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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Youkilis wants more Americans to care about the WBC

And I wanted more turds to care about the cancelled Ipswich Punk Festival…so there!

Kevin Youkilis, a member of the United States squad in the World Baseball Classic, says he has been disappointed to feel like a visiting team in all three of the Americans’ games so far this year.

Playing in Toronto, where Red Sox fans sometimes outnumber Blue Jays fans for major-league games, the American team was shouted down first by Canadian fans and then by fans of Team Venezuela in its second and third games. The U.S. team plays Saturday night in Miami against Puerto Rico.

“Hopefully we get a crowd that roots for us in the United States,” Youkilis said, according to The Boston Herald. “It’s going to be tough. I think our fans need to step it up. The people of the United States need to step it up and cheer us on.”

He added: “If we’re outnumbered in Miami, it’s going to be tough to deal with. We’re going to be in the U.S. We need a good fan base to cheer us on and help us win. It’s going to be our home field. We should have home field advantage, hopefully. Hopefully.”

Repoz Posted: March 12, 2009 at 04:47 PM | 93 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox, special topics

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   1. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: March 12, 2009 at 05:00 PM (#3101138)
Kevin Youkilis, a member of the United States squad in the World Baseball Classic, says he has been disappointed to feel like a visiting team in all three of the Americans’ games so far this year.
But you were the visiting team.
   2. Tripon Posted: March 12, 2009 at 05:05 PM (#3101144)
He probably thought a lot of fans from Buffalo would travel over to root for the U.S.
   3. Chris Needham Posted: March 12, 2009 at 05:06 PM (#3101147)
I'd have cheered louder if he hadn't struck out last night. Dirty bum.
   4. Weeks T. Olive Posted: March 12, 2009 at 05:09 PM (#3101150)
Not that I'm rooting against the US team or anything, but it's tough to root for them when most of my favorite players are either A) playing for other teams or B) not playing at all [1].

I think I would prefer a country that doesn't have the baseball exposure of US/Canada/Japan/DR/Venezuela to win the thing, in order to help grow interest in another country, if nothing else.

[1] That isn't to say that I want more players to enter the WBC. I'm still not sure how I feel about the whole thing at this point.
   5. Mooser Posted: March 12, 2009 at 05:14 PM (#3101154)
I was at all the WBC games in Toronto, and besides the Canada / US game which drew about 42,000 Canadians, the average attendance was likely around 15,000. Of these 15,000 it was about 12,000 Venezuelans, 2,900 Canadians and about 100 Americans. It was so quiet last night that the Pedroia could hear our heckling from the Right Field stands.
   6. DKDC Posted: March 12, 2009 at 05:14 PM (#3101156)
But I do care, Kevin, and you're a major reason I care.

Youkilis (and Pedroia and Jeter) play for the US, therefore I will root against the US. I'll be in the stands in Miami Saturday night rooting for PR.
   7. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: March 12, 2009 at 05:15 PM (#3101158)
I'm learning to enjoy the WBC on its own merits, but I wouldn't care if no MLB players were playing in the thing.

And good luck with the whole "Team USA" thing. Nobody cares about Team USA.
   8. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 12, 2009 at 05:17 PM (#3101164)
And good luck with the whole "Team USA" thing. Nobody cares about Team USA.

The f*ck you talkin' about, mister?
   9. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: March 12, 2009 at 05:19 PM (#3101168)
Youk-SA.. Youk-SA
   10. StHendu Posted: March 12, 2009 at 05:20 PM (#3101169)
“The people of the United States need to step it up and cheer us on.”

Yeah! Especially those United States citizens from Puerto Rico.
   11. plim Posted: March 12, 2009 at 05:25 PM (#3101171)
I think I would prefer a country that doesn't have the baseball exposure of US/Canada/Japan/DR/Venezuela to win the thing, in order to help grow interest in another country, if nothing else.

like the netherlands? =)

btw, baseball is also huge in korea. although probably still 2nd fiddle to soccer. while it doesn't have the mlb penetration/effect of japan let alone venezuela/dr, i'm not so sure i would include it in your list of "underdog/unexposed" countries like the netherlands, south africa, australia, italy and (mainland) china.
   12. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 12, 2009 at 05:29 PM (#3101178)
I care about the WBC. I was hoping the US beat Venezuela and Puerto Rico. I don't really want them to win the whole thing though.
   13. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: March 12, 2009 at 05:32 PM (#3101183)
Any event without Matt Wieters in it is not worth watching. I didn't watch the Oscars because there was no Matt Wieters, and I certainly am not going to watch a Wieters-free WBC.
   14. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: March 12, 2009 at 05:36 PM (#3101189)
I'm more of an IBF kinda guy, personally.

This is Boxing Think Factory, no?
   15. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: March 12, 2009 at 05:36 PM (#3101191)
“If we’re outnumbered in Miami, it’s going to be tough to deal with. We’re going to be in the U.S. We need a good fan base to cheer us on and help us win. It’s going to be our home field. We should have home field advantage, hopefully. Hopefully.”

Good thing he doesn't play soccer for the US national team.
   16. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 12, 2009 at 05:39 PM (#3101192)
According to the 2000 census, Miami-Dade county had a population of 2,253,362 of whom 1,291,737 (57%) were Hispanic/Latino. By 2005 the population grew to 2,422,075 with proportionate growth throughout most of the county, including the two largest cities (Miami, 386,882 and Hialeah, 230,407). The city of Miami is 66% Hispanic/Latino and Hialeah is 90% Hispanic/Latino.

According to the 2000 census, among the 1,291,737 Hispanics/Latinos living in Miami-Dade County, 50% were Cuban American, 11% South American, 9% Central American, 6% Puerto Rican, 3% Mexican American, 3% Dominican American, and 18% classified as Other. Within the county, 54% of the residents were foreign born.
   17. Zac Schmitt Posted: March 12, 2009 at 05:43 PM (#3101200)
I was at all the WBC games in Toronto, and besides the Canada / US game which drew about 42,000 Canadians, the average attendance was likely around 15,000. Of these 15,000 it was about 12,000 Venezuelans, 2,900 Canadians and about 100 Americans. It was so quiet last night that the Pedroia could hear our heckling from the Right Field stands.


this is pretty acruate. it's tough to make much noise when there simply aren't many of you.

i want the u.s. to win. if people are allowed to get as excited about swimming and gymnastics as they do, i don't feel silly rooting for my birth country, of which i am quite proud, in my favorite sport.
   18. morineko Posted: March 12, 2009 at 05:49 PM (#3101205)
At least it's not a USA/Netherlands matchup in Game 1. Isn't VandenHurk supposed to start that one? (I'm assuming that you'd end up with some Marlins fans intermixed with the national supporters for his start.)

I'm caring about the WBC more than I thought I would, but what I'm caring about are the non-powerhouse teams because I find them interesting and watching their games gives me a chance to see Twins and Brewers minor leaguers.
   19. Delorians Posted: March 12, 2009 at 05:55 PM (#3101212)
'Any event without Matt Wieters in it is not worth watching. I didn't watch the Oscars because there was no Matt Wieters, and I certainly am not going to watch a Wieters-free WBC.'

OK, I tried researching this myself, but can't figure it out. Can someone please explain the BTF Matt Wieters inside joke?
   20. villageidiom Posted: March 12, 2009 at 05:58 PM (#3101218)
Matt Weiters : Orioles fans :: Pedroia : kevin
   21. Zac Schmitt Posted: March 12, 2009 at 05:59 PM (#3101220)
i'm pretty sure i know the answer to this already, but can matt wieters hit the high inside fastball?
   22. Obama Bomaye Posted: March 12, 2009 at 06:00 PM (#3101221)
What joke?
   23. PreservedFish Posted: March 12, 2009 at 06:04 PM (#3101227)
Matt Weiters : Orioles fans :: Pedroia : kevin


Matt Weiters : fans of the pursuit of human excellence :: Pedroia : kevin
   24. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: March 12, 2009 at 06:14 PM (#3101239)
I'm just flabbergasted that a site full of people who love baseball are so lukewarm about the WBC. Not every game is great, but there have sure been some awesome ones already: not only 100 times more exciting than Spring Training games, but actually more exciting than a lot of regular season MLB games. Netherlands vs. DR was one of the most gripping non-playoff games I've watched in years. Other great games have been Canada vs. USA, Puerto Rico vs. Netherlands I, Cuba vs. Australia, and Korea vs. Japan II.

The games in the seeding round pretty much sucked, but nobody really seemed to be taking them too seriously.

Cuba vs. Japan in round 2 should be off the charts awesome
   25. The District Attorney Posted: March 12, 2009 at 06:18 PM (#3101245)
i'm pretty sure i know the answer to this already, but can matt wieters hit the...
Stop right there: the answer is yes.
   26. Rally Posted: March 12, 2009 at 06:19 PM (#3101249)
Matt Weiters : Orioles fans :: Pedroia : kevin


It's more like the Cole Hamels / Chuck Norris phenomena.

I was rooting hard last night, for team Venezuela. You really think you can take a K-Rod vs. Youkilis matchup and make me change my rooting just by dressing it up in nationalism?

Don't think so. I'm an Angels fan first (with loyalty to some great players even after they leave the big A).
   27. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 12, 2009 at 06:22 PM (#3101252)
I'm an Angels fan first (with loyalty to some great players even after they leave the big A).


It's not Carlos Ruiz's fault that Panama got knocked out! Look who has the starring role in their one highlight photo!
   28. RJ in TO Posted: March 12, 2009 at 06:22 PM (#3101253)
OK, I tried researching this myself, but can't figure it out. Can someone please explain the BTF Matt Wieters inside joke?


To Bill Brasky!
   29. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: March 12, 2009 at 06:44 PM (#3101284)
Cuba vs. Japan in round 2 should be off the charts awesome


yeah, i'm thinking i may have to head down to Petco to see that (assuming Cuba takes care of business today)

Sunday at 1pm, that might be perfect.
   30. DKDC Posted: March 12, 2009 at 06:48 PM (#3101298)
An almagamation of three different actually true stories about Wieters:

Wieters was given the day off to attended the funeral of a friend back home. Immediately after the funderal, he hopped on the next plane back.

By the time he got to the ballpark, his team was losing late in the game, but they were threatening with the bases loaded. Wieters was inserted into the game as a pinch hitter and he hit a grand slam to give his team the lead.

In the bottom of the 9th, Wieters took the mound and retired the side in order for the save.
   31. Lassus Posted: March 12, 2009 at 06:48 PM (#3101300)
I really barely care who wins, but I think it's compelling baseball and I am loving watching it.
   32. Gamingboy Posted: March 12, 2009 at 07:12 PM (#3101342)
Any event without Matt Wieters in it is not worth watching. I didn't watch the Oscars because there was no Matt Wieters, and I certainly am not going to watch a Wieters-free WBC.


The fact that I both helped create the Wieters Meme and am the main WBC guy kills that argument. That said, the Oscars would have been 100000% better if it had Wieters.

As to the low turnout: Well, there was no advertising South of the Canadian border for Toronto Tickets. There was not a single poster, TV Ad or radio announcement in Buffalo, Rochester, Niagara Falls, etc- at least none I heard. I only got tickets to the US/Canada game because I'm an obsessive Baseball fan and therefore knew about the event.

Funny story however that has to deal with going over the border: My party literally had a 2 minute conversation with the Border Guard when he told us the Bills signed T.O.


Anyway...
I say again, there are only three things that will get a large majority of people heavily interested in the WBC:
1. A loss in the finals to Cuba.
2. A game that is so good, awesome and amazing involving Team USA that it makes the 6-5 game against Canada look like a game of catch....
3. Some heavily nationalistic reason. Like, if there was a major terrorist attack in January and the WBC would be the first International competition to take place after, then I'm sure a bunch of people would be interested. And you know Bud Selig would milk tragedy as much as he could.
   33. Guapo Posted: March 12, 2009 at 07:13 PM (#3101343)
Wieters was given the day off to attended the funeral of a friend back home. Immediately after the funderal, he hopped on the next plane back.

Not so impressive, until you realize that "he" in this story refers to the friend. Oh, Matt Wieters, you've done it again.
   34. Posada Posse Posted: March 12, 2009 at 07:24 PM (#3101359)
Yeah! Especially those United States citizens from Puerto Rico.


I don't think so!
   35. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: March 12, 2009 at 07:25 PM (#3101362)
[1] That isn't to say that I want more players to enter the WBC. I'm still not sure how I feel about the whole thing at this point.


Good grief, Netherlands vs. DR I and II were some of the best games I've ever seen.
   36. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: March 12, 2009 at 07:32 PM (#3101371)
1. A loss in the finals to Cuba.

I don't think this would do much. Does anyone outside of southern Florida care about Cuba any more?
   37. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: March 12, 2009 at 07:36 PM (#3101377)
Good grief, Netherlands vs. DR I and II were some of the best games I've ever seen.


I'll be stunned, just stunned, if there is an MLB game this year that matches Netherlands/DR II for excitement and drama. The last post-season winner take all extra-inning game was Game Seven of the 2003 ALCS. Since then we've had two others that meet one of the two criteria; Game Seven of the 2006 NLCS went to the 9th inning and the play-in game between SD and Colorado in 2007.
   38. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 12, 2009 at 07:37 PM (#3101378)
33 is a great point. And Wieters puts the "fun" in "funderal", to boot.
   39. Gamingboy Posted: March 12, 2009 at 07:53 PM (#3101399)
I don't think this would do much. Does anyone outside of southern Florida care about Cuba any more?


We'd want to beat them just to make said people in Florida shut up.
   40. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 12, 2009 at 08:57 PM (#3101483)
And good luck with the whole "Team USA" thing. Nobody cares about Team USA.


I do.
   41. JJ1986 Posted: March 12, 2009 at 09:07 PM (#3101499)
I care a lot. I just want the Dutch to win.
   42. Darnell McDonald had a farm Posted: March 12, 2009 at 09:45 PM (#3101542)
There are only two things I hate in this world: people who are intolerant of other cultures, and the Dutch
   43. MM1f Posted: March 12, 2009 at 09:49 PM (#3101548)
Hes not playing for Team Greece : )?
   44. frannyzoo Posted: March 12, 2009 at 09:50 PM (#3101551)
The WBC is like those add-on apps Apple stuck on the IPhone to supposedly make me care enough to get an IPhone. I'll never get an IPhone and I'll never care about the WBC. Except, that is, my I'm sick of "USA! USA!" part of me which just roots for the USA to lose in anything. Anything. Not quite enough of that, however, to ever care about this bogus, add-on app, event.
   45. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: March 12, 2009 at 09:55 PM (#3101557)
The WBC is like those add-on apps Apple stuck on the IPhone to supposedly make me care enough to get an IPhone. I'll never get an IPhone and I'll never care about the WBC. Except, that is, my I'm sick of "USA! USA!" part of me which just roots for the USA to lose in anything. Anything. Not quite enough of that, however, to ever care about this bogus, add-on app, event.

I'm confused.

WBC <=> apps
???? <=> IPhone

All I can say is, ???? better not be Matt Wieters in this analogy, or there will be hell to pay.
   46. Harris Posted: March 12, 2009 at 11:06 PM (#3101586)
i've watched a few games and the problem is:
They're essentially all-star games.
It's better than spring training, but not as good as a real game.
Players come out after 5 innings for no reason. Pitchers only go 50 pitches max....

They're played like exhibition games, so that's why fans have an exhibition-esque attitude towards them.
   47. frannyzoo Posted: March 12, 2009 at 11:13 PM (#3101591)
Sorry for any analogical confusion.

WBC = add-on app to good 'ol baseball sold to those people who don't like baseball for whatever reason but might if "USA! USA!" can be chanted

Worthless crap = IPhone

Matt Wieters = God Among Mere Mortals

Sorry for any unnecessary added thread length caused by my poor analogy (both above and here).
   48. Darnell McDonald had a farm Posted: March 12, 2009 at 11:16 PM (#3101593)
I would like to see more Americans care about Youkilis, but that beard isn't helping
   49. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 12, 2009 at 11:19 PM (#3101595)
"Worthless crap = IPhone"

Heh. Spoken like somebody who's never tried one.

I love mine. Love it love it love it. Among other things, it's an incredibly efficient baseball-content-delivery system.
   50. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 12, 2009 at 11:41 PM (#3101606)
I don't get why somebody born in the U.S. who has lived here their whole life would not root for Team USA. That is, if they watch the WBC.
   51. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: March 13, 2009 at 12:07 AM (#3101616)
I'm just flabbergasted that a site full of people who love baseball are so lukewarm about the WBC.

Well, it's nice to see real live competitive baseball again, but there just aren't any stakes, in the mind of many of us. Getting to this point:

I don't get why somebody born in the U.S. who has lived here their whole life would not root for Team USA. That is, if they watch the WBC.

I am pretty pro-USA, but I don't particularly care if the US wins this thing, or even wins a game. I'm not going to feel any pride if the USA does win, and as a result I won't feel any disappointment if they lose. I don't like some players on Team USA, and I do like players on some of the other teams. I don't know why I should suddenly start rooting for players I don't like for two weeks just because we were born in the same country. If someone wants to, that's fine, too. It's a sporting event, not World War III.
   52. Tripon Posted: March 13, 2009 at 12:26 AM (#3101625)
I want to see excellence. Should I care if an athletic like Usain Bolt is from Jamaica and not from the States?
   53. pthomas Posted: March 13, 2009 at 12:46 AM (#3101633)
The WBC looks like one of the string of endless European soccer tournaments to me. And I'm not interested in them, either.
   54. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 13, 2009 at 12:49 AM (#3101636)
The WBC looks like one of the string of endless European soccer tournaments to me. And I'm not interested in them, either.

However, it's a baseball tournament, and only happens every 4 years.
   55. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: March 13, 2009 at 01:02 AM (#3101647)

They're played like exhibition games, so that's why fans have an exhibition-esque attitude towards them.


This is so wrong, it might be the wrongest thing I've ever seen. You've clearly not watched the WBC if you think the players treat them like an exhibition game. There is a 70 pitch rule in round 1, and that's about the only thing you can say is exhibition like. The only...ONLY...time I saw anything remotely resembling what you're talking about was in the seeding games, in which a lot of teams took starters out; but that's more like how managers play games in which they have clinched a playoff spot but are still competing for a division/home field: you want to win, but not at the expense of burning anyone out. The DR/NED, USA/Can, Japan/Korea, Cuba/Australia, PR/NED 1 were about as far from exhibition games as you can get. More like the 7th game of the World Series, for the most part. Look at the faces of the DR players after they got eliminated. Yadier Molina said his game winning hit against NED was better than his homer against the Mets.
   56. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: March 13, 2009 at 01:07 AM (#3101650)

Well, it's nice to see real live competitive baseball again, but there just aren't any stakes, in the mind of many of us.


I take my cues from the players on this one. If they buy into the stakes, then it comes across in the play. No, I'm not going to lose sleep like I would over a bad Yankees loss, but the games are still a ton of fun to watch.
   57. BeanoCook Posted: March 13, 2009 at 01:09 AM (#3101653)
The people that say they like baseball but not the WBC are the same people that will like the WBC once it gets more popular. These people have little ability to find something on their own to enjoy without the aid of crowds.
   58. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: March 13, 2009 at 01:15 AM (#3101660)
Who has said that they'd like the WBC if it were more popular?

I find it mildly entertaining, but I just don't see the point.

I'd rather watch a Spring Training game.
   59. frannyzoo Posted: March 13, 2009 at 01:19 AM (#3101662)
Champions League = Good
World Cup = WBC
   60. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: March 13, 2009 at 01:20 AM (#3101663)
I think you missed the point. He wasn't saying that people are saying that they will like it when it's more popular. He's saying that they are likely to jump on the bandwagon when it gains in popularity.

I simply don't understand why anyone who cares in the slightest about baseball would not love an opportunity to see a small handful of the best players in the world for the first time.

It's in some minor way the opposite of the worst tragedy in the history of baseball--the historical destruction left in the wake of segregation.
   61. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: March 13, 2009 at 01:24 AM (#3101665)
People can already see the best players in the world - it's called Major League Baseball.
   62. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: March 13, 2009 at 01:26 AM (#3101666)
People can already see the best players in the world - it's called Major League Baseball.


Same things the Local Boys of the world said in the 1950s, 40s and before. (And yes, I know when Jackie Robinson started...)

I can't tell if you are being narrow minded or just wrong.
   63. Gamingboy Posted: March 13, 2009 at 01:26 AM (#3101667)
People can already see the best players in the world - it's called Major League Baseball.



Yu Darvish (and friends) and the Cubans would beg to differ.
   64. NotLikely20 Posted: March 13, 2009 at 01:50 AM (#3101682)
Almost as good as World Series games, some WBC games on par or better. I could not care less about most MLB regular season games, there are simply too friggin many of them. Now that the Olympic baseball is a thing of the past, the WBC is about as good as it gets in the baseball world. Where else can we see the most entertaining form of the game(the Cubans)? Well, I guess you can watch the White Sox...
   65. Esoteric Posted: March 13, 2009 at 01:51 AM (#3101683)
I'd rather watch a Spring Training game.
This is inexplicable and irrational, therefore I must conclude that you're exaggerating or being unserious.

Note that I had never watched a WBC game until a few days ago -- totally skipped out on 2006 -- and I've been swept away by the games so far. I don't know how anyone could have watched the two DR/NL games and not climbed out of their own skin with excitement.
   66. Meatwad in mourning Posted: March 13, 2009 at 02:12 AM (#3101706)
you really need to watch the DR Netherlands rematch, that game was intense and some great friggin baseball was played, best of all so many of the dutch guys are vets of their own league which made it more fun to see them going up against a lineup that was stacked. hell the DR gave up only 1 earned run and still got eliminated
   67. isaacc7 Posted: March 13, 2009 at 02:22 AM (#3101710)
I can see how people that are nuts about baseball in general would love the WBC. As someone that doesn't even pay attention to the AL, I can't get excited about the WBC. I enjoy watching Cubs games (no cheap shots please) and rooting against everyone else in the NL central, the mets, and the Phillies. I don't care about teams from other places and whether some ad hoc "team USA" beats them. I don't like the nationalistic aspect to these types of contests. I mean, I kind of, sort of understood the metal counting mania during the cold war but I find all of this type of stuff, including the olympics, to be pretty distasteful.
   68. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 13, 2009 at 02:33 AM (#3101716)
I'd rather watch a Spring Training game.


This is inexplicable and irrational, therefore I must conclude that you're exaggerating or being unserious.

What WBC fans don't seem to get is that many of us need a rooting interest in a game in order to care about it. And why should we have any real rooting interest in this? How many Americans really give a crap who wins these games? The allegiances I've seen proclaimed on this thread don't seem to go any deeper than the allegiances you'd give to a fantasy league team or a sleeper team in March Madness that you'd never heard of prior to some big upset they've just pulled. You build up an allegiance to a real team over the course of many years, but these so-called "teams" are all here today and gone tomorrow.

The best thing that I can see coming out of the WBC is if the Majors raided all the other teams and took their best players, paid them what they were worth and gave them more than a few weeks' worth of exposure. Either that or let the best regular team in Latin America play a postseason World Series against the Major League champion. That way it'd seem more like a real game than an exhibition contest.
   69. Tripon Posted: March 13, 2009 at 02:39 AM (#3101720)
What WBC fans don't seem to get is that many of us need a rooting interest in a game in order to care about it. And why should we have any real rooting interest in this? How many Americans really give a crap who wins these games?

I'll just say the quality of the WBC play and teams are way ahead of any spring training games. I like to watch a Dodgers spring training game as the next guy but its just not the same.
   70. isaacc7 Posted: March 13, 2009 at 02:41 AM (#3101722)
Oh, and I agree about MLB being the best baseball in the world. It is strong precisely because it has the best talent from all over the world playing in it. This is another reason why I don't think the WBC will ever be a big deal in the US, we're too used to seeing the best from all over the world. It does reek of all star-itus. They may be close games, even good ones, but why would I care?
   71. isaacc7 Posted: March 13, 2009 at 02:47 AM (#3101729)
I'll just say the quality of the WBC play and teams are way ahead of any spring training games. I like to watch a Dodgers spring training game as the next guy but its just not the same.

Talk about damning with faint praise... Everyone keeps raving about the DR/netherlands games, but what about the others? I tuned in to see what the big deal was. Saw a Mexico vs. S. Africa and a Canada vs. Italy game. I'm not going to watch any more. You may say that I didn't see the best games, but then I would say that you happened to. In the end, even if the games I saw were "great," I wouldn't care. They aren't real teams, there's no reason to root for any of them other than base, nationalistic ones.
   72. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: March 13, 2009 at 02:49 AM (#3101731)
Oh, and I agree about MLB being the best baseball in the world. It is strong precisely because it has the best talent from all over the world playing in it. This is another reason why I don't think the WBC will ever be a big deal in the US, we're too used to seeing the best from all over the world. It does reek of all star-itus. They may be close games, even good ones, but why would I care?


Being the best baseball in the world doesn't mean some magic monopoly on all of the best players in the world. It's not as if Matsuzaka sucked one day and then magically got good when he signed his big ol contract.

The simple fact is that we watch the best baseball in the world, but do not get to watch all of the best players. Watching the WBC makes it a little closer.

As to why you should care, why do you care in the first place? By that logic, it's just dudes tossing a ball around.
   73. Rally Posted: March 13, 2009 at 02:49 AM (#3101732)
Yu Darvish (and friends) and the Cubans would beg to differ.


MLB doesn't have to have every single one of the best players in the world to present the best quality of baseball in the world on a nightly basis over the summer. They may not have Darvish (yet), but they have Dice-K, and the best position player in the world of Japanese nationality in Ichiro.

That's part of why I don't care if team USA wins or not. I look at team Venezuela, or the Dominican, and I don't see furiners. I see players from the team I already root for.
   74. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: March 13, 2009 at 02:54 AM (#3101738)
What I like about Spring Training games is that I get a chance to see the top young prospects- precisely the guys that would be the least likely to appear in the WBC.

I watched that Dominica - Netherlands game- it was fun to watch. But I had nothing invested in it, as I do when I watch Gordon Beckham against MLB pitchers.
   75. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 13, 2009 at 02:55 AM (#3101740)
What WBC fans don't seem to get is that many of us need a rooting interest in a game in order to care about it. And why should we have any real rooting interest in this? How many Americans really give a crap who wins these games?

I'll just say the quality of the WBC play and teams are way ahead of any spring training games. I like to watch a Dodgers spring training game as the next guy but its just not the same.


That may well be true, but that doesn't even begin to answer the question of why fans who need more than an ad hoc rooting interest in the outcome of a game should care about a game involving two here today, gone tomorrow teams.
   76. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 13, 2009 at 02:57 AM (#3101741)
What I like about Spring Training games is that I get a chance to see the top young prospects- precisely the guys that would be the least likely to appear in the WBC.

And beyond that, you're also seeing them play in the same uniform that you're hoping that they'll be playing in for the rest of the year, or for many years.
   77. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 13, 2009 at 02:57 AM (#3101742)
And why should we have any real rooting interest in this?

I find it interesting to see a lot of great MLB players, along with a bunch of guys I haven't heard of, play highly competitive baseball.

You build up an allegiance to a real team over the course of many years

You're rooting for laundry.
   78. The Voice of America Posted: March 13, 2009 at 03:02 AM (#3101746)
As to why you should care, why do you care in the first place? By that logic, it's just dudes tossing a ball around.


I agree with you. I care because i have fun watching the games. If you want to go even further, why do you care for your team's games? It seems to me that MLB regular season games are as meaningless as WBC games in the grand scheme of things.

You give them the meaning. My country is not represented. But I still think this is a great opportunity to watch some good baseball and some players giving everything they have.
   79. Gamingboy Posted: March 13, 2009 at 03:03 AM (#3101747)
I love my country and I want them to do well.

There. That's why I want the USA to win.
   80. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: March 13, 2009 at 03:11 AM (#3101752)
I've got no problem with folks who like the WBC, but I also don't agree that all baseball fans should love it.

It's fun, but it doesn't really scratch any itch that I have.
   81. isaacc7 Posted: March 13, 2009 at 03:22 AM (#3101760)
There. That's why I want the USA to win.

But team USA has nothing to do with mom and apple pie and everything to do with beating those damn ferriners. That is, in a nut shell, why I don't care if they win or not.

As to why you should care, why do you care in the first place? By that logic, it's just dudes tossing a ball around.

Yeah, but it's my TEAM throwing that ball around. I have an interest in my team, the team I have been following for 26 years. These aren't teams, they are assemblages. Like I said, if you're mad about baseball in general, I can see the appeal, it just doesn't do anything for me. I need some sort of connection for it to matter to me. The WBC is indeed just dudes tossing a ball around for me.
   82. Tripon Posted: March 13, 2009 at 03:23 AM (#3101761)

Talk about damning with faint praise... Everyone keeps raving about the DR/netherlands games, but what about the others? I tuned in to see what the big deal was. Saw a Mexico vs. S. Africa and a Canada vs. Italy game. I'm not going to watch any more. You may say that I didn't see the best games, but then I would say that you happened to. In the end, even if the games I saw were "great," I wouldn't care. They aren't real teams, there's no reason to root for any of them other than base, nationalistic ones.


The first Canada vs. USA game, both Netherlands vs. DR games, China vs. Taiwai for sheer curiosity(I wanted to see if China improved on any level. That their best player was an American born Chinese named Ray Chang... well. I guess its a step. A huge win for the Chinese diaspora, but not so much for the domestic program.) I would watch either of the Korea vs. Japan's games but it was at 1:30 AM, I was either sleeping or studying my ass off for finals/research. Obviously, I didn't watch every game due to a number of factors, lack of interest, time, etc. But that would be the same thing during spring training, or the regular season. You don't have to watch every game and be a WBC fan, but there was more than just the two Netherlands/DC games.

The big problem with holding these games in March is that anybody on the quarter system is too stressed out from finals!
   83. Baldrick Posted: March 13, 2009 at 03:23 AM (#3101762)
The people that say they like baseball but not the WBC are the same people that will like the WBC once it gets more popular. These people have little ability to find something on their own to enjoy without the aid of crowds.

I almost never agree with Beano about anything, but this is totally OTM.

The idea that baseball can only be enjoyable if the people playing are wearing uniforms that represent one particular team is...insane. I mean, I'm trying to find a way to say that which is less inflammatory, but I really can't.

In order to care about X baseball team, you have to first like baseball. Otherwise, you'd form an irrational allegiance to some other random group of people. You'd go cheer for Wendy's employees or something.

It just seems like if you are keen enough on the game that you frequent a place like Baseball Primer, you might love to see the beauty in the game regardless of whether your personal team is playing.

That's not to say I expect everyone to get all gung-ho about the games. I get that just because you love the game, you don't necesarily stop to watch every game you see. Obviously. But this is a relatively unique event, once every four years, featuring a ton of bona fide major league stars, the best non-MLB players in the world, and a ton of awesome potentially ready-for-movie stories (the entire Dutch team, for example). It's pretty awesome, really. And even if you aren't going to fall in love with it, it's a bit weird to post consistently and repeatedly about how much you don't care about the WBC, insist that you'd prefer to watch Spring Training games, etc.

Ironically, it's an incredibly American attitude: I like what I like and [forget] the rest of the world. They want to impress me, show up in the American league. The best league in the world. Or, put another way: sure, sure, beauty of the game, whatever. How does this affect me personally? I say, it's far better to channel your nationalism into the sporting arena, where you cheer your country, feel pain when you lose, but be willing to recognize the talent that other countries might also have on offer.

And seriously, how hard is it to just pick the underdog in every game if you really need a rooting interest?
   84. Baldrick Posted: March 13, 2009 at 03:31 AM (#3101775)
Just to be clear, when I said "show up in the American league. The best league in the world" I meant, the league in America, i.e. - MLB. Although, the double meaning works, too.

But team USA has nothing to do with mom and apple pie and everything to do with beating those damn ferriners. That is, in a nut shell, why I don't care if they win or not.

This is exactly the sort of thing I was referencing above. Total dismissal of a competition featuring other countries on the principle that "nationalism is bad." But of course that is a distinctly American attitude. The ability to declare baseball-nationalism bad stems almost entirely from the security felt by being able to exist right in the middle an American baseball hegemony.

You don't like the attitude that "foreigners are bad," then you should be encouraging the one format that puts baseball on display without assimilating all of these great players into the American norm.

Watch the games and cheer against the US. You'll be able to burnish your anti-nationalist credentials twice over.
   85. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 13, 2009 at 03:36 AM (#3101780)
I've got no problem with folks who like the WBC, but I also don't agree that all baseball fans should love it.

It's fun, but it doesn't really scratch any itch that I have.


That's it exactly. It's all just a matter of personal preference. We all have our reasons for liking many things that others simply can't get into, for reasons both "rational" and "irrational." We should probably just all leave it at that.
   86. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: March 13, 2009 at 03:55 AM (#3101798)
Good lord, it's no surprise that the guy bashing the WBC is a Cubs fan who doesn't care about anything except Cubs games.

The WBC is for baseball fans, not for Cubs fans.
   87. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: March 13, 2009 at 04:14 AM (#3101819)
To me, it's pretty simple. We haven't had real baseball in 5 months. The WBC is closer than Spring Training. That's about all I need to know.
   88. Mr2bits Posted: March 13, 2009 at 04:49 AM (#3101872)
Back to TFA, I bought a pair of front row ticket strips, for myself and a friend back in November. Today I got a call from a third friend who was interested in joining us this weekend. I was able to call Ticketmaster this afternoon and purchase the front-row seat right next to ours for the Puerto Rico - U.S. game.

Im not sure whether its 1. a sign of lack of interest, 2. an inherent flaw in the 'best available' seating system that Ticketmaster uses, 3. or dumb luck. If I had to venture a guess I think 25,000 would represent the high end figure for attendance.
   89. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: March 13, 2009 at 05:43 AM (#3101910)
I'm loving the WBC. No snark. To me it's just like "regular" baseball, except for the talent disparities. And the Netherlands proved that talent disparities don't have to mean squat in a two-game series.

I'm really surprised by the lack of attendance. It doesn't have the cachet, in my brain, of the MLB season, but the national pride that goes with the WBC gives it the potential to gain its own sizable following in the future.
   90. CWS Keith plans to [omitted] at [omitted] Posted: March 13, 2009 at 05:59 AM (#3101911)
There appears to be two different 'issues' -- the first is enjoying the WBC itself and the second in feeling some sort of 'obligation' (for lack of a better word) to root for the USA (or whatever country you live in). I can completely understand not rooting for your country's team. From my perspective it's not that I'm rooting against the U.S., it's just that (first and foremost) I want to see quality, exciting baseball. If that means the U.S. winning it all, yippee. If not, oh well -- I won't lose any sleep over that*.

I'm still not sure why there's (some) aversion to the WBC, though. As was mentioned above, it's about whether the players buy into it. And I think -- for the most part -- they have. I know there's a good amount of star-caliber players not participating but even so, it's still a loaded event, and the opportunities to see that much talent on the field at a given time is pretty rare. As such, I don't know how anyone who has watched these games honestly could say that these are nothing more than glorified All-Star games. If nothing else, the chance to see Cuba and Japan's best has more than sold me on the WBC.

*Oddly enough, I'm going to root like hell for USA in both the World Cup and in Olympic hockey in 2010. I'm not sure why that is... maybe because USA are underdogs (to varying degrees) in both hockey and soccer whereas in baseball there considered a favorite?

Edited to add: I'm not saying the pleasure I'm getting from watching the WBC is the same as the pleasure I get from a White Sox win. But I guess the pertinent question is, "Are you glad that there's a WBC?" And my answer would be a resounding yes.
   91. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: March 13, 2009 at 07:14 AM (#3101922)
I love teh WBC because there's a lot of countries I don't like.
   92. NotLikely20 Posted: March 13, 2009 at 06:18 PM (#3102309)
". CWS Keith Posted: March 13, 2009 at 01:59 AM (#3101911)
There appears to be two different 'issues' -- the first is enjoying the WBC itself and the second in feeling some sort of 'obligation' (for lack of a better word) to root for the USA (or whatever country you live in). I can completely understand not rooting for your country's team. From my perspective it's not that I'm rooting against the U.S., it's just that (first and foremost) I want to see quality, exciting baseball. If that means the U.S. winning it all, yippee. If not, oh well -- I won't lose any sleep over that*.

I'm still not sure why there's (some) aversion to the WBC, though. As was mentioned above, it's about whether the players buy into it. And I think -- for the most part -- they have. I know there's a good amount of star-caliber players not participating but even so, it's still a loaded event, and the opportunities to see that much talent on the field at a given time is pretty rare. As such, I don't know how anyone who has watched these games honestly could say that these are nothing more than glorified All-Star games. If nothing else, the chance to see Cuba and Japan's best has more than sold me on the WBC.

*Oddly enough, I'm going to root like hell for USA in both the World Cup and in Olympic hockey in 2010. I'm not sure why that is... maybe because USA are underdogs (to varying degrees) in both hockey and soccer whereas in baseball there considered a favorite?

Edited to add: I'm not saying the pleasure I'm getting from watching the WBC is the same as the pleasure I get from a White Sox win. But I guess the pertinent question is, "Are you glad that there's a WBC?" And my answer would be a resounding yes."

Excellent post .
   93. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: March 13, 2009 at 06:29 PM (#3102329)
If nothing else, the chance to see Cuba and Japan's best has more than sold me on the WBC.

I just wish those guys weren't shackled to their home countries, so they could play with the other best players in the world.

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