I have a question for all of the baseball fans on Eastern Michigan University’s campus—the ones who were getting teased by the 50-degree weather in late January and were counting down the days until pitchers and catchers reported to spring training: Are you excited for the World Baseball
You should be. Real, die-hard baseball fans, who love America’s greatest pastime more than just individual teams such as the Tigers, Reds, Indians or whichever individual organization you root for should embrace this special event and invest some time into it.
I bring this up because I stumbled upon an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer written by Bob Brookover, where he wrote about how American baseball fans aren’t the least bit interested in the WBC next month.
I get it, but I don’t get it.
Everybody loves a dream team, which is something Team USA isn’t. As Brookover pointed out, the WBC website tried to push this roster to be well liked. The site said, “there is no shortage of big-name stars,” which would be true if we were only talking about Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.
I get it: many would much rather have an infield of Prince Fielder, Dustin Pedroia, J.J. Hardy and Ryan Zimmerman with Buster Posey behind the plate than what we have to deal with.
What about the pitching rotation? No Justin Verlander, David Price, Jered Weaver, Andy Pettitte or Clayton Kershaw? Sure, we have R.A. Dickey, who is coming off a remarkable Cy Young Award-winning season, but we can all agree we don’t exactly have the rest of America’s best talent after him.
“It’s because we know the game of baseball so well,” Brookover said in the article. “We know when the best players aren’t involved.”
Unfortunately, that’s understandable.
I understand when players want to represent this country. Fans want the best players to do it. I can understand the WBC doesn’t have that historical prestige like soccer’s World Cup. I’ll also understand many Americans aren’t too big on keeping up with international competition.
What I don’t understand is how many baseball fans aren’t excited or intrigued for what this worldwide tournament can hold. It just doesn’t make sense that we can count the days of when pitchers and catchers start practice but get turned off by actual games being played.
Fans start to get excited and say they can’t wait for baseball to start back up but won’t watch the WBC because it’s not the baseball they want to watch, so they’ll wait for Major League Baseball to begin.
Now I know some of you are at least a little bit interested, and are thinking about watching the WBC. It’s different and it’s still relatively new, so you should be at least little bit curious to see what’s going on.
Students who live on campus: It’s really cool that you can hang out in your dorm room and watch standard cable TV channels offered by Comcast. What’s not cool, however, is the MLB Network isn’t one of those channels.
The EMU housing website said students can pay to get more channels in their dorm. I know having extra expenses in college is practically a mortal sin, but you’re only on campus for two more months, so there’s no real long-term commitment here.
If you live off campus, have cable or satellite channels for your TV and are still reading this column, I’m just going to assume you already have some sort of sports package that includes the MLB Network. If not, you know the drill: call your local TV provider and ask if they carry the MLB Network.
I understand not everybody can afford to pay for a subscription; a lot of us are “poor college students,” who just don’t have the money to do this—fair enough.
It’s 2013. We have this beautiful thing called “the Internet.” I think Al Gore invented it. I’m pretty sure we’ve advanced far enough in understanding technology to know how to find out where to watch a live stream of the games online.
The WBC begins March 2 with a matchup between Japan and Brazil. Team USA starts their games on March 8 when they play Mexico at 9 p.m. Play ball.