The World Baseball Classic was fantastic….at reminding us that Gary Bettman has a big dump in his pants.

Last night Team USA and Japan wrapped up a tournament for the ages in this year’s World Baseball Classic. All the way from pool play down to quite literally the final out of the tournament, there were awesome moments that even someone like me who isn’t that into baseball thought were 10/10 to watch. We saw a shocking early exit from the LOADED Dominican Republic team, Trea Turner becoming Captain America before our very eyes, and to top it all off arguably the two top baseball players on this rock we float on faced off mano y mano for the final at bat of the tournament.

The only way to describe it all is electric. The best players on planet earth trading in their teams uniforms to represent their country, on an international stage, competing for glory even though they no longer get to play in the Olympics every four years……surely there’s no other sport watching this that should be taking notes.

Oh right, there is! That’s right! The sport that thinks having 162 games that are four hours long is perfect, feeds their minor leaguers Lunchables, and somehow took 10+ years to realize Barry Bonds was doing steroids, is somehow making the NHL look like they’re the ones in the stone age. I mean getting comments like this from the face of your sport is very very far from being ideal.

International hockey tournaments have proven to be the best international sporting events outside the World Cup of Soccer time and time again. The competition to actually win is stiff with plenty of countries having stacked teams outside of just the big 3 (USA, CAN, RUS) such as Sweden, Finland, the Czechs, and more. Miracle on Ice, the women’s USA and Canadien teams seemingly hating each other more and more every year, and this legendary performance by TJ Ochi in 2014 are just a few of the awesome moments we’ve gotten.

The fans overwhelmingly want it, all of your top players want it VERY outspokenly, and both have been borderline rioting trying to get the best of the best in hockey back to an international competition since that 2014 Olympics. But thank GOD Gary is focusing on what is crucial for growing the game-he got Fanatics to become the next jersey partner for the league going forward. We were all worried he’d do something stupid like give it to Nike, CCM, or some other brand that is irrelevant compared to Fanatics.

Don’t want to have to pause the season? Fine, have it in the off season ramping up to the main one like baseball. Is it about money like it always is with Geriatric Gary? Well last night’s World Baseball Classic finale averaged almost 4.5 million viewers, so I don’t know maybe tell your TV partner ESPN that hockey is actually relevant and get a revenue deal done.

The fact that we are robbed of getting to see Connor and Sid play on the same team, against a Russian team lead by Ovi or an American team led by Matthews and the Tkachuk brothers is a god damn embarrassment. FIGURE IT OUT GARY.

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