The United States of America has just been crowned for the first time ever .... the winner of the World Baseball Classic. I have previously written one time on the subject,
See here: Why The Americans don't Win the World Baseball Classic (Feb. of 2013)
In that one, we looked at what I believed were factors at play as to why the United States of America, the supposed King of Baseball, doesn't beat teams like Japan and the Dominican in this Olympic style tournament. It talked about homeruns, and of Terry Crowley I think at one point, and a comedic interlude involving the great Earl Weaver was in there if memory serves me right.
It looks like that 2013 article can finally be laid to rest now that the USA has been crowned the champion of this illustrious tournament.
This tournament has it all, it's Worldly, it's Baseball, and it's CLASSIC. I don't know what more anyone can ask for. The Worldhood of Baseball is inherently Classic and over the last few weeks it was on full display for all to see. Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis once referred to Baseball as a Country .... insinuating that Baseball was in and of its own self ... a Nation.
After this tournament ... I have come to agree with the great sage Dock Ellis (rest his soul), after seeing so many regions and physiognomies united under the flagship of Baseball and how beautiful it was ... I have no choice but to agree with Dock Ellis on this matter. On display was the dynamic flair of Puerto Rico, the consummate efficiency and attention to detail of Japan, the talent powerhouse which is the Dominican Republic, The diaspora teams who may be American now but who gladly suited up for their parents or grandparents homelands, the determination and reliability of Canada and Mexico (USA's most trusted allies), the heart and soul of Venezuela ... and last but certainly not least the birth land of baseball itself ... The United States of America.
When the dust of this gentlemanly tournament settled we saw for the very first time ever ... the land where Baseball was first born .... was once again crowned as the Champions of it.
.....and it probably couldn't have come at a better time.
I've been reading Broadcast Icon Dan Rather's poignant essays he posts to social media of late and I think he has his finger on the pulse of the current deep, almost historic, partisan divisions in America's political landscape of today. In a recent one he described the political climate of the times as,
"...consumed by the churning political hurricane that is America today.
The deepening divisions that are pulling at the fabric of our nation are
on raw display. This is my country that I love with all my heart. We are a weakened
nation, in our own estimation, and that of the world. If this was
happening in some distant land, we would shake our heads and thank our
lucky stars that we are Americans. But this nightmare is happening here,
and we have no choice but to confront that disorientating truth."
-Dan Rather, March 4th of 2017
The political bickering, the slander, the fighting, the trickery, the slings and arrows being volleyed to-and-fro ... has this really become depressing to the point where the very fabric of it is on the verge of tearing? Reading the papers, yes, that seems to be the case .... but ... Americans should remember something in times such as these .... and that's .... that there's another side to this coin. Yes, America is the land of Freedom and of Law .... and yes, we know its political stability and Laws are sacrosanct to itself and its function ... but .... America isn't just a political sphere .... there's another side to the coin which embodies America ....
What's on the other side of that Coin, you ask?
When you walk down the road and see children playing and laughing .... That's on the other side of the coin.
When you continue down that same road and your foot gets stuck in a crack and you tumble down to your knees .... yet, .... there's an arm and a hand immediately outstretched to help you back to your feet .... that's on the other side of the coin.
It's that local pizza store you stop at every friday night to buy-a a slice-a of the pizza pie!
Its that park right by where you live, that every time you enter foot in it and look around, you have to stop and wonder for a second if this is a Norman Rockwell painting which has come to living breathing life or if it truly is a real park that exists in total reality, who's sights and sounds are so real they hurt. A reality that echoes in your heart and the powerful truth that dawns on you that you exist in this real life painting who's beauty is captivating .... that's on the other side of this coin too!
It's the feeling, the feeling at this park, when you step onto the field and look at the sun and say "WOW" .... that's there too.
You know what else is on the other side of this coin? The coin that represents America? Well, there's first base ... then there's second base .... oh, then there's this thing I like to call third base .... and then we all know what comes next don't we ...
..... IT'S CROSSING HOME PLATE AND SCORING THE WINNING RUN IN THE BOTTOM OF THE NINTH TO WIN GAME SEVEN OF THE WORLD SERIES!!!!
That's right America, Baseball is on the other side of this coin. It's been there the whole entire time.
America's not just about some sly fox up on capitol hill greasing some pocket or wheelin' some deal! America is not just about some tycoon up on the beltway buying off some other tycoon! No, you rightly must understand that it's not! It's not just about some salesman trying to sell you some crap or other! It's more than just about the richest man in town trying his darndest to fleece the second richest man in town through some hoodwinkin' carpetbaggery! It's not only about some official up on stupid idiot street trying to line up his next scam! NO! That's only half of the coin named America ....
... the other half of America is the part that you look at and say "WOW! YES! I'm proud of this!" and even in these trying and turbulent times of political uncertainty up there in the Land of Politicians ...
... there's still powerful and inspiring moments of glory to be found in another land ... the Land of Baseball.
Now whaddya say America!? CAN YOU GET DOWN WITH YOUR OWN BAD SELVES!!?!?!??
(Congratulations as well to Puerto Rico for taking home the Silver Medal. Puerto Rico and all the Boricua should also, yes indeed, get down with their own bad selves. Wepa!)