Final Score: USA 9, Canada 4.
World Baseball Conflict of the Game: The Pig War.
Pigs. No matter if you’re a normal guy just eating them, or if you’re mark Mark Teixeira and they’re throwing at you high and inside, pigs have a great impact on our lives. So great that the United States and Canada thought they should fight a war because of one. Ok, well maybe it was actually a conflict over disputed islands that was set off because of the death of a pig. But I think it’s a lot less embarrassing to say you were fighting over a pig, because bacon tastes delicious and islands do not.
In 1859, a Northwestern American farmer named Lyman Cutlar found a pig in the garden, eating his tubers. If this doesn’t sound like the start of a softcore porn movie, I don’t know what does. So Cutlar killed the pig. Turns out the pig was owned by an Irishman located in Canadian lands just across the border, who was quite upset. Cutlar offered him $10 to replace the pig, the Irishman demanded $100, and the United States and British-controlled Canada went to war. You know, the traditional way things go when a pig is killed.
A bloodless military conflict ensued that was almost immediately shut down by embarrassed government officials from both nations. And much like that only 154 years later, a bloodless baseball conflict took place that was shut down after just 3 hours and 18 minutes by MLB officials. Not cause of embarrassment or anything…just cause 9 innings had been played and the game was over…but still…
Just like the Pig War, some would say this WBC game was fought over a pointless issue, that being winning an exhibition baseball tournament. Well those people are stupid and probably love football. But for the sake of this metaphor, let’s agree with them even though we all know baseball is more than a silly game.
Lots of American players did their best Lyman Cutlar impression, like David Wright, who found a Canadian pitch in his batter’s box and killed it. The Canadians fought back, but never with physical violence, the type of violence they had become known for because of their fight with Team Mexico.
The conflict was peaceful, no blows were exchanged, and in the end, an agreement was reached that was fair for both parties. Like the Pig War, neither side really came off all that terrible. The USA got what they wanted, advancing to the next round, and Canada doesn’t have to qualify for the next WBC, even with their loss. Everyone ended up fine.
Except the pig that Heath Bell randomly brought out from the bullpen and slaughtered on the mound, claiming he wanted to honor his ancestors. Poor pig.