Thursday, December 29, 2005


Is there really a need for a World baseball tournament ? Aren't all the best players already playing in the Major Leagues ? And does it really matter to most which country has the best team ? Bud Selig has done an admirable job of promoting the WBC and trying to get people to buy into it, but I don't think it will be the success that he probably wants or is expecting. There are several reasons why the WBC won't fly :

1) It's happening during spring training while the players are just starting to get ready for the regular season. It is hard to imagine that any player will be trying too much harder than they do during a normal spring training game. I would be quite surprised if the intensity level is any higher than it has been in the recent All-Star games. After all, players realize that their loyalty should be towards their employer, not their country.
2) Some of the best players wonÂ’t be participating. If the most famous American player (ARod) and most famous Japanese player (Matsui) arenÂ’t playing, how serious can we really take the WBC ? Maybe Commissioner Bud will twist their arms and ultimately get these guys to play, but I doubt it. It is clear that some teams are frowning on letting their players participate. They are just looking out for their own well being, just as they should be. Can you imagine the outrage if a great player got hurt while playing in a meaningless exhibition ?
3) Are there any fans inside the United States that even care about the WBC ? Ok, there may be a few soccer fans that enjoy international competition, but the vast majority of people could care less about countries competing against one another. This is why the Olympics are largely ignored in the U.S. compared to in other countries.

Maybe I'll be wrong, but you won't catch me attending any games or watching any on TV (will they even be broadcast ?).