Apparently there's a series of collegiate basketball contests that starts this week, but the roundball tournament we're currently checking for is the World Baseball Classic. OK, stop laughing: seriously, the 2nd edition of the WBC has been great. Our favorite part? Rooting against the U.S. team.
Last night the Americans beat Puerto Rico to advance to the semi-finals of the tournament, and while we've got a healthy appreciation for livin' in America, we also enjoy hating on damn near everybody and everything, so we'll be rooting for Venezuela, Korea and the winner of tonight's Japan-Cuba tilt'anybody but our fellow countrymen. Is that messed up? Maybe, but we've got our reasons...
#5: THEY'VE GOT THE LAMEST UNIS OF ANY TEAM IN THE WBC
Think critiquing a sports team's uniforms is a little suspect? Ask your moms'we're comfortable with our sexuality, and we're comfortable calling the American unis easily the most boring in the tournament. Korea's got fake collars on their jerseys and Cuba's got blue socks. The U.S.? Boring-ass red, white and (old) navy blue, plus an "S" on their chest that looks like a trio of melted Twizzlers.
#4: THEY HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO CELEBRATE WITH STYLE
After the U.S. sewed up their spot in the WBC semis last night, Korea went out and beat archrival Japan to secure their own place in the final four. The Koreans celebrated their victory by planting a miniature Korean flag on the mound; the Americans by spraying each other with Miller Lite. Typically American? Yes. Boring as shit? Ditto.
#3: THEY'VE GOT A BUNCH OF FLAMING JACKASSES ON THEIR TEAM
Good thing the Koreans didn't plant that flag after a game with the U.S., the Americans might've tried to start a brawl. During Sunday's U.S.-Netherlands game, Dutch outfielder Bryan Engelhardt hit a home run off American reliever Matt Lindstrom. Apparently Engelhardt admired his moon shot a little too much (or perhaps he was simply checking to see if it was foul) so Lindstrom threw at the next Dutch hitter, nearly setting off a brawl. A few batters later, Lindstrom left with a strained rotator cuff. We don't always root for players to get injured (just sometimes), but for Lindstrom, we'll make an exception.
#2: IT'LL DRIVE ESPN'S ANNOUNCERS BATSHIT CRAZY
In between their typical casually moronic asides ("Chase Utley literally played the second half of last year on one leg") and concocting excuses for U.S. failures (injuries, the vagaries of the "international game," clubhouse locusts), ESPN's announcers have proven remarkably adept at being patronizing assholes, with Dan Shulman positing that some of the aforementioned Netherlands players would be thrilled to have a post-game high-five line because they might have never shaken the hand of a major league player (never mind that the Netherlands has multiple current and former big leaguers on its roster). We can't wait to hear what garbage they'll come up with if Cuba makes the finals (our guess is "lucky to be breathing good ol' non-commie L.A. smog").
#1: THEIR FANS DON'T CARE AS MUCH AS OTHER SQUADS'
The U.S. is the only team comprised entirely of major league players and (obviously) it's also the only team playing its second round and semi-final games in its home country. And yet U.S. fans would seemingly prefer to get sloshed and sunburned watching meaningless spring training games. At least they won't be mad when the U.S. loses to Korea in the final!