Online Exclusives — 20 March 2013
Jason Leskiw, Managing Editor

Bongo drums being pounded, hips shaking and flags waving. An international gathering in a city that is the epitome of a melting pot. Crowds roaring and emotions were soaring, and it all happened at AT&T Park.

The World Baseball Classic ended this week, the Dominican Republic taking the gold championship trophy back to well… their US territory. From a baseball standpoint, one might say it was really one big win for America’s pastime. But from the standpoint of forward thinkers, it was really a win for the world.

In 2005, baseball was removed from the Olympics, which spawned the tournament of today. Some may boo the Olympic committee’s decision, but seeing as how we get the tournament every three years instead of four, I applaud it.

Baseball has ended riots in San Francisco, made droves of grown men cry and helped distraught American economies recover. And the spread of the sport to every populated continent in the world has the potential to bring change to third world countries and bridge a gap in foreign relations that seemingly no other bit of entertainment can.

The scenery at AT&T Park during the two championship rounds was unparalleled to any regular season game I’ve ever seen. Flags waving and everyone having a good time. Even Hanley Ramirez, who received boo’s and a broken thumb, and Octavio Dotel whose team was swept by the Giants just five months ago in the World Series.

“We are brothers,” Dominican reliever Octavio Dotel said of Ramirez. “We are friends.”

If it’s not the same lament of the host city of the championship round that brings the two Dominican teammates together, it must be the World Baseball Classic.

A Giants closer and a Dodgers 3rd baseman, both wearing the same uniform. So why not North Korea and South Korea? Why not China and Japan?

Ladies and gentlemen, it is now baseball season.

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