Newsday’s Shaun Powell appeared on Mark Gray’s XM show yesterday afternoon and declared “no one cares about the World Baseball Classic.”

Gray, mindful of XM’s attempts to use the WBC as a selling point objected, “I’m sure someone cares about it…”

“OK,” granted Powell (above). “Maybe someone in other countries. Maybe the Far East. Maybe two or three people in Australia.”

Really flustered now, Gray declared that the tournament was resonanting with American baseball fans because we heard “40,000 people booing during pitching changes at Chase Field the other day.”

For the record, the paid attendence for Canada/USA was less than 17,000.

“Do you really think Derek Jeter is going to dive into the stands during one of these games?” asked Powell. “I don’t think so.”

With all due respect to the spokesperson for 2K6’s excellent series of baseball videogames, fuck Derek Jeter. As enthralling as BC/Duke might be at this very moment, if Cuba’s 6-0 lead over Venuezuela (top of the 6th) holds up, that’s your hottest result of the weekend. I challenge Powell or anyone else (hopefully someone who is watching the game) to tell me that Cuba’s squad — by all accounts, their “B” team — isn’t taking this game seriously.