Where does the WBC rank? And a neat chance meeting
Well, sort of.
I’m wondering what the feeling is towards the World Baseball Classic that began on the weekend over in Asia and kicks off in Arizona just after we leave Phoenix this week.
I think it’s big and I’m not sure it gets the attention it probably deserves here in North America – and I can’t speak to Asia or the Caribbean because I’ve never been their to check out the interest.
I understand that it’s relatively new and that the global reach of the game doesn’t come close to matching basketball or soccer but there is enough worldwide talent to make it competitive with a deep field where any number of countries could actually win the thing.
Baseball doesn’t seem to be a game that evokes great levels of patriotism right now, we cheer for teams and perhaps individual players but as country-vs.-country sport it doesn’t create great passion.
I’m of the mind that any time any team puts on a Canadian uniform we should pay attention and get a bit excited; it happens in hockey, of course, and basketball and soccer to a much larger extent than it does for baseball and I hope that can change over the course of this tournament and in the future.
I remember the last one, with the games in Toronto, and Canada was wildly supported and even after they suffered a gut-wrenching loss that knocked them out of the tournament, there was still support for other countries, as there should be.
Super Son and I blew the chance to see Canada because we expected a win that never happened but we did see Italy play someone (and for the life of me I cannot remember which country) and it was a pretty good atmosphere.
So even though there are no “home” games for this version of Team Canada, the fact that it’s Canada, and a pretty darn good Canadian team on paper (check out Griff's preview), I’d expect even casual sports fans to pay close attention when they start playing later this week.
The people you meet!
We’re meeting up with Jack Armstrong for a pre-dinner Irish coffee or four at the Buena Vista coffee house and when we arrive, he’s at the bar in conversation with this young couple he rode over on the cable car with.
Nice couple, Jason and Krista, they’re from Laguna Beach where she runs a fine art gallery, one of the artists – Michael Flohr had a couple of paintings hanging at the Buena Vista – and we’re having a fine chat.
(Yeah, me talking about fine art, odd things happen on the road).
Anyway, we get to talking about families and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
And get this.
She’s Dennis Franz’s daughter!!!!
Yes, Andy Sipowicz.
How cool is that?
Seems he’s relaxing being a grandfather and loving life and thee wasn’t a lot of disagreement when I suggested the over-acting red-headed guy Caruso made an odd career choice when he left to fail at movies and Jimmy Smits is a good guy but all accounts.
And if you’re ever in Laguna Beach and don’t stop by the Exclusive Collections gallery and say hello, I’ll be disappointed in you.
Oh yeah, the Raptors.
Day off for them yesterday after a long overnight flight from Milwaukee (charters go direct, grunts go through Minneapolis the next day) and it was probably much needed for a mental break as much as a physical one.
This has to be an odd time for them with the four losses leaving them where they are and, again, we’ll learn something about them as a collective group when we see how they play in these road game this week.
It’s a hard trip and they have to be a bit down; they also need to suck it up and play hard, win as many games as they can to get used to the feeling and to get used to each other so that any gains made this season aren’t lost.
Luckily, with no need to tank because there’s no draft pick to worry about we won’t be subjected to Justin Dentmon or Ben Uzoh or weeks of regulars nursing suspect injuries and getting days off just because.
There are, what, 22 games left? That’s more than a quarter of the season and there is no time to even think about taking the foot of the pedal.
Let’s see what they’ve got, it might be interesting.
No, it was not raining hard in ‘Frisco but it got me thinking …
For all you night owls and any western Irregulars we might have, we will be here about 10:30 tonight for an IGBT.
And we’ll still have the usual morning fare, even if it’s a bit later than usual like today.
But with a trip that’s Wisconsin-California-Arizona-California, I have no clue what the sleep patterns will be like so check here regularly, I’ll do what I can when I can.
Here's a question:
Why in the world would anyone care what Dennis Rodman did or did not do in North Korea and why would an allegedly significant American television Sunday morning "news" show put him on?
All due credit to the show, according to Not Grace in this piece, for not turning it into too much of a circus but, really, isn’t a circus to even put that clown on TV to talk about legitimate global concerns and issues? Why give that guy a platform at all? Why think asking even serious questions will evoke answers that mean anything?
Rodman is a joke and not possibly able to offer any insight into anything to do with North Korea and it speaks sadly of the TV “news” industry that they would put him on.
About last night, post-Buena Vista.
Of course, we move over to Tommaso’s for some outstanding baby clams and some fine veal parmigiana (they were out of lasagna which is just the best I’ve ever had) and I have to text PJ to tell him thanks for the recommendation.
And since PJ knows every good restaurant in the league it seems I had to ask him for something small and good in Phoenix in case Pizzeria Bianco is just appetizers.
What’s he give me?
Maybe they’ll have lasagna.