Honkbal Fever. Catch It!
(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)
Oh, I've picked a horse in this WBC, my friends. Never one to go all USA, ALL THE WAY! because I like to zig when people expect me to zag, I'm now fully on board the train for Team Netherlands. Because despite the fact that they twice defeated the powerhouse Dominican team to advance in the WBC and to eliminate said Dominicanos, they also refer to Major League Baseball as Honkbal Hoofdklasse, which, I am sorry, is just about the greatest thing I've ever heard. It's quite poetic, actually. So much so that I might have to consider naming my firstborn "Honkbal." Has a certain ring to it, don't you think?
Anyway, despite being a New England fan and all evidence to the contrary, I do appreciate a good underdog story. And there's really none greater currently than the athletes of honkbal taking on the mighty besibol-playing Dominicans and emerging victorious in the World Baseball Classic. That's a true sporting David and Goliath story if ever I've heard one.
Not that I have anything against Team Dominican, mind you. On the contrary, their roster reads like a list of Team Most Likely To Embarrass You In Front Of Your Mom, but sometimes, the greats fall. This isn't really akin to the 2008 Super Bowl and the Giants taking down the steamrolling Patriots because I'm pretty sure the world at large doesn't harbor such ill will towards the Dominican Republic, but it's an upset nevertheless, and a pretty big one at that.
(Also, did you notice how I totally acknowledged both the fact and outcome of the 2008 Super Bowl? This is what's known as growth, my friends.)
But honestly, I cannot, in good conscience, root against a team that so joyfully plays honkbal with childlike wonder and abandon. If you ask me, the world could do with more honkbal. Though I will admit to being a tad bit disappointed to see old friend Julian Tavarez so unceremoniously eliminated from contention. Who knows what batshit nonsense he would have gotten up to had the pressure of international competition gotten to him. Now that I think about it, I wouldn't put it past him to forge a birth certificate and declare himself Dutch so as to continue this tournament. In fact, I almost hope that happens.
Failing that? Honkbal for everyone!