It's just not my cup of joe

The Baltimore Sun

WBC. What is that?

World Boxing Council?

World Barista Championship?

Yeah, I know, it's the World Baseball Classic.

But knowing and caring are two different things.

Italy and Canada were in a Pool C elimination game last night.

Winner went on. Loser went home. Yawn.

In March, baseball fans care about one thing: how it's coming together for the hometown team down in Florida or out in Arizona or wherever.

Really, where would you prefer to see Orioles third base prospect Mike Costanzo (who went to high school in the Philadelphia suburb of Haverford but is playing for Italy) this spring? On the roster of the Italian national team, for whom he went 1-for-4 the other day against Venezuela, or playing with the O's in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.?

I suppose this is a nice little tournament for the players who get to enjoy the glow of national pride. But as an event vying for fan attention with major league baseball's spring training, the run-up to college basketball's March Madness and the NFL's free agency period, not to mention the NBA and NHL regular seasons, the "Classic" lags a poor fifth or sixth.

Now, the aforementioned World Barista Championship - I wasn't making that up - that's a spectacle I want to see on ESPN2.

Scores of world-class competitors from around the globe whipping up caffeinated concoctions in the compulsory espresso and cappuccino categories and then trying to dazzle the judges in the freestyle "signature drinks" category.

So this year's barista battle is April 16-19 in Atlanta with 56 nations expected.

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