We know Major League Baseball wants us to get excited about the World Baseball Classic, especially since there may be no major leaguers left to play in the tourney if they all keep dropping out. However, we’re pretty sure Bud Selig sent out his PR strike team to tranquilize and drag off Tommy Lasorda at one of the WBC press opportunities on the top of the Empire State Building after Tommy got on a verbal roll.
Tommy, always the irascible octogenarian, didn’t just encourage Americans to root for the US team in the WBC (and watch and buy T-shirts, no doubt). He told the assembled reporters the following: “Remember one thing: In your hearts, you better pull for the USA or you may not get into heaven.” In heaven, there’s no pasta fagioli.
He didn’t stop there, of course. Not only will players like LaTroy Hawkins and John Grabow be wearing “the uniform of their greatest country in the world”, but they’ll be playing America’s game. In other words, those other countries should be ashamed to even try playing baseball. “It’s our game. Baseball is America’s game. It doesn’t belong to the Italians or the Cubans or the Koreans or the Japanese.”
Forced jingoism about an artifical event is still jingoism, Tommy.