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?

13 Responses

  1. Chad

    I’m with you, Chris. I’m excited to watch the WBC. But it just hurts to cheer for Derek Jeter.

  2. Philip

    Don’t root for Jeter, just laugh really hard if he gets hurt. (overrated)

  3. Ken

    If it’s Pena vs. Lidge, I’m for Pena ten times out of ten. At least here, it’s good that our pitching is crap – no potential Red v. Red matchups.

  4. Blue

    I’m sorry, but this makes you both a bad person and anti-American…

    of course I’m joking, but seriously, I’m not having that problem. If its Wily Mo vs. Brad Lidge w/ 2 outs, I’m going with Brad Lidge. These games effect the Reds in no way, shape, or form.

  5. Philip

    US all the way!!!!
    No question, there’s no way I root for any other country, I don’t give a crap if they suit up the Big Red Machine in a South Africa Jersey…though they would probably be better than that team now.

  6. Darren

    You gotta root for the USA no matter what. I actually cheered out loud when Lee and Chipper hit their homeruns. I wasn’t thinking about them as Cubs or Braves. Its kinda like when a guy you hate on another team gets traded to the Reds and you imediately like the guy. But I will be rooting against Cuba and the Dominican republic..I hope they eat it!

  7. Darren

    I also hope jeter gets hit in the mouth with a fastball.

  8. Philip

    That would be the greatest baseball event ever. Jeter eating a fastball.

  9. Chip

    Chris W, you illustrate the stupidity of the WBC perfectly, though I’m sure that was not your intent. Look, I’m a reds fan, period. I read “Redleg Nation” not “Baseball Nation”. I don’t give a rats ass about Derek Lee, Chipper Jones, or Alex “baby slap the ball out of the glove” Rodriguez unless they sign with the Reds. Untill then, They are the enemy, the pennant race is a war and I hope they all end up on the DL. My loyalty is to team not to player or in this case, even to country and I don’t have a choice. I was born and bred Cincinnati Red and when I die, I’ll be Cincinnati dead. Besides, Do we really need another patriotic orgy of zombie flag waving in this country? Didn’t we just spend 2 weeks of that with the Winter Olympics? Don’t all these players live in the U.S. anyway? Isn’t this really just a knee-jerk (and wrong headed) reaction to baseball being dropped as an Olympic sport? Who cares about soccer and the World Cup, isn’t baseball the “National” past- time? Don’t we already have an “All-Star Game”? Finally, where’s all the money going and what on earth could possibly be “meaningful” about the WBC if it’s not helping the Reds win the World Series? Go Reds! and Go Cuba!

  10. Philip

    I cannot believe the US just lost to those bums up north. I know why…because we didn’t have Chris Stynes, Rolando Roomes, Paul Householder, or Nick Esasky playing for us. (Or Scott Scudder)

  11. Ken

    I can’t believe we lost to a bunch of hockey players. I didn’t follow the US selection process, but I saw that Matt Holiday started in left. Was Dunn not asked? Holiday is a fine fantasy player, but there’s at least ten other corner outfielders I’d pick over him. And Al Leiter? Really?

  12. Sean

    Don’t get worried about them getting beat by the Canadians the U.S plays SAF next and the rocket is ptching they should blow them out. we can just hope that Mexico loses so it’s us a canada moving on.

  13. Josy

    Yeah, but what is his OBS, and Ops…that’s all that matters!!