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Baseball has decided to embrace a world vision this year by creating an international tournament of national teams, based loosely on the format used by the Olympics in past years. Instead of those Olympic competitions, which occurred in the middle of the major-league season and wound up as amateur and minor-league tournaments, the World Baseball Classic will feature the best players in the world competing for their native countries -- the US, Japan, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Canada, Mexico, and others. The venues will be in Japan, Puerto Rico, and the US, with the final games in San Diego's Petco Park.
MLB has selected one of my favorite baseball legends for its ambassador to the first WBC: Tommy Lasorda. As I wrote in a comment on his site, who better to represent the love and passion we Americans have for our national pastime than the Hall of Fame manager who has devoted his entire life to baseball -- especially Dodger baseball? The only regret I have is that the WBC missed an opportunity to hold at least some of its games at Dodger Stadium, still the most beautiful of all MLB ballparks -- and privately financed, I might add. If they had played a couple at Chavez Ravine, I could have at least seen the stadium while I watched the games on television.
Congratulations, Tommy. I know you've wanted to see a true World Series for many years, and this will get us as close as we can get. I think the US will have a tough time making it into the finals against the global competition that we have encouraged for years, but you will remain to remind everyone that the sport has been an American gift to the world.Sphere It View blog reactions
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