Remember the 2006 World Baseball Classic? Yeah, me neither. I spent most of March 2006 watching the first season of Big Love on HBO and the twelfth season of Survivor on CBS; I didn't have much time to pay attention to an artificial World Cup ripoff that barely featured any of my favorite players. Plus, I had a nasty case of March Madness! I might have paid attention to the semis and the finals of the WBC if the United States hadn't been embarrassingly eliminated after that 2-1 loss to Mexico in the second round. (Both runs were driven in by sassy senior Jorge Cantu).
But I didn't have an internationally-recognized baseball blog in 2006, so who really cared if I was ditching the WBC to watch the NCAA mens hoops tournament? Now three years later, I've convinced myself I should strap myself to the sofa and watch as much of this international hullabaloo as I can so as to keep our 30 readers well-informed. Do you think this is the sort of attitude Herr Selig wanted when he signed off on this massive undertaking? That the 38th biggest baseball blog in all the land would have its writers begrudgingly paying some modicum of attention to this spectacle?
Luckily for Bud, our own Lloyd will try and pick up some of the slack for the other WoW staff members. While Kris is embedded in Florida and I'm embedded in my living room, Lloyd will (allegedly) be hitting up the Rogers Centre for some Molson Export and some Pool C action. That's the U.S., Canada, Venezuela, and Italy. Lloyd will be rooting hard for Canadia, but with Corey Koskie and Matt Stairs on the team, how good could they really be?
The sixteen team rosters were officially announced yesterday and honestly, I do have a good deal of interest in the U.S. team. Our four outfielders are young and speedy (Braun, Hawpe, Granderson, Sizemore) but the infield leaves some question marks, despite the presence of my irrational mancrush, Derek Jeter. Seems the only first basegentleman we have on the roster is Kevin Youkilis. Sure he's one of the best in baseball, but what if he gets hurt? Mark DeRosa is not a decent backup. Whither Derrek Lee? Too afraid to take on a backup role? Shame.
Still, who am I to judge? DeRosa's a great utility player and should provide some pinch-hitty goodness against tough lefties. Obviously I am going to be quite biased here and hope for success by the U.S. squad. After all, if they make the semis, I could be convinced to watch the WBC final four over the NCAA Final Four.