Monday, June 19, 2006

Obligatory World Cup Post

Before I head down to Pacific Palisades for the big Malibu-Pali baseball game--Coach Dave Buss and his Malibu team are undefeated through four games in the American Legion season, but Pali is a tough opponent--I thought I'd post my obligatory observations about the World Cup. Apparently, all bloggers are required to comment on the World Cup regardless of whether or not they know anything about soccer. Believing that baseball is life (and life is baseball), all I can do is offer are a few random comments about the World Cup:
  • Switzerland defeated Togo, 2-0, today. Togo is now 0-2, which is too bad because some of us were hoping the 2006 World Cup would include at least one Togo Party.
  • Ejections in soccer, as anyone who watched the U.S.-Italy match on Saturday knows, are much less interesting than ejections in baseball. In the former, a guy wearing shorts with black socks blows a whistle and pulls a red card out of his shirt pocket to eject the offending player. In the latter, the ejection occurs when a guy who looks like a Marine Corps drill instructor yells "Yer outta here!" while throwing his fist in the general direction of the stands. And in soccer, the ejected player must confine his emotional display to a sad look combining understated hand gestures and facial contortions. Baseball ejections tend to be more verbal.
  • The absence of a clock (witness the Cal-State Fullerton comeback against Georgia Tech on Saturday in the College World Series and, on the same day, Oakland's 17-inning win over the Dodgers) makes baseball superior to soccer--or basketball or hockey for that matter. [UPDATE: The Cal State-Fullerton-Georgia Tech game was yesterday (Sunday), not Saturday. The baseball, soccer, and basketball--I didn't watch any hockey--all started running together on me.]
  • It's worth noting that 20,000 fans, almost all of them Korean-Americans, watched Saturday's match between South Korea and France at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Globalization, no? (France and South Korea tied, 1-1.)
  • Have I mentioned that there are no ties in baseball?
  • Soccer fans sing better than baseball fans. I've got to concede that point.

Anyway, I hope those of you who care about such things are enjoying the World Cup. Forza Azzurri!

[ANOTHER UPDATE: Malibu defeated Pacific Palisades, 12-1.]