Mac Engel: World Baseball Classic captured our interest not because it's baseball, but that flag

Mac Engel, Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in Baseball

Bud Selig fouled a lot of pitches off his face and crotch in his 22-year tenure as MLB commissioner, but his baby that is the WBC is a big league double.

Cliched baseball puns aside, credit to Bud for the vision. Credit the flag for captivating our interest.

The former owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, who was the MLB commissioner from 1992 to 2015, lorded over some of the game’s nastiest scars, including work stoppages and the steroid era. He also created the World Baseball Classic, which concluded on Tuesday night in Miami.

The United States lost, 3-2, against Japan on Tuesday night in what is a more of a World Series than the actual World Series.

The event that began in 2006, to the ire and anger of several MLB owners, most notably late New York Yankees boss George Steinbrenner, works. It’s good for baseball, no matter what the Houston Astros think.

Most likely to the disgust of both the NBA and NHL, MLB is the first to execute an end around on the International Olympic Committee and create its own tournament that generates global interest without sharing a dime of the revenue.


Again, the interest from us ugly Americans in the WBC isn’t really about the game of baseball. The game that supposedly is too long, slow and boring captivated our attention in this tournament.

Thank you, flag.

The event could be beer pong, darts or dog walking, and if you put old glory on the marquee we are Pavlovian dogs.

The greatest moment in the modern era of American sports are not about Jordan, Showtime, TB12, the Big Red Machine, the Yankee Dynasty or Roll Tide. It’s a hockey game.


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