Tuesday, March 21, 2006

No Miracle

So, the World Baseball Classic is over with Japan hammering Cuba 10-6.

Before this thing started up, I remember reading several sportswriters (though I didn't, at the time, think to copy the links) that didn't even want Cuba to come to this big dance. Their fears? A Cuban win, especially over the United States, would give Castro a 'Lake Placid Miracle' moment.

Were those sportswriters right to be worried? How much face do we stand to loose when the US participates in such events around the world? I remember several years ago, the US national soccer team got into a World Cup group with Iran and Yugoslavia & how that was viewed. I will always remember Chastain & the US Women's Team defeating China in free kicks.

But how much impact do y'all think those big international events, and exclusion or boycotting them, affect things on the worldwide stage?


Dante said...

Anytime you're forming a question like this: "Were/Are the sportswriters right to think...?"

The answer is usually: "The sportswriters are idiots."

So is the US supposed to hide at home and cower in fear because Cuba may be able to beat them at a baseball game? Not attending because you're afraid to lose is a whole lot worse than giving Cuba a possible "miracle on grass and some dirt and maybe a little sand." It wouldn't even be a miracle on the same level as the alluded-to hockey match because Cuba is sending their best athletes over to play, not some college amateurs. Besides, if the US doesn't want to lose face, there's an obvious solution: win.

Huevos McGringo said...

the US team is not amateurs; it's basically a MLB all star team. and they lost, despite having the bracketing gerrymandered in their favor.

i think stuff like that mattered a bit during the cold war era, when the perception was that the US and the soviets were in a "colossal struggle" for world power. but modern day cuba doesn't have the political or economic clout to give a victory any symbolic import.

Dante said...

Nobody ever said the US World Baseball Classic team was a bunch of amateurs but the US Men's Olympic Hockey team that was part of the Miracle on Ice certainly was. And though that Soviet team claimed to be made of amatuers, their skill and experience put them roughly equal to an NHL player.

The US World Classic team was an indeed all star team that lost primarily because the team was far less than the sum of its parts.