Send me to Baseball Gitmo — because I'm not rooting for the U.S. in the World Baseball Classic.
I'm not rooting for anybody else, either. I'm rooting for the whole thing to be snowed out or cancelled because of economic ruin.
Is there a worse idea than the World Baseball Classic? Let's count the ways in which it sucks.
1. It delays the arrival of real baseball.
2. It interferes with the development of team spirit and camaraderie and other things that I think are basically imaginary except when the alternative to them is the WBC.
3. It means spring-training telecasts are even more scrub-eriffic.
4. It offers random hitting and pitching coaches a chance to screw up Met swings and Met pitching motions in a flurry of shameful sports adultery. (Sure, you could claim that such a brief affair could help our players, but we're Met fans.)
5. It offers the chance for injuries, whether it's a pitcher trying to coax May stuff out of a March arm in a fit of patriotic fervor, bad luck or some Kafkaesque turn of fate — imagine (with crossed fingers) Nelson Figueroa beaning David Wright. Which would be particularly ridiculous since last time I checked Nelson Figueroa was from frigging Brooklyn.
(Sure, Mets could get injured playing the Astros or Italy or Hofstra, but don't you interrupt me when I'm ranting.)
Hell, according to Johan Santana his bout of elbow whatever (BECAUSE IT'S NOTHING SERIOUS RIGHTRIGHTRIGHTRIGHT?) is WBC-related: He was hurrying to get in shape to defend the national honor of Venezuela. Even when our players don't play in the WBC, they get screwed by it.
Enough. In the 1993 All-Star Game in Baltimore, John Kruk found himself digging in against Randy Johnson. Or, rather, not digging in — Kruk saw one laser beam above his head and saw the rest of his at-bat with his back foot somewhere in the vicinity of Washington, D.C. When chastised for not exactly offering the Unit the old college try, Kruk pointed out that he played for the Phillies, not the National League. So should it be here: Whether their passports are American, Venezuelan, Dominican, Canadian, or what have you, once the orange and blue are donned I want our guys to think of themselves as upstanding members of the Metropolitan armed forces. All other loyalties are checked at the door, lest distraction or disaster rear their ugly heads.
6. David Wright will be hanging out with Derek Jeter and Chipper Jones. I rest my case.
Loyalists of all stripes should do their patriotic duty and pre-order Greg's Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine retailers.