Multilateralism Between the Lines
I'm sure we all saw it last night. Over and over on the highlights if you, like me, were near a TV with Sportscenter on. Chase Utley swinging, Chase Utley celebrating, Chase Utley retired for the third out. Soon after, the U.S. retired as a team to that bastion of marquee names and baseball talent, Canada. Canada?
Sure, why not? With names like Eric Cyr, Chris Begg, Ryan Radmanovich, Adam Loewen, and whoever that single-A ball guy was who pitched the 9th for Canada against guys like ARod, and Texiera, what's to stop Canada from besting the multi-million doallar players of these great United States? Seems pretty intuitive! Aren't the hitters supposed to be way ahead of the pitchers at this point? Granted, when Scott Mathieson and Chase Utley eventually report to Phillies camp, they probably have the making of a nice running joke in the locker room, but should the Scott Mathieson's of the world be able to be the Chase Utleys of the world (even if it took a slack of 406 feet) on an international stage?
Could be that this is exactly what Bud Selig wants: someone besides the U.S. to win. A broader appeal world wide for the American national pasttime. It would be good for the sport! Maybe. But then again, who cares what Bud Selig wants? What could it possiblly do for a sport that already draws the best from every corner of the globe? Who cares about an international baseball tournament in March? Who cares about another format where players make their living in the U.S. then return to their native country swearing their undying allegiance to their (in most cases) birthplace for the sake of a few weeks of competition? If I wanted to watch this type of boundry-bending backstabbing, we already have the U.N. and its pet network, NPR.
Congratulations, Canada. There's nothing wrong with being the world's tallest midget. Now, bring on the real baseball, please.