It is no secret that I am a fan of baseball. There is something about going to the ballpark and watching a game ... even if it is the Royals ... that just puts a smile on my face.
As many of you probably don't know, there is an international baseball tournament going on called the World Baseball Classic, a.k.a. the WBC. This tournament embodies that which is great about the growing culture of baseball. The WBC was created by Major League Baseball when the International Olympic Committee decided to discontinue baseball from the Olympic competition.
This year teams have come from Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama, South Africa, the United States of America, and Venezuela have assembled to compete in the double elimination tournament. The winner of the WBC will become the true champions of the world.
Thus far the WBC has been filled of stories of heroics and upsets. No one expected the Netherlands to defeat the Dominican Republic ... twice! The Netherlands has a grand total of one major league baseball player while the Dominican Republic team was stacked with MLB stars and favored to advance to the semifinals. Furthermore, in the first round of pool play, the USA defeated Canada in a nail-biting game in front of a Canadian crowd who were the real winners. Last Tuesday the USA rose from the ashes in an elimination game to come from behind and snatch a win from the favored Puerto Rico in the ninth inning.
The semifinals have been set. Venezuela and the USA have advanced as well as Korea and Japan, defending WBC Champions.
It is a shame that the WBC has not been as accepted in the USA as in other countries. Those who have not seen a game or saw any highlights on your preferred sports news channel are really missing out. All over the world the WBC has been a huge success, the players jump at the chance to represent the country on their chests. The most amazing sight for me is watching these games being played in a very friendly atmosphere. Baseball has become a global game and the WBC is proof that it is only getting bigger.
For more information about the WBC visit www.worldbaseballclassic.com.