America has invented many great things for the benefit of the world. And we know that medicines, space travel, the car, numerous industrial machines and the digital age are among the more important contributions we've made to the betterment of humankind.

But there are two American inventions that we've exported around the world that tap into the fun in life: baseball and soda pop.

This weekend, the start of the World Baseball Classic hit full speed. It's the Olympics of professional baseball. And if you caught any of this weekend's action, you saw that these ballplayers are playing for keeps.

The Americans, who performed dismally in the inaugural Classic won by Japan, are out to restore our glory as the game's inventor - winning a thriller against Canada in Toronto and clobbering the Venezuelan team last night. There's already been an upset worthy of Appalachian State over Michigan in college football, when The Netherlands (not exactly a baseball hotbed) upset the heavily favored Dominican Republic team - which, let's just say, has been doing a lot of "talking" about how they're the best team in this tournament. Well, fellas, not if you can't beat the Dutch. And Ichiro and Japan seem like they have no intention of giving up their title easily.

Plain and simple - the first weekend has featured some exciting baseball.

By contrast, today's world news on the economy isn't as uplifting. The World Bank reports the global economy is in a recession the likes of which haven't been seen since World War II. Certainly that's serious and we've blogged about the economy many times in Sip & Savor. The world news is just another in a weekly series of bad news on the economy.

But what we can't lose in these tough economic times is our optimism and a positive attitude. The World Baseball Classic is providing a welcome reprieve from the tough times. And, of course, there's nothing like a cold, crisp soda pop to help you wash away any blues while watching the ball games or taking a break from doing battle with this economy during the workday.

So keep your head up America. Our baseball team goes at it again Wednesday night. Take a break, catch-your-breath, cheer on the Red-White-and-Blue, and enjoy the game with your favorite soda pop. American classics endure throughout the world, including American ingenuity. We'll find a way to turn this economy around. It's as certain as a game-winning home run.