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Well, it's over. The whole mess is done and over with. Not that it was terrible. It was just so terribly unentertaining. Hell, I can watch Dodgers v. Marlins on ESPN in spring training, but I couldn't stomach the WBC final. It was off by the third inning. It's partly my fault. Nomar, Mueller, Raffy and Jeff provide just a little more comfort that that plucky Cuban catcher or Ichiro. No starpower = no interest. It's terrible, but I can't help it. I'm just the messenger. Just to put into persepctive how little the country cared, consider the Nielsen's. 0.8. That was the rating for the final. Earlier in the day, Arizona played Villanova in a fairly entertaining round of 32 game. 7.7. That means that nearly seven million American households preferred to watch 'the battle of the wildcats' (as it was so dreadfully coined) than the final of the World Baseball Classic. Most of that was the fact that the U.S. wasn't involved, and I could launch into a tirade to explain why. How can we really intend to globalize the game if here in the U.S., the Nielsen rating for filler of the NASCAR race scheduled this Sunday (it got rained out) was 3.3. It wasn't even a race, and 4 times as many Americans watched FOX's feeble attempts to replace it than they did the inaugural final that truly was a symbol of how global this game wants to become. It was Japan vs. Cuba. The very Cubans that many thought shouldn't be allowed to play because of the possibility of defection. The very Japanese that everyone loves to hate because of their cold calculating outlook of the game. It was poised to be the ultimate statement of how far baseball has come. But nobody in America even cared about its' national pastime. I know I didn't. And that's an issue that Bud needs to resolve before any 'globalization' can occur.

Now, I was apprehensively excited against Mexico. I was laughing knowingly against Canada. I was just plain laughing against South Africa. Against Japan, I was partly disgusted but mostly patriotic. Korea, I was clueless as to how we got outplayed in every facet of the game against a team with no one I'd ever heard of ('cept you Hee-Seop). As Japan and Korea battled it out, I was on the edge of my seat with Sportscenter recapping every three minutes what needed to happen in order for us to advance. Korea won, I figured it was in the bag, I was just thinking about how when we made it to the semifinals, everyone would be complaining about how we had backed our way in, illegally. And then against Mexico again. WHAT? How can that be? And then quiet resignation understanding that once again American sports had humiliated itself on the biggest stage. I was a fool not to expect it. I was an idiot not to expect that the Mexicans would beat us in something besides soccer. And then the brief grieving was done with. DR vs. Cuba. I was mostly just glad that Big Papi got sent home. Japan vs. Korea. I didn't really watch. And finally, last night, as I have already told you, the TV went off at the third inning when Gammons was introduced as one of the finest and foremost minds in baseball. And that, I think, is the WBC in a nutshell for an American. (except that Big Papi part) It's a shame, but hey, like I said, don't kill me, I'm just the messenger.

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