Brett Lawrie (pictured) is making a good argument for converting a few Canadians to Milwaukee Brewers fans.
Did you see what Lawrie, the Brewers' first-round pick, did yesterday at the AAA World Junior Championship in Edmonton -- a homer, triple and six RBI in an 18-7 rout of Puerto Rico? Canada is 3-1 heading into their final group game vs. the Czech Republic (a 7 p.m. ET start) and was one passed ball (by Lawrie, but long-term, he's ticketed for the infield, either third or second) from upsetting Cuba on Sunday.
He's something to behold, all right. Canada's in good position, 3-1 heading into their final group game vs. an unheralded Czech Republic team tonight. Korea and the U.S. are 4-0 in other pool, so they'll likely be waiting for the Canadians in the elimination round. It's regrettable that this event hasn't commanded much attention outside the city of where it's being played, but you can't blame the media this time.
It's unfortunate that The tournament's official website looks like something a Junior B hockey team would have had in 1999. It really has to be seen to be believed. It isn't even Web 1.0., it's more like Web 0.1. It's a real shame that Baseball Canada, which has some very professional people (there might not be a Can-Am League team in Ottawa if not for Jim Baba and Andre Cormier addressing Ottawa city councillors last fall), ends up looking bad.
Cam Tait from the Edmonton Journal took the organizers to task already. What's not to understand for the small-fish sports organizations? You want coverage, you want your world championship to get afforded 1/10th of the media exposure that was given to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup last summer or that the Canadian world junior team's summer development camp -- practice games! -- has received the past few days, you better have an easy-to-surf website with scores that get updated pronto. No one has time to check every station, but if the game scores have been appearing on any network's ticker, I must have missed it.
Lawrie racking Puerto Rico for six RBI -- or as a wire-service account put it, "scored six RBIs," like this was cricket -- is as big as anything Steven Stamkos or Jonathan Toews have done athletically for their country.
Anyway, getting back to the main point, following the Brewers is not a bad idea. They have Canadians in the front office, they have Lawrie in their system, they're not beating their heads againt the wall in the AL East and they're not media darlings like the Chicago Cubs. Sounds like the complete package -- not unlike Brett Lawrie.
(Major glove tap to Andy Grabia from The Battle of Alberta, his province's foremost baseball enthusiast. He furnished almost all the links for this post.)