Final Score: Dominican Republic 3, Puerto Rico 0.
World Baseball Conflict of the Game: The 2013 World Baseball Classic.
There are two types of people who don’t like the World Baseball Classic. People who don’t smile, and comedy blog writers who are creating posts that parallel historic events between nations. We fall more into the latter, although I’ve had trouble raising the corners of my mouth since Game 5.
The WBC Final was a matchup between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, two teams who had already met twice before in this tournament. We had already run thin on metaphors given the surprisingly limited series of conflicts between the two nearby islands, exaggerating some unwanted immigration for the first matchup and then basically fabricating a battle over tourism for the 2nd DR-PR meeting. So for the third and final all-Caribbean faceoff we had to think outside the box. And we thought so outside the box that we came all the way back inside the box.
For baseball may be a metaphor for life, but is not baseball itself a part of life? It is, I’m pretty sure. Baseball, therefore, by some principle of logic that I’m too lazy to look up, is a metaphor for baseball. Which is in itself a metaphor for baseball, in a metaphorical infinite metaphor-chain that recurses off into the Great Baseball Beyond.
“This is a cop-out,” you mutter indignantly, “I didn’t read my way through 35 dreary history lessons just to get to this anticlimactic meta-metaphorical nonsense.” Well, first of all, FUCK YOU, YOU UNGRATEFUL BASTARD. WE’VE TAUGHT YOU MORE THAN YOU COULD POSSIBLY COMPREHEND.
Second of all, this game is actually an unusually good reflection of the rest of the World Baseball Classic, at least as it pertains to the relationship between these two teams. In the WBC, the Dominican Republic beat Puerto Rico once, then twice, then finally a third time, removing any chance that they could not win it all (having won it all). In the WBC finals, the DR beat Puerto Rico to the first run, then the second, and finally the third, a run which would be unanswered and would put the game beyond the Puerto Ricans’ grasp due to the untouchable Dominican bullpen.
As for specific events within the game acting as metaphors for the entire series, well get ready to re-read sentences due to confusion:
Jose Reyes’s excellent performance was a metaphor for Robinson Cano’s excellent performance, as Robinson Cano actually had an average game 3. But in the first two games Cano was much more impressive, while Reyes was quite terrible. Overall, Cano had one of the greater offensive performances of any teammate, something which Jose Reyes paralleled quite nicely in the end.
Miguel Tejada serving as a mid-game defensive replacement was awfully reminiscent of the other time Miguel Tejada served as a mid-game defensive replacement vs. Puerto Rico. There is not much thought needed here to understand this metaphor. Only eyes and basic comprehension are required.
The injury Hanley Ramirez suffered was an unwanted and unnecessary blemish on an otherwise perfect series of events for the Dominicans. Much like when the Dominicans’ shutout streak was tarnished upon allowing 2 runs in game 2. Or even when Erick Aybar tainted his freshly washed underwear upon the arrival of the seagulls, as he claimed, “They’re here for my gold. Please, not my gold…” I have never seen a man more terrified.
Fernando Rodney’s plantain that he magically produced was a metaphor for the 2-seamers that earned him many an out throughout the matchups, as both curved back in and also confused everyone.
To sum up the metaphor: in the World Baseball Classic as a whole as in the final game, the Dominican Republic conquered, liberated itself from, insulted, pillaged, raped, stole treasure from, and dropped a nuclear bomb on Puerto Rico. It was all the conflicts of history rolled up into one decisive triumph.
Still not satisfied with this last WBC metaphor? Well, as Mahatma Ghandi is often misquoted as saying, “be the change you want to see in the world.” You have four years to start a real war between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico before the next World Baseball Classic in 2017.