With the World Baseball Classic on the verge of starting any day now, it's about time your Walkoff Walk editors and interns divulged our rooting interests. It's not as cut and dry as you would expect: despite my deep-seated Italian heritage, I can't imagine cheering against my native United States of America. Kris, on the other hand, is a socialist pig while Lloyd is enough of a Great White North fanboy to make Corey Koskie's head spin. Here, in our own words, are our declarative statements, good readers:
- Rob Iracane chooses the USA: Maybe if my man idol Derek Jeter wasn't playing for Team America, this would be more of a toss-up. But the veteran Jeter's presence lends leadership to an otherwise young lineup; add in my favorite Red Sock Kevin Youkilis and some quietly awesome veteran pitchers like Roy Oswalt and Jake Peavy and you've got a team that could very easily pull this thing off. Call it irrational jingoism or call it short-sighted statistical analysis: not only am I rooting for Team America, I think they're going to win the whole bowl of cherries.
- Kris Liakos chooses Mexico: I thought about choosing Cuba because I like their rich baseball tradition and few countries love the sport as much as them. But I didn't want to be misinterpreted and attract crazy commenters. Then I was going to pick the DR because their infield is pretty awesome, but as an early season tournament, pitching will rule the day. Mexico has K-Rod and The Mexicutioner and... Elmer Dessens. Ah screw it. I'm going with Mexico because I loved The Savage Detectives and rooting for the US is something Richie Cunningham would do.
- Lloyd the Barber chooses Canada: Canadians live for the opportunity to quietly espouse their national pride, nearly as much as they love an opportunity to jeer Americans in a safely drunken and inoffensive manner. It's pretty easy to like Canada's chances in this exhibition event. Justin Morneau, Joey Votto, Russell Martin, Matt Stairs give any team a chance to compete in a winner-take-all home run derby for all the marbles. Sadly, the WBC will be decided by playing full 9 inning baseball games. Any team who's current ace finds himself battling to become the Blue Jays fifth stater and former ace finds himself battling to make the Blue Jays as an power-hitting outfielder isn't going to beat many good teams. Playing in front of the home country fans could help them sneak into the second round, leaving them poised for a trouncing by a vastly superior nation of sun soaked Dominicans. At that point I continue the proud Canadian tradition of jumping ship! I'll move my support to my briefly adopted homeland of South Korea. DAE HAN MIN GUK.
- Darren chooses China: Hey I'm not from China but my grandparents are. Well, they were. Their souls are gone now but that's okay with me I'm my own man you know? It's hard to be a second generation Chinese-American living in Texas but I do my own thing you know? I don't know any players on the Chinese team because none of the Astros are on it. I think Kaz Matsui is Japanese but even though he is an Astro I can't root for Japan. My father thinks baseball is a terrible sport and wishes that I were to be a volleyball player like he was in college but I do my own thing and watch baseball. So I will be rooting for China even though I don't feel any connection with China and would rather root for Team U.S.A. but Rob already has that so I'm okay, you know?
- The Street Team chooses The Netherlands: Boyyyyy. Listen up it's Shielk Pete, The Speed Freak. I'm the commader of that WoW Street Team Crew. You know, me Dana Dollas, The Moose, Lil Pepe and Moses 'Two Step' Diaz. We know a thing or two about REPRESENTING and when we're not wheatpasting pictures of Rob to the alley next to a Williams and Sonoma we're watching bikka bikka BASEBALL. The Netherlands got sick beats and Pim Walsma. End of story. I'm gonna go take a bottle of King Cobra straight to the neck. OUT.
So there ya go. Who are y'all rooting for?