As one of the minority in America who is actually excited about the World Baseball Classic (WBC), I watched yesterday’s game versus Mexico with intense joy mainly because baseball season is finally here. To watch the “pros” play in some “meaningful” games meant the return of the baseball season, at least for me. However, as I watched yesterday’s game, I caught myself in a quandary. Who do I root for?
By no means do I mean which team do I root for. That’s easy. I mean what players do I root for? I watched Griffey’s first at bat hoping for the dream scenario of a first inning, solo homerun. Twelve pitches and a jog to first base later, it didn’t happen. I then watched every other Yankee, Brave, Cub, and Red Sock come to plate with a secret desire for them to strike out. When that didn’t happen and they succeeded, I didn’t feel the desire to stand up from my recliner and cheer. Had Griffey left the yard, I would have jumped from my recliner as though it were on fire. After Derrek Lee’s homerun in the 4th, I didn’t even have the urge to cheer. My only thought was: “Not a Cub! He’ll be doing that all year against the Reds!” When Chipper homered in the 7th, my displeasure was voiced to my wife. I used to be an avid hater of the Atlanta Braves until the Yankees replaced that hatred. I work in an environment where there are numerous Braves fan, thus the hatred for them arises from time to time. My thought as the ball off Jones’ bat left the yard was: “Now I’ll have to listen to those Braves fans talk about their boy. I would have been contempt with a 1-0 victory, there was no need to add more fuel to the fire.” Does this make me a bad person? Anti-American? Or just a die-hard Reds fan wanting only my team to succeed?
As the WBC continues today against Canada, I’m sure I will find myself in those same predicaments. My question to the rest of you Reds fans is this: What happens in the WBC Championship game when the U.S. is up 3 with Lidge on the mound, bases loaded, and Wily Mo Pena steps into the box for the Dominican with a chance to win the game. Who will you be rooting for? Does anyone have a miniature Reds flag I can wave from the seat of my recliner?