Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Today's Sermon: International Competition

One of the great things about baseball is its multinationality. At one point last year, the Nationals had seven or eight different countries represented on the team. The World Series is truly a world series, especially since many Asian players are making their way to the Majors these days.

There is one thing that bothers me about the World Baseball Classic, aside from the obvious concern that it will detract from players' preparation for the season. It's this division, this segregation of nationalities and the "pride" associated with it. You see, pride is one of the seven deadly sins. Pride is considered the root of all evil, as it is the reason Lucifer fell. Ahh, but I digress...

MLB.com has an article today about international competition and players' experiences with it that made me think about the issue. See, flagwaving bothers me. It's this "us verses them" mentality that lends discomfort to my mind, as this mentality is the essence of conflict. Of course, it can be argued that international sport has done much to diffuse tension from other conflicts, although cases like the Moscow and LA Olympics may have exacerbated already tense relationships between countries. In these cases, there was real hatred for certain teams. And we can't forget Munich, the greatest tragedy of all international sport.

It's not that I dislike international competition. Quite the opposite. I'm just looking at the underlying reasons it exists. I have to say I was rooting for the Iraqi soccer team last year on account of everything they had to face to get as far as they did. I guess the international level isn't that different than regional competition. I mean, why do we root, root, root for the home team? (At least some of us do. You're always going to have your bandwagon frontrunners.) People by nature are tribal creatures, and though those tribes are becoming intertwined, we'll never truly get away from it.

On another note, it also shows the greatness of American multiculturalism, as many of the players playing for teams beside Team USA are also American citizens. Indeed, A-Rod isn't even playing because he did not want to choose one particular country to play for, and even though he is a Yankee, I respect him (a bit) for that.

So, what is the conclusion? Is international competition good or bad? As long as it's friendly, I think it's great.

Pray that we get some good Cuban defectors this March.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Today's Sermon: Faux Spring

Today's spring-like day was amazing. Made me forget there were more than two months until Opening Day. I stopped by my favorite summer bar and the outside terrace was packed with people. Beer outside, on the second to last day of January! My brain is in baseball mode much too early.

Players will start making their way down South in three weeks. The Reds still haven't gotten a real pitcher, and I am not as optimistic as I was last year when they seemed to have made decent moves with Milton and Ortiz. (Not that they were brilliant moves, but at least it was something more than Jimmy Haynes.) The Nats, on the other hand, have a great pitching staff since they added Ortiz. Oh, wait, deja vu...

Pray that Griffey's legs will give him another healthy season.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

What's in a name?

Subtitled "Bored in the Offseason"

The holy men:

Jesus Reina, Giants
Jesus Colome, Rays
Jesus Delgado, Marlins
David DeJesus, Royals
Eulogio De La Cruz, Tigers
Angel Guzman, Cubs
Angel Sanchez, Royals
Victor Santos, Pirates
John Parrish, Orioles

Angel Pagan, Cubs - so is he holy or is he a pagan?


Fausto Carmona
New York Yankees

church of baseball

Welcome to the Church of Baseball. Worshippers of all teams except the Yankees welcome. I am Sister Daedalus, and I hate the off season.

This is a new blog and I haven't decided on what direction I want to take it yet. I started it early so by the time spring training rolls around it would be coherent. Anyone who is reading this is either here because you saw a new link to your blog on technorati or Site Meter or you were randomly sent here through Blogger search. Bare with me. I promise more substance soon.

I am in the process of designing this blog, which I hope will add something different to the plethora of baseball blogs out there. In the meantime, feel free to visit my main blog washingtonrox, a lefty political/American culture site. Righties are welcome, too.