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May 22, 2009
by Robbie Gillies
Watching Albert Pujols’ combination of power and coordination at the plate is a work of art. Watching Johan Santana switch from a 95 mph fastball to possibly the best changeup in the game is beautiful. These are the type of players that show how amazing the sport of baseball is. And the State Department and the International Baseball Federation have a need to show just how great the sport is. They are on a mission to bring baseball back to the Olympics after the decision four years ago by the Olympic Committee to drop the sport (along with softball) starting in 2012.
In order to do so, they brought foreign diplomats from around the world to watch America’s past time. But they didn’t take them to see Pujols bat or Santana pitch. Nope, they brought them to watch the Washington Nationals play the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Nationals are a league-worst 12-28 and the Pirates are second to last in their division (which is actually a step up for a team that has finished last the past two seasons). This is the matchup you chose to show how wonderful the game of baseball is?
So what did the diplomats get to see Wednesday night? Well, the Pirates won the game, 2-1, on a wild pitch in the top of the 9th inning. The two teams left 14 men on base and committed three errors. But here’s the real kicker: they are trying to show how this is America’s sport, how for some people it’s a religion, and people get really into games, yet the attendance at Nationals Park was 17,854.
So to summarize, after attending this game, these diplomats now think the goal is simply to get men on base, that team’s score a third of their runs on wild pitches, and that each fan gets a whole row to themselves. Great work.
THE INFLUENCE GAME: Baseball pitches diplomats - AP