Brutal

I managed in the big leagues for 20 years, and I had to endure many bad call by umpires, so I know how my good friend Sadaharu Oh felt after the terrible call in their game against Team USA.  I also know how Paquin Estrada felt after the home run that was ruled a double, a call that was made by the same umpire that upheld the appeal at third base when the USA played Japan.Oh

I do not want the fans in Japan, or in Mexico, to think that these calls were made because the umpire is American.  The umpire that made those calls has had a reputation for many years of being controversial.  In fact, he has created controversy for many American teams, and managers, including me.

Before I go any further, I want to congratulate all the umpires who do an outstanding job of calling games fairly.

As it has turned out, Sadaharu Oh and his Japanese team will advance to the semi finals and the American team will not.  I salute the Japanese team for conducting themselves in a professional manner throughout this tournament, and I wish them luck in the semi finals.  But Korea is hot, and advancing to the finals wont be easy.

I would also like to congratulate Commissioner Bud Selig, Bob DuPuy, Paul Archey, Pat Courtney and Jim Small for their efforts and contributions to the Classic.  I would also like to thank the Players Union, and all the players who played in the Classic for helping to make the tournament a tremendous success.  I hope they understand that they are creating history by playing in the inaugural tournament.

I was very disheartened by the players who had the opportunity to play and failed to do so.

The press were very generous to give me the time and opportunities to promote awareness for the Classic, and to spread the word baseball around the nation, and around the globe.  The Commissioner envisions the globalization of baseball, something that is being proven by this classic.  I predict that in 10 to 15 years, many more teams will be playing the future WBC’s.

Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank Frank and Jamie McCourt for allowing me to accept the position of Ambassador, and for affording me the time to perform my duties as such.  It has been an honor and a privilege to represent the game, and I hope I did so with class, dignity and character.  I know I have been pulled away from my first love, dodger baseball, but as it has been said about me before, Dodger Stadium was his address, but every ballpark was his home.

16 Comments

You are a class act Tommy, and I am so glad you were picked to be Ambassador for this event: they couldn’t have done a better job. Thank you for being part of this effort and I am ready for more WBC in the future. The WBC is the best thing that has happened to sports in a very long time.

TL – you were BORN to be Ambassador. I can’t say enough good things about you. I moved to SF 15 yrs ago, and for the first time since then I will be at Chavez Ravine for OPENING DAY!!!! You have taught me what it means to be a true fan and an ambassador for the game in my own right!

Thank you so much!

I agree with your sentiment that players in this event are making history. I live in Los Angeles (asside: thanks for all the great years Tommy!) and after attending one of these games on a whim, I was swept up by the WBC’s atmosphere so much that I ended up attending three. At the last one, when team-Mexico had its triumph over team-USA, I tried to convey my impression of the WBC by hanging this sign from the railing in front of my seats: http://xnovae.org/sign.jpg . I hope that others saw it, and I hope the WBC is hear to stay for the ages!

Hello Sir,

My name is Jerry Wang and I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve you and Mia Hamm at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex not too long ago during a Dodgers/Braves spring training game.

The regulars working at the stadium were all telling me how a “great guy” you were (quoting them) beforehand, but I had no clue what they had meant by that until I saw you start teaching one of the kids you signed for on a lesson in manners for his lack of politeness. I confess that I did not know you before then and that honestly, while I enjoy all sports, baseball is not my cup of tea. But after witnessing that incident, you have my genuine respect.

My only regret in interacting with you and Mia that day was my lack of!!! I’m sure the two of you are used to it by now, dealing with many, many people, but however many times I ‘practiced lines in my head’ or told myself that I would ‘stay cool and collected around you two,’ my mind just hit the fan when I realized I was there, and you two were there… Well, after teasing me about that, my maanager reassured me that indeed my world will not end. I suppose I will let it be a lesson to me for future reference.

Thank you for not being afraid to teach us all an important lesson that day. And for reading my long message, as well. Please take care, sir!

“I was very disheartened by the players who had the opportunity to play and failed to do so.”

Gee, Tommy. Did it occur to you that some players felt it would be better for them to stay with their team and get in shape for the actual season?

Take, say, Nomar Garciaparra. He’s playing a brand-new position on a brand-new team (YOUR team as a matter of fact). Why would he leave to go play in a tournament, when that would take away valuable time from his getting comfortable for the season that actually counts?

Or how about Barry Bonds? If he had agreed to play, how horribly would that have ruined the WBC? The press would have been focussing on his issues instead of the tournament.

I’m enjoying the WBC (what I get to see of it anyway…you all might want to work on the scheduling of the games in the future so most people don’t have to watch them at 1am)…but I would have much rathered the guys on my team were in Ft Myers preparing for the upcoming season.

Cyn, wrote: ” Why would he leave to go play in a tournament, when that would take away valuable time from his getting comfortable for the season that actually counts?”

My answer: Though it may not seem like it to most Americans now, the WBC is more important than “the season that actually counts”.

From now until 2009, the teams that win the MLB World Series must wonder, “Although we are the best in the US, are we better than the teams from Korea, Japan, Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela?”. For now, at least in the eyes of the rest of the world, the answer seems to be “no”.

Skipper – you are a man of integrity, honor and character! You have proven to be one of the most sincere lovers of the game and the most loyal to the spirit it represents. From the men and women of Barksdale AFB, we salute your dedication and are encouraged for having met you.

“Though it may not seem like it to most Americans now, the WBC is more important than “the season that actually counts'”

Sorry, I don’t agree with that at all. A two-week tournament is nice and all, but it has no bearing on anything. This was an international competition, which was great – and it’s been fun to watch – but as an MLB fan it meant next to nothing to me. Just because Bud Selig (and Tommy Lasorda) tell us it’s important doesn’t make it so.

“From now until 2009, the teams that win the MLB World Series must wonder, “Although we are the best in the US, are we better than the teams from Korea, Japan, Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela?”. For now, at least in the eyes of the rest of the world, the answer seems to be ‘no’.”

That’s ridiculous. No one, but people with some kind of blind loyalty, has ever believed that the US had the ‘best players in the world’. The two best players on the Red Sox are Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz – and they’re from the DR…and how did THAT team do? So are you telling me this means that the Dominican players aren’t really that good? I’d think the likes of Tejada and Pujols would have to disagree with you.

As far as Americans go…yeah, that Ken Griffey Jr, that Derek Jeter…those guys can’t play worth a lick (please not the sarcasm). The argument is faulty. It was a short tournament…not nearly enough games to determine that everyone else in the world plays better ball than the Americans.

Tommy, I would like to say you were right about the WBC. It has been excellent, and I hope this continues for many years. I went to the Korea-Mexico game in Anaheim, and the atmosphere was incredible.

CYN: There’s no need to apologize. I didn’t expect you would agree. It’s clear that you think the WBC is an insignificant novelty. I think it’s that same opinion which, when expressed by the US players who opted out, disheartened Tommy.

And I agree, people shouldn’t think the WBC is important just because Tommy Lasorda and Bud Selig say so. I’d been hoping for something like this for years. My interest was compounded by the atmosphere at the games themselves. Those crowds were at least as enthusiastic as any I’ve ever seen at an MLB game.

Hi Tommy, I went to three games in Anaheim, including both games you mentioned and saw with my own two eyes some of the poorest and suspiciously biased officiating ever.
Nevertheless, I was most struck by the heartfelt love and devotion the Mexican fans felt for the team representing their country. Same thing goes for the Japanese fans and the Koreans as well. The way they cheered their country men on was done with creativity, class, style and even a bit of charm.

What bothered me were the ignorant, loud and vulgar mouthed American baseball fans that think that the United States desrves to win no matter what or should not even be compared with these other countries. That we are better than them no matter what. I was embaressed by the U.S. fans booing the Japanese and the Mexicans as they took the field against the U.S. The classless lack of humility and utter arrogance of not all, but most Americans was very present.

Just like the U.S. lost against the Canadians and Mexicans, the fact that the lack luster U.S.A. team did not move on in the tournement, Maybe it was their blind arrogant George dubya Bush Superpower mentality that got in the way.

Or maybe it’s just me that needs to realize that the “World” is just made up of the National and American League. Just a guess, one American to another.

//It’s clear that you think the WBC is an insignificant novelty//

Not what I said at all. What I said was, to me, it rates BELOW the actual MLB season.

And I get offended by Tommy basically saying anyone who didn’t want to participate was being a jerk. Most of them were being careful, because they know when the WBC is over, they still have to get back to their team and be healthy AND meld well with them.

Thank you Mr.Lasorda. We all know you as an Ambassador for the greatest game on earth,even before this classic.I am a Canadian and I can assure you that this will be the greatest thing to happen to this game in decades.The starting pitcher for Team Canada vs. U.S.A. is a boy from our area and every kid, including mine, were sharing his dream.The entire world is watching and this only proves that it is a game of heart, not dollars.It is a game of true sporting spirit bringing out the edge that prevails.
Good on all of you and MLB for having the foresite to promote this (and support Cuba’s entry)and putting sports before politics.It is a great day for baseball and the entire human race. The final should be a classic!

Mr. Lasorda,
I read some comments from you today that really disappointed me. In an ESPN article, you were quoted as saying ‘I don’t want Cuba to win’. How can you make comments like those as baseball’s ambassador? I’ve been a big fan of you and the dodgers for as long as I can remember. How could you not like a team that fields players with skills whom MLB millionaires can’t even compete with? Your comments were discouraging and I hope someday you can clarify or at least show support for all teams involved in the classic irrespective of your opinion of their country or leadership. THis is baseball, not the U.N.

Dear Tommy:

I was one of those who thought that the WBC would be a risk to the players participating in it. I also had and still have little interest in the WBC. Major League Baseball and its regular season is my major interest. I decided to adopt a wait and see attitude to see if participating in the Classic would have a detrimental influence on any of the players. Well, I think that it has had such a negative influence and my conclusion is based on the number is injuries that have fallen on many of the players who performed in the classic. I think that the next classic will not see as many major league players participating and I think that you will see very luke warm encouragement from team owners for their players to play in the WBC.

Tommy, you are the biggest JERK in baseball. I would be ashamed of myself if I were you. Your suppose to be an Ambassador for the game but you treat people like there dirt. I happen to be at Dodgertown yesterday to see a young man “MY NEW HERO” cuss you out because of how you treat people. I have wanted to do this for 25 years. You are RUDE to everybody you encounter. You put on this big act when the camera’s are around to make yourself look like a GREAT person. Maybe you should look at yourself in the mirror one day. I know that what you will see will discust you.

Also, I seen 3 of the security gaurds and about 10 fans walk up to that young man to shake his hand for what he said to you. Just thought that you would like to know that everybody around thinks the same of you. YOUR A HALL OF FAME JERK.

Love the Dodger lady.

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