You seem to be making weak excuses for the fact the USA is ranked behind Cuba and that you couldn't even qualify for the olympics in 2004 and thus were several places behind the converted park cricketers playing for Australia.
It's natural...you know sometimes when Australia lose certain matches I think oh if only they'd picked such and such...but it's just an excuse. The fact is America play against other countries in baseball and their selectors pick the best players available. It's just those best players aren't as good as Cuba's ... or in 1999 and 2004, Australia's.
As a general rule in sports, the best players in the world are going to be making/playing for the most money. Major League Baseball- just like the NBA, NFL, NHL, ATP, PGA etc.- is far and away the most competitive league in it's sport, with far and away the most financial clout*, and far and away the largest collection of talent. It's already comprised of a significant percentage of non-US-born players from a wide variety of countries, including Cuba and Australia; franchises exhaust a fuck ton of resources on international scouting, signing kids from all over for six and seven figures, often at only 16-18 years old. You can pretty much bet if an international player is good enough to play in the big leagues, teams will know about him, and he won't be long for wherever he is. Even the best players from Japan and Cuba- where MLB teams can't just have their pick- will eventually ask to be posted (Japanese transfer/bidding system) or will try to defect (from Cuba) once they start drawing interest from MLB teams, so they have a chance to make the most money, though the % of Cubans and Japanese (and 1000x smaller Australians) playing professionally in the US is still small. There literally isn't a single above average Australian player in the MLB right now (or ever that I can remember), and while Cuba is better represented, it's only slightly so. For you to use the extremely small sample sizes at the Olympics- where the US roster contains zero
major or even minor
league players- and the World Baseball Classic to try and determine/prove the true quality of a country's top flight ballplayers (to say nothing of talent depth), as opposed to making your conclusion by observing infinitely larger scale statistical trends of the Major League of the US- again far and away the elite league in the world, again where players are paid the most money [aka the
#1 motivator of professional athletes]- is absurd
I'm not longer going to derail this thread with baseball talk, so if you really wanna keep up this argument, take it to the MLB thread.
*compare the average and league minimum salaries of MLB to Japan's NPBL, the world's second best league.