The Anaheim Example: How grammar will save baseball
Last night, Anaheim was home to both The Happiest Place on Earth™ and a little corner of Mudville, where there is no joy, because last night in Anaheim, Team USA was eliminated from the World Baseball Classic. Mexico beat the major leaguers representing United States, 2-1. Only four teams now remain in the tournament: Japan, South Korea, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba.
This raises an interesting question: If the US All-Star team, made up of players whose combined annual salaries rival the Gross National Product of some of the other countries in the tournament, can't even make the finals of World Baseball Classic, what does this mean for the World Series? Every year the World Series is played between two US teams (except in 1992 and '93, when winning the World Series was outsourced to the Toronto Blue Jays), and the winner is declared "World Champion". But if the United States can't make the final four in an international competition, and, worse, can only field the third best team from North America (Canada beat Team USA, too), how can we boast of having the World Champion team? Fortunately, the site of the US defeat contains the answer. A very OC answer.
Thanks to Arte Moreno and his Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Major League Baseball now knows the magic of the prepositional phrase-- that "of Anaheim" was powerful enough to win a lawsuit-- and it's a prepositional phrase which will allow the US to save face. From now on, the World Series should be know as the World Series of the United States. And the series victor will be the World Champion of the United States. So, if Angels ever win the series again, they would be the World Champion of the United States Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. A little wordy, I admit. And it would probably only look good on an XXL t-shirt-- but thanks to America's obesity crisis, all XXL is where t-shirt industry is headed anyway.
If having to qualify the World Champion status of US baseball teams gets you down, and makes chanting "We're Number 1! We're Number 1!" seem unappealing, just remember the words of Spiro Agnew, Richard Nixon's first vice president. "The United States, for all its faults," said the only vice president ever to plead No Contest to bribery charges, "is still the greatest nation in the country." Truer words were never spoken.
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