When the World Baseball Classic — baseball’s version of soccer’s World Cup — debuted in 2006, I wasn’t too excited about it. It didn’t bother me when Team USA got knocked out of the tournament in the second round — spring training was under way and the regular season would be starting soon enough.
That isn’t the case this year. I think I had a change of heart about the WBC after seeing how proud the Japanese players were after their team won the inaugural tournament. I want Team USA to win it all this time.
I’ve really been into the games, especially when Team USA plays. I was bummed when Puerto Rico beat my country 11-1 Saturday. I didn’t feel bad when the feel-good Netherlands team lost to Team USA. And I was elated when I read that Team USA exacted vengeance on Puerto Rico with a 6-5 comeback victory Tuesday.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t watch Team USA’s exciting three-run, ninth-inning rally to beat Puerto Rico because the game was televised on the new MLB Network, which nobody I know gets. Dish Network delivers 145 channels to my television, but MLB Network isn’t one of them. And since ESPN was busy broadcasting college basketball games instead, many of us interested in watching the WBC elimination game were out of luck.
I’m sure I’m not the only person outraged by this. I hope sports commentators write columns about this and complain about it on television and radio talk shows the way they did when the NFL aired some football games exclusively on its network. That is probably my only hope for this not happening again. Unfortunately, I fear the mainstream sports media cares infinitely more about football than baseball.
Thanks for depriving people of watching the most exciting WBC game so far, ESPN and Major League Baseball. You shot yourselves in the foot again.