Final Score: Italy 14, Canada 4 (8 innings)
World Baseball Conflict of the Game: The Canadian capture of Rome during the Italian campaign of World War II
To say that “Canadians are known for their martial prowess” is a little like saying “Italians are known for never accepting bribes.” But Canada has done a little fighting in its day. In World War II, for instance, Canadian troops were at the forefront of the Allied assault on the Italian peninsula. It was overall a successful campaign, one that Canadians actually seem to be pretty proud of, in that adorably Canadian way.
Canadians led the attack on Rome, and they suffered disproportionate casualties compared to British and American forces. Now that might have been because German resistance was stronger on the Canadian front, or it might have been because Canadians just sucked at fighting. For the purposes of this metaphor, I’ll assume the latter.
Canada also failed at actually taking Rome. They were supposed to arrive first in the city like conquering heroes, but U.S. general Mark Clark decided to do it instead just to be obnoxious. No glory for Canada, then or ever.
Which brings us to the Canada-Italy WBC game, in which Canada won the opposite of glory: utter shame. They sucked at baseball like they sucked at war. Worse, actually.
Of course, in WWII it was the Italians who got “mercied”–the Italian government had signed an armistice with the Allies long before the Canadians got to Rome, leaving their country to be defended by Nazis.
The moral of the story is that both sides of this game should generally be very embarrassed.