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Thoughts on the World Baseball Classic

I went to a WBC game between Japan and Cuba on Wednesday, and I want to mention it here because I had been ignoring the WBC, and now that I've seen it in person I think that's a shame. 

The game was at PETCO Park, and there were probably only about 5,000 people there. That surprised me, because much bigger crowds turn out to watch the Padres even when the Padres are terrible, and the Japanese team had a number of big-league players--Ichiro, Kosuke Fukudome, Kenji Johjima and Akinori Iwamura were all in the starting lineup. Anyway, we had outfield seats, and after a couple of innings the ushers were actively encouraging us to go to field level.

So we did, sitting on the side where Cuba's fans were sitting. It was a giant party--you get a sense of that when you watch the games on TV, but it was quite a sight to see live. The Japanese side was loud but generally did most of its cheering at the expected moments. The Cuba side, on the other hand, was insane. The noise was loud, constant and enthusiastic, and loud cheers when up at even the most mundane moments.

After six innings, I was exhausted--there was something really strange about the juxtaposition between the enthusiasm of the fans and the quality of the baseball, which frankly wasn't that interesting. I don't think I'd ultimately like baseball as much as I do if every game were this crazy. Still, it was really different, and if you get a chance to go to a WBC game, I'd recommend it.