Watching some of the outstanding games from the World Baseball Classic it suddenly hit me. Here is a metaphor for the real world, not the fake one we are being dragged into, kicking and screaming. Make America Great again? If the WBC doesn’t demonstrate what the REAL world is like because of this country’s greatness (well, up until now), then nothing will. Here is THE AMERICAN PASTIME which has been adopted throughout the world and not on a half-hearted basis, but with the commitment and zeal that some would have you believe is a uniquely American trait. Just look at the nations represented in addition to the United States: Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela. Yes, most of the players are those already in the US Major or Minor leagues, but it shows the diversity of what baseball has become, with implications for world economics as well. The nationalistic agenda of the present administration not only denies this reality, it also unrealistically seeks a time that has long passed. We will never see that world again. Life progresses. One needs to adapt and not seek refuge in a past before Jackie Robinson stepped up to the plate at Ebbets Field.
And look at the enthusiasm the WBC has generated. This is truly a world series. I think the game between the Dominican Republic and Colombia, with Jose Bautista throwing out Oscar Mercado by a hair at home plate, is one of the best games and plays I've ever seen: https://youtu.be/ikKHwbajnbE
If he had scored, Colombia would have won the game, but the favored Dominican Republic finally won in an extra-inning game by a large score. The DR beat the US the night before, US blowing a five run lead. We are merely competitors at our own game.
What also struck me about the DR – Colombia game is that every one of the 37,000 seats in the Miami Marlins stadium was occupied. Contrast that to a typical Marlin’s ML game which would have only about a little more than half of that. It is no surprise given the large Spanish population in the area. But that is the point. We are a multinational country now. We need to embrace it. Not run from it. And Baseball, as well as the capitalist forces of the world economy, is of our own making. No doubt, I will root, root, root for the home team (US of A) and if they lose it will be a shame, but we have to play the game.