October 26, 2006, - 3:55 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
With the World Series going on, one wonders where the sense of patriotism is.
The huge controversy at hand seems to be “SmudgeGate.” Everyone in St. Louis and Detroit–the teams competing for the Series title–is talking about Detroit Tigers pitcher Kenny Rogers and a suspicious looking brown smudge on his hand in Game 2. That’s the game that Detroit won to tie the series in Detroit (St. Louis now leads by 1, 2-1 in the Series). The smudge looks a lot like Rogers was using pine tar or some illegal (in baseball) substance like it. Rogers denies it, claiming it was dirt.
Then there’s Bob Seger. The Detroit-based singer refused to sing the American National Anthem at the World Series in Detroit because he thinks it too “vocally challenging” for him. Instead, he chose to sing “America the Beautiful.” Nobody seems to care about that. Why not?
Sure, cheating is unacceptable in an ostensibly virtuous sport (which we all know baseball is, right? steroids, anyone). But what about patriotism? Is that unacceptable, too, because Bob Seger finds the notes too high in his ’60s? Maybe our national anthem should be changed to “Hollywood Nights.”
And finally, there’s the World Series moniker itself. Foreign sports press–and American lefties who dominate our sports press–are up in arms, this year more than ever. They’re constantly carping that it’s not the “World” Series of baseball because it only includes Major League Baseball teams from North America (mostly the U.S.). Sorry, whiners, but there’s nothing wrong with believing America is the center of the world. It is. We’re really not too concerned about the teams from Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. When they refuse to play in the same division as Israel in the World Cup of Soccer and other competitions, and none of the whiners about the World Series say a thing, it tells us a lot about them.
Besides, Major League Baseball created the Series, and we believe in free speech here in America. They can call it the Galactic Series if they like, and I won’t object. There’s nothing wrong with being proud to be American, and proud that we think of ourselves as dominating the world.
If only we would act like it in other ways besides sports, instead of constantly kowtowing to our world critics. At least MLB won’t give in and change the name. And for that, I respect them. Though we deplore cheating, not giving into our international critics and refusing to leave out our traditional national anthem are far more important than the “smudge” in the larger scheme of things.
Tags: America, Anthem, baseball, Bob Seger, Debbie Schlussel, Detroit, Detroit Tigers, Foreign sports, Indonesia, Israel, Kenny Rogers, Major, Major League Baseball, MLB, North America, Pitcher, Saudi Arabia, singer, Smudge, soccer, St. Louis, the World, United States, World Cup