clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tommy Lasorda: If You Don't Root for Team America, You're Going to Hell

Finally, someone cares about the WBC. That someone is 81-year-old Tommy Lasorda, who gave Team USA quite the pep talk yesterday. And if you’re gonna give a motivational speech, you might as well toss in a large dash of crazy ... and do it from the top of the Empire State Building (Statue of Liberty was apparently unavailable). ↵
↵⇥"We cannot allow those clubs to beat us. It's our game," the former Los Angeles Dodgers manager said Thursday. "Remember one thing: In your hearts, you better pull for the USA or you may not get into heaven." ↵⇥

↵⇥"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," he said. "It's our game, and we're not going to let them beat us." ↵⇥


↵⇥"They played for that 'USA' on the front of their shirt, not for the name on the back of their shirt," he said. "Baseball is America's game. It doesn't belong to these other countries. We've got to best 'em, because they want to beat us bad. They want to beat the United States because they figure, they can beat the United States, that's a big feather in their cap. Well, we can't let them put any feathers in their cap. We've got to win this thing. And we've got to bear down and believe and be proud that you're wearing the uniform of their greatest country in the world." ↵⇥

↵Perhaps I’m missing something, but isn’t the main reason for the World Baseball Classic to embrace, and display, the globalization of baseball? Sure, America may have created the game about 150 years ago, but it’s no longer just ours. It’s just as much the Dominican Republic’s and Japan’s and Korea’s, etc. Look at any MLB roster and you’ll recognize this. It’s not 1950. And this is a good thing, assuming we want “our game” to continue to contain the greatest players in the world. ↵

↵Although, certainly, it’s fine to root for Team America (even if you are a member of the Canadian Hall of Fame), as long as you realize that its roster doesn’t contain the best players in the world. And that none of them would be half as rich as they are without allowing foreign countries to embrace our game. ↵


↵Oh, but Tommy is right about one thing: Non-baseball fans are going to hell. I haven’t read the Bible in awhile ever, but I believe it’s somewhere in the Second Corinthians. ↵


This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.