Results tagged ‘ International Baseball ’

Cuba

Is anyone else really enjoying Cuba’s success in the World Baseball Classic? Not from a political perspective, obviously — even those of us who lean to the left have no fondness for Castro’s regime. But the players themselves. It has been, to me, a great treat to see these guys accomplishing something that means so much to them.

(By the way, check out this excellent piece on the topic by my friend Jeff Passan.)

Ultimately, that’s why I watch sports. It’s why I love sports. The sporting events I enjoy more than any others are the ones where guys (or women) would give multiple toenails, or even toes, to win. ("You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me.")

That’s what’s so great about the Stanley Cup playoffs, and about the Olympics, to name two favorites of mine. You see someone hoist that trophy, or that medal, and you know that has been that person’s singular goal since he or she was old enough to have any idea what it was. That’s exciting, inspiring, uplifting.

And that applies with team Cuba’s performance in the World Baseball Classic. Not that they’re the only ones — clearly the tournament meant a ton to the Dominican Republic, to Venezuela, to Puerto Rico, to the countries where baseball is a central facet of life. But to no one does it mean as much as it does to the Cuban players, it seems to me.

Come Monday night, I won’t be rooting for Castro or the Cuban government. But I’ll be hoping those players win.

Currently playing on the iPod: Modest Mouse’s The Lonesome Crowded West.

-M.

Cuba-Puerto Rico? Or UCLA-Michigan?

So, last night, I’m sitting in my condo where I stay during Spring Training. And, you know, I’m a baseball fan. Love the game. So I think to myself, ‘Self, isn’t that Cuba-Puerto Rico game going on now?’

You know, the elimination game in the World Baseball Classic. You know, the game between the team filled with stars like Carlos Beltran, Ivan Rodriguez and Bernie Williams and the team that has been the dominant force in international baseball.

And so I think to myself, ‘Self, wouldn’t it be great to watch that game?’ Especially given that it was taking place in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the crowd would be just incredible to boot.

And so I pick up the remote and flip to one of the networks covering the Classic. And they’re showing the NIT. And I go to the other network on my cable provider that is covering the Classic. And they’re also showing the NIT, followed by some regular-season college softball. Not the softball College World Series. Regular-season softball.

Any World Baseball Classic? Nope. Nowhere to be found. I believe it was on channel 14,319 at 3:36 a.m. ET. I would have been delighted to watch the game on MLB.TV, but unfortunately we only have dialup Internet in our condo, so that was out.

I’ve been consistently amazed by how hard these games have been to find on TV. The US-Korea game on Tuesday night was also not carried live on my cable, even though it started at 10 pm ET — not exactly a time slot filled with bigger live events.

I have been geeked about the World Baseball Classic since there was first any acknowledgement that it might happen. And even with that, I’ve enjoyed it more than I expected. The competition has been close, intense and entertaining, the drama has been high, it’s really been terrific.

Moreover, it’s very cool that people all over have been able to watch this event online; I’m proud that MLB.com has offered that. But otherwise, I’m befuddled and dumbfounded that this fantastic tournament has been buried on three-digit channels and in the wee hours of the morning. MLB and the players association have come up with what I hope will be one of the game’s great success stories. Next time around, let’s get it on live TV in prime time when the games are happening, so people in the US can enjoy it the way the rest of the world seems to be.

-M.

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