Semi-stunned by last week’s seismic Brexit vote in Britain, let’s call Baseball’s own little shock “Plexit.” That’s short for the best U.S. players electing to remain clear of their sport’s involvement with outsider ballclubs in the competition called the World Baseball Classic. The fourth renewal of the quadrennial event, tadalafil bringing together teams from Asia, Australia, Europe, and North, Central and South America, will be held next March. Japan won the first two tournaments, the Dominican Republic the most recent one, in 2013.
Fourth place in 2009 was the closest U.S. teams have come to winning the Classic. In general, Team USA has been a disappointment because the country’s best players – its Clayton Kershaws, Mike Trouts, Buster Poseys, etc, – decline to compete. Risk of injury during the spring training season that coincides with the Classic is the main reason for demurrals. Unlike the Yanquis, Dominican, Venezuelan, Puerto Rican and Asian Big League players are willing to take the risk. (The 2013 MVP was the Dominican team’s Robinson Cano.) NY Post birddog Joel Sherman tries to give reluctant U.S. players the benefit of the doubt in this recent report, during which he, nevertheless, describes their reticence as regrettable:
“I understand the concerns of players, agents and teams to the downside of undertaking a high-stress tournament in March, before bodies — especially pitching arms — might be ready. But one of the most important reasons the Commissioner’s Office and Players Association united for this event was to sell the game worldwide, and within this context, the United States has been the biggest slacker. In the third WBC in 2013, the American club was light on star power. Just as an example, the starting pitchers were Ross Detwiler, R.A. Dickey, Gio Gonzalez, Derek Holland and Ryan Vogelsong. And, trust me, the relievers were just as uninspiring and the positional group was hardly the best of the best.”
The team’s newly named GM Joe Torre and manager Jim Leyland are talking hopefully of putting together a “dream team” this time around. Chances are, however, that the Plexit vote will be as disappointing to U.S. fans as Brexit was to many Brits.
Brexit’s below-the-radar impact on many of us political fans is given serious attention by the New Yorker’s Amy Davidson:
“The Brexit results are a strong warning for anyone complacent about Donald Trump. Brexit didn’t happen because people in Europe listened to him; but he is a voice in a call-and-response chorus that is not going to simply dissipate…There are structural economic issues that have left both Leave sympathizers and Trump voters with real grievances…The political institutions are very different…Brussels bureaucrats don’t quite have super pacs. But the word ‘rigged,’ or its local variations, is probably the key one on both sides of the Atlantic…The European Union is a great idealistic project, and it is a tragedy that it might be torn down now. A lesson for Americans is that fortified idealistic structures can be torn down, by means of some of the same wrecking tools Trump has been willing to deploy.”
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A Vote for the Tribe: “If you were to ask what American League team would best match up with the Giants or Cubs in the World Series,” said one American League manager, “I think the majority of us…would say the Indians. They have the great starting pitching, and that starting pitching is really deep.” – quoted in Gammons Daily, by Peter Gammons.”f
A Red Sox Reminiscence: Actor Paul Giamatti, son of former Baseball Commissioner A. Bartlett (Bart) Giamatti, says he “had to” root for the Red Sox while growing up in New Haven, Connecticut. Asked by the NY Times what he recalled about the heartbreaking 1986 World Series with the Mets, the actor said this: “I watching…when the ball went through Bill Buckner’s legs in a room full of Mets fans. Bob Stanley was pitching to Mookie Wilson, and I remember…thinking, ‘the Red Sox are going to lose.’ (Stanley)was a good relief pitcher, but he screwed up a lot. I never blamed Bill Buckner, I always blamed Bob Stanley…Certain things like that still rankle.” the opposing dugout would say the Indians. They have the great starting pitching, and that starting pitching is really deep.
Streakers: Indians + 10, Orioles + 5
Notable Late Monday Night Scores: Oakland 8, Giants 3; Rockies 9, Blue Jays 5
(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments about blog issues are welcome. Previous Nubs may be found by scrolling below.)