However, South Africa’s inclusion is baffling, especially as their spot comes at the expense of BETTER baseball nations like Colombia or Nicaragua. Still, I think it’s a cool tournament and I’ll be cheering for one of the smaller nations to start a brawl that results in the American team being killed.