Deep Into Sports: To the IOC, I Say Go Screw Yourself Feb12

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Deep Into Sports: To the IOC, I Say Go Screw Yourself


a blogumn by Nate Barlow

Matsui vs Godzilla

The Super Bowl is over, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, and we now know that A-Fraud tested positive for anabolic steroids twice in 2003…

Pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training is right around the corner.

I love baseball.  It’s my favorite sport, the one I was raised on.  It’s as close to a religious experience as a sport can be, steeped in history, replete with mythic figures and legendary performances that have become a living, breathing element of American folklore that is awakened anew every spring as major leaguers relive the same rituals as their counterparts a century before.

For the second time, baseball’s spring training preseason will include (for many players) the World Baseball Classic, Major League Baseball’s answer to the World Cup.  The WBC is proof-positive that the International Olympic Committee’s decommissioning of baseball as an Olympic sport due to a “lack of interest” is nothing more than a lack of European interest, if not an act of anti-Americanism.

Baseball is HUGE throughout South America and Asia.  The inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006 was won by Japan, which defeated Cuba in the championship game.  I attended three of the games during the ’06 tournament, and the atmosphere was absolutely electric.

One of the games I saw was Korea vs. Japan, a match-up on the field of play of two countries for whom history has had not the warmest of relations–and two countries well-represented in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area (the game was played in Anaheim).  National flags waved, drums beaten, chants rhythmically repeated… having seen numerous World Cup soccer games on TV, I felt like I had stepped into a crowd for one of those sporting events, except it was for my beloved baseball.

So to the IOC, I say go screw yourself.  I love the Olympics, but your European bias is flimsily transparent.  As for me, I will watch the WBC and be born again through the rites of spring (training), another season full of anticipation on the horizon.

The Boys of Summer are almost back, and I’m ready for those timeless words of “Play Ball!”


Want more Nate? Check out his regular blog at Deep Into Sports

. photo: smellyknee