World Baseball Classic
By: Quinn Givhan
The first thing that comes to someones mind, when the subject of international relations is probably not baseball, but when you talk about the World Baseball Classic that changes everything. Sixteen teams from across the world have to migrate to different countries around the world to partake in a sport that catches the interest of millions.
While all the action normally is taking place on the baseball diamond, its easy to overlook how diplomatic the World Baseball Classic truly is. When you talk about the number of teams, and the number of players that will be competing you do not always think that countries first have to let these players into their country that hosts these games. They have to provide these players and these venues with security as well. This is no small task and something that takes lots of manpower and lots of money.
The one good thing that sports often solves, is the problem between different governments, almost everyone can agree that the world has a love of sport, when you ramp that up into an international stage that sense of nationalism often takes over, and countries around the world rally behind their players. Governments put aside their differences and allow for people to enter the country and compete for the sake of glory, but what happens when things take a different turn on the field?
During a game between Mexico and Canada, a pitcher was throwing repeated inside balls against a batter to try and force him off the plate. After being warned by the umpire the pitcher for Mexico continued to do this until he hit the Canadian batter. At this point the benches cleared as the Canadian batter charged the mound and a fight broke out.
Now a fight on the field of play has never led to criminal charges that I have seen, but the scary thing was that sense of nationalism took over, and fans from both Canada and Mexico started throwing things onto the field, at the players, and then fighting among themselves. The real question that takes place now, is what are the authorities supposed to do in this situation? The game was taking place in the United States, if the security or the police had to get involved with the fans, how does the United States government, and its courts handle such a sticky situation. Different groups of international fans, get into a fight over a sporting event that winds them up in jail, how should such a situation be handled?
This is a tricky situation that could raise more questions, and more problems going forward as more international sporting events take place. With the world cup taking place the summer of 2014 it will be interesting to see what has to be done to prevent another outbreak like what took place with the World Baseball Classic.