Team USA and Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler says he hopes kids value the American style of play over that of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Kinsler, speaking before Team USA’s World Baseball Classic final matchup with Puerto Rico, suggested Americans play baseball in a better manner than their counterparts. He implied other teams’ freedom of expression on the field is less befitting.
“I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays,” Kinsler said, according to TheNew York Times. “That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.”
The U.S. team has been noted for its understated, stoic approach relative to the joyful, expressive play and celebration of other nations in this year’s tournament. The debate about playing “the right way” has spilled over into the WBC, a conversation that often takes place using racially coded language.