Canada’s Pete Orr, left, throws over the sliding Mike Costanzo of “Italy” to complete a double play during the fifth inning of Canada’s 14-4 opening loss at the World Baseball Classic. Christian Petersen/Getty Images
PERHAPS Canada should stick to lacrosse and ski cross. While Mexico soundly defeated Team USA 5-2, a second US team posing in the uniforms of the Azzuri drubbed Canada 14-4 at the World Baseball Classic today.
The mercy rule, comprehensive national humiliation is simple enough to explain on the surface: atrocious pitching, lack of key hits from the Canadian major leaguers – especially the two former MLB MVPs in Joey Votto and Justin Morneau (with the notable exception of young Michael Saunders from Victoria, BC who had two hits and a pair of RBIs on the day) – errors of judgment, and aggressive hitting by “Italy” backed up by adequate pitching and defence. Continue reading
A brief note to explain the avalanche of e-mails to subscribers about articles on the World Baseball Classic, the third edition of which is now underway in Japan and Taipei. Many of the story lines and narratives in the media are replicating those from 2006 and 2009, such as the “no show” of athletes like catcher Russell Martin of Team Canada, who in my opinion is being unfairly stigmatized in the sports media for “selfishness,” while the real issues are left in the shade. More about that later. I am posting a host of articles from our archives either written by myself or from other sources from 2006 and 2009, many of which also treat issues of national and amateur sport, fair play and ethics, and the globalization of sport. The best way to access these articles is to visit the monthly archives (table on the right) for March, 2009 and/or March, 2006, or use the tags (World Baseball Classic 2009 and World Baseball Classic 2006).
Later in the week I will be posting articles about the 2013 tournament. Will Japan be able to three-peat? Will Cuba continue to maintain top-flight form? Then there’s the latest edition of the U.S. Dream Team and Team Canada, who won gold at the Pan-Am Games in 2012. I hope you find them informative. If you have any suggestions, do not hesitate to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
HAVANA (March 20) – THE Cuban and US baseball federations signed a letter of intent that includes the celebration for the first time in 16 years of training matches between the respective national teams.
During a press conference at the Havana city’s Latinoamericano Stadium, directives announced that a US team made up of college students will arrive on July 4 to play a five-game match against the Cuban national team. Continue reading
IBAF meeting in Dallas announces that the World Baseball Classic in 2013 will be a World Championship Continue reading
Reflections by FIDEL CASTRO
IN THE early days of the Revolution, the Olympics were an event for amateurs.
When the concepts of developed capitalism managed to infiltrate the Olympics, sports stopped being a health and education issue, which had been its main goals throughout history.
The only country in the world where that character prevailed was Cuba, which for many years won the highest number of gold medals per inhabitant. Continue reading
The Canadian sports media, by individualizing player “no shows” as the “reason” for the first round exit of Team Canada from the Classic, deliberately overlooks the peculiar and self-serving rules dictated by the U.S. sports empire. This is how the U.S. organizes fair play, writes TONY SEED* in the second article of a two-part series. Part I is here.
HALIFAX (March 15, 2009) – BASEBALL CANADA, which extensively collaborates with the Toronto Blue Jays, capitulated to the U.S. baton in the preparatory meetings of the baseball federations to organize the Classic and became one of its first casualties.
In the wake of Canada’s elimination from the World Baseball Classic (WBC), the sports media in Canada nevertheless spread the news that it was in part due to the bad “attitude” of Canadian professional players such as pitcher Ryan Dempster, whom it alleges had chosen not to participate on Team Canada. The same refrain is struck to “explain” the absence of this and that professional basketball player from the Canadian national team competing for the Olympics. The news is presented in a decontextualized manner so that the weakness of the national teams in different sports is individualized. The players are presented as “selfish,” “me-first” “rogues,” who are completely devoid of “Canadian values” and thus deserve recrimination, scorn and ostracism. The real selfishness of a U.S. sports empire, which owns the contracts of the athletes and makes the decision as to their participation, is rendered obscure. Continue reading